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Texas Fish & Game « OCTOBER 2013 • VOL. XXX NO. 6

Coastal Edition

www.FishGame.com

Gunning for Pork: Excerpt from the Book ‘Hog Wild’

COASTAL EDITION

OCTOBER 2013 | VOL. XXX • NO. 6 | $3.95

Can Fish

really Smell Your Bait? Lonesome Quail What’s Causing the Bobwhite Decline?

Game Hides:

Clever (and Odd) Bowhunting Blinds

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Covering Your Bass

Shore Cover Fishing Basics

Blind Date

with a Duck: Hiding from Waterfowl

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Texas Fish & Game « OCTOBER 2013 • VOL. XXX NO. 6 N orth EDITION

North Edition

www.FishGame.com

Lonesome Quail: What’s Causing

the Bobwhite Decline?

OCTOBER 2013 | VOL. XXX • NO. 6 | $3.95

Excerpt from the Book ‘Hog Wild:’

Gunning for

Blind Date

with a Duck: Hiding from Waterfowl

Can Fish really

Pork

Smell Your Bait? Game Hides:

Clever (and Odd) Bowhunting Blinds

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Covering Your Bass Shore Cover Fishing Basics

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

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CONTENTS FEATURES

October 2013 • Volume XXX • NO. 6

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Covering Your bass It’s no secret that bass are cover nuts. Find some grass, brush, boat docks or other structure and it is a good bet that Micropterus salmoides will be nearby.

by Matt Williams

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Game Hides Innovative, clever, and downright odd alternatives to conventional bowhunting blinds.

Coastal cover: Can Fish Smell? Leading wildlife biologists weigh in on how fish detect odors, and just how effective scents are when added to fishing lures.

STORY:

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Story by John N. Felsher Cover Photo: Canstock

by Lou Marullo

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Blind date with a duck Many Texas duck hunters sit comfortably in a wide range of big, roomy, permanent blinds. But what happens when birds don’t come to that location?

by John N. Felsher

Inland/north cover: Gunning for Pork In this excerpt from his latest book, “Hog Wild,” Chester Moore takes an in-depth look at the best firepower for hunting Texas feral hogs.

STORY:

Lonesome quail

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Texas quail populations have gone down and come back up, in a constant struggle with nature. But can they survive their most formidable enemy of all — Modern Man?

by Chester Moore Cover Photo: Canstock

by Bob Hood 4 |

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CONTENTS COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS

October 2013 • Volume XXX • NO. 6

COLUMNS

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Notes 10 The Hunt for Red

Texas Freshwater 29 Let’s Go

October

Lunkering

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

by matt Williams TF&G Freshwater Editor

8 letters 12 TF&G Report 12 big bags & catches

Chester’s Notes 14 Super Scary

Texas Bowhunting 43 The First

One

defense

by CHESTER MOORE TF&G Executive Editor

44 True green

Creatures

by Lou Marullo TF&G Bowhunting Editor

Doggett at Large 16 Leave No Dove

36 texas dept. of

Behind

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

Digital:

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Pike on the Edge 18 October is Too

Hunt Texas 51 Nice Rack, for

a Doe

by bob hood TF&G Hunting Editor

Short

by Doug Pike TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

TexasWild 20 Variety: The Spice

of Everything

Texas Saltwater 47 The Frugal

by Ted nugent TF&G Editor At Large

Fisherman

by Calixto Gonzales TF&G Saltwater Editor

Commentary 21 Who Rules Over

Open Season 56 The Big

You?

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by Kendal Hemphill TF&G Politcal Commentator

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by reavis wortham TF&G Humor Editor

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

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Letters to the Editor Zaidle’s Water Conservation Plan

Bow vs. Crossbow vs. Gun

Regarding Don Zaidle’s Editor’s Notes, “Practical Water Conservation” in the August issue, since the early 1960s, I have tried to do “No. 1” in the backyard and not use the indoor toilet. It is easy to do if you have a privacy fence in your backyard. Unfortunately, the current toilets that use only three gallons per flush cannot deal with the amount of toilet paper required for a normal “No. 2,” and I must flush twice to deal with this at my house. I agree that “outdoor deposition” is the best way to “go” if this is an option. I am trying to convince our son that this is the best way to “go.” Thanks for publishing a column concerning this subject.

I have been hunting since the age of seven, now 54 and counting, hunting the way my dad taught me, with reverence for the great outdoors. I harvested many an animal with scope and firearm--never for waste, but for food on the table. Lo and behold, I found out what bow hunting is. Nothing like it. Fling that arrow for the first time at a deer from 10 to 20 yards, and you are hooked. I have shot a deer from 200 yards with scope and rifle only once since. Bow vs. crossbow, same difference. You have to get close, not stink, make no betraying movements, steady nerves, no shakes, close the correct eye, keep the arrow/bolt rested, let ‘er fly, good luck.

Donald Klinzing Via email

Kine Reyes Victoria, TX

LaMascus Nailed It I just received the September issue and must say that Steve LaMascus’ articles “Is it Really Worth It” and “The Lost Art of Still Hunting” were two of his best! I admit to being a bit nostalgic when it comes to rifle calibers, but the data doesn’t lie. I’ve long contended that the .270 will do everything the 7mm Magnum can do. The still-hunting article brought back many memories of learning to hunt deer with my uncle on top of the Edward’s Plateau west of Eldorado. We didn’t wear camo, shot old 1903A3s bought for $30, moved slow through the mesquite and pear pastures, and watched...a lot. My first deer was shot (dead) on the run. Drew Humphries Fort Worth, TX

Zaidle’s ‘September’ Wow! Don Zaidle’s Editor’s Notes, “September,” in the issue of the same name is his best column ever. I have read his columns since he started as editor. Like them all, agree with most. I have often imagined that after he finishes his monthly column, he probably lets the family back in the house and goes off into the woods or fields on a tractor with a bushhog, axe, wasp spray, and whatever else he needs to put some whup-ass on something! Great piece. J.H Grimes Via email

Send your Comments to: Editor, Texas Fish & Game 1745 Greens Rd Houston TX 77032 Email: editor@fishgame.com 8 |

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

The Hunt for Red October

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echno-thriller book enthusiasts (mea culpa) and movie buffs connect “Red October” with the book and subsequent movie of the same name. Historians and political pundits think of the Bolshevik Revolution led by Vladimir Lenin October 25, 1917—notwithstanding that the backward Russians still used the Julian calendar and the actual date was November 7 by the Gregorian calendar, “Red October” stuck nonetheless. To the hunter, “Red October” means something quite different, although the sanguine connotations of “red” remain consistent—whether shed in anger, revolution, or predatory conquest, blood’s color doesn’t change. The world changed in Russia’s Red October, which seems wholly fitting. October has marked a time of change ever since Man named the months and seasons. It is the time of the Harvest Moon—the first full moon nearest the autumn equinox, when waning days give way to longer nights—followed by the Hunter’s Moon—the first full moon after the Harvest Moon. Harvest and hunt are the essence of Man’s very existence, the bread and meat of body and soul. To reap the herbaceous bounty of Earth satisfies hunger, but leaves wanting a deeper need untended by seed and scythe. The hunt slakes a primordial thirst common to all men—an imperative to kill, taste flesh, and smell the sweet warmth of blood, a need driven by genetic, sabertoothed memories of prey and triumph. In October, autumn woods turn the color of blood and bone, a rich mix of crimson and ochre that reminds the hunter of his predatory ancestry. The air smells different,

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a burnt umber scent of ancient campfires and roasted flesh of hard-won prey. The world feels different, a subtle inner throb that drives a man to he knows not what—unless he is a hunter. For many, the October primordial drive finds relief in dove and other avian weight in the game bag. But to some—those still sufficiently “uncivilized” to embrace their roots—it is a time of blooding in earnest, a reconnection to the surrogate fang and claw of ancient ancestors, a time to take up the simple instruments that propelled Man to the top of the food chain—the time of the bow. The name (if he had one) of our ancient, hairy ancestor that discovered the utility of wood held bent into a bow by sinew to launch a stick tipped with chiseled flint is lost to antiquity. Nonetheless, his nameless legacy endures, personified in Saxton Pope, Arthur Young, Howard Hill, Fred Bear, et al—men who understood what it means to be a predator, equipped not with fang and claw, but intellect sharper than any corporeal weapon in Nature. And it was those men, their ancestors and progeny, that secured the future of the modern hunter, and more—the very survival and continued ascendance of Homo sapiens. The bowman’s art figures prominently in Man’s history, reaching beyond mere sustenance to the fortunes and defilement of political pretenders. Britain’s War of the Roses reached resolution with the Act of Accord that recognized York as King Henry’s successor to the throne, disinheriting Henry’s six-year-old son Prince Edward (largely due to the efficacy of bowmen) in October,1460. Bows in the hands of American Indians wrought crushing defeat against Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen in two separate engagements on October 18 and 22, 1790. October saw Columbus discover America; the births of King Henry III of England and Commander James Lawrence (who uttered the famous last words, “Don’t give up the ship!”); Alexander the Great defeat the Persian army; and Spain cede Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.

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The magic of October drives men to great things in field, fiefdom, and boardroom. It stirs an inner cauldron long dormant in some, that conjures ambitions and machinations beyond normal reach. It awakens the primordial hunter that sleeps in our psyches, restoring life to dreams undreamt for perhaps millennia to hunt, stalk, and kill creatures vulnerable to our schemes—prey and predator-foe alike. The ancient hunter-gatherer with his bow of wood, medieval British archer with his longbow, and French soldat with his crossbow are all the same—torch-bearers of an ancient art that gave rise to tribal leaders, kings, and despots with equal utility. The same strength of arm and shrewdness of eye that wielded the bow that brought meat to hearth, also made kings, dethroned cruel overlords, and changed the fortunes of nations. Without the bow, the world as we know it would not exist—perhaps Man would not rule Creation. The hunt itself might lie dead beneath the detritus of antiquity, but because of the bois de arc—the “bow of wood”—Man rules the known cosmos, civilization exists, and the hunter is the bulwark of culture. Maybe, someday, the hunter and his bow will go the way of the dodo and Clovis point. Meanwhile, the hunter and his instincts rule the corporate boardroom, the headship of nations, and the suburban bedroom. The hunter’s instinct and baser drives cleave the way of progress, innovation, and triumph. And the man who draws the bow holds in his fingers the history and fate of the world at large, and Mankind in particular. It could not rest in better hands than of the man who hunts and yearns for Red October—the season of blood.

Contact Don Zaidle at DZaidle@fishgame.com

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In a new twist to an old alligator story, an East Texas hunting/fishing guide is expected to plead guilty in federal court to a felony violation of the federal Lacey Act involving the illegal harvest of an American alligator in 2008 on the Trinity River in eastern Texas. That’s the word from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble of Tyler, who said Steve Barclay of Kennard was scheduled to enter a plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin in August at the Jack Brooks Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

Big

For years, Barclay has been part of a successful guide business on the Trinity, built around hunting alligators during the spring season and targeting trophy alligator gar with bow and arrow or rod and reel. The business is called “The Gar Guys.” “Mr. Barclay has agreed to enter a guilty One of the several record-size plea on one count of a alligators to which Steve Barclay felony violation of the helped guide clients. Lacey Act, specifically involving the transportation of wildlife that was taken in violation national wildlife protection statute. Someone of federal law,” Noble said in telephone who knowingly transports or sells in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or interview. The Lacey Act is the nation’s oldest possessed in violation of state

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Embattled East Texas Guide to Plead Guilty in 2008 Alligator Case

B a g s &C a t c h e s

Whitetail

Speckled trout

Whitetail

Llano

West Galveston Bay

Columbus

Gracyn McMaster shot this buck while hunting on the Wolf Ranch in Llano. The buck had a B&C score of 158.

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Photo:The gar guys

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Courtney Politz of Cypress caught and landed this speckled trout while fishing in West Galveston Bay. Measuring 31-1/4 inches and weighing in at nine pounds, the trout inhaled a live shrimp under a popping cork.

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Connor Ward of Simonton shot his first buck using a Remington .243 while hunting at Columbus. Connor killed his buck at 110 yards with one fatal shot.

Photo credit

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law or regulation is in violation of the Lacey Act. The law wears some super sharp teeth. Maximum penalty for a felony violation includes up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Noble said Barclay’s plea deal comes on the heels of a lengthy investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens. He said the investigation determined that Barclay allowed a client to kill three alligators during May 2008 when he was allowed only one by permit. Noble identified Barclay’s client as John McCall, Jr., of Grapeland. The attorney said McCall pleaded guilty in Dec. 2012 to one misdemeanor Lacey Act violation for his part in the crime. “Mr. McCall acknowledged in his plea that he shot three alligators in May 2008 – one on May 6, one on May 16 and another on May 20, but he was only charged with one illegal transaction… for the ‘gator he killed on May 20,” Noble said. “Since it was all so tightly grouped together in time we’re regarding it as a single criminal episode involving both men.” Noble said McCall has not yet been sentenced, but he expects the sentencing phase to be carried out soon after Barclay enters a guilty plea for the felony violation. Attempts to contact McCall by phone for comment were unsuccessful. The attorney said the reason Barclay is facing the stiffer felony charge stems from the fact he was guiding McCall when the ‘gators were shot. He said the guide should have known better. “In our view, and in the view of the USFWS and TPWD, we felt that the guide should be held to a higher standard than the typical hunter,” Noble said. “We feel like Mr. Barclay should be more familiar with the game laws. Plus, his guide service is profit motivated, so he had more incentive to violate the game laws.” Noble added that he does not plan to push for the maximum punishment on Barclay’s sentencing. Instead, he is recommending an $8,000 fine and three years probation. Additionally, the attorney will ask that Barclay be ordered to pay $5,894 in restitution to the TPWD. The restitution fee is based on the size of the alligator, “which was not extremely large,” Noble said.

“The agreements the parties reach are subject to the approval of the court,” Noble said. “In light of that I can’t say with any certainty what punishment Mr. Barclay will receive when the sentencing takes place.” Once Barclay’s guilty plea is entered, it could be weeks before the sentencing phase comes up, Noble said. “The judge will order a pre-sentencing report and will ask a probation officer to prepare a report about the background of

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the defendant,” Noble said. “That can take a while.” Barclay’s attorney, Joe Scott Evans of Groveton, declined to comment on the case. Barclay was contacted by phone, but also declined to comment.

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

Super Scary Creatures

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ot much scares me in the wild. I am not saying that to seem brave or heroic because in my opinion heroism has nothing to do with whether wild animals shake a person up or not. That is reserved for people like my friend Erin who sold everything she had to move to India and open up a special needs orphanage. She has stayed after having a bomb blown up outside of her church, and she faces discrimination because of the fact she is a woman and follower of Christ. That is heroism. What I do is entertainment. I simply have too much curiosity and desire to encounter wild things than to be afraid of them. That is most of them. A reader suggested I might do a column on the creatures that creep me out and with Halloween happening this month it seemed like the perfect time to jump into that discussion. In this month’s almanac feature I admit to being afraid of killer bees. You simply cannot get away from those things and after encountering them and studying their habits at length, they are definitely at the top of my list of Texas terrors. Thousands of painful bites does not seem like a good way to go, and the truth is they kill more people annually than any other wildlife in the U.S. Packs of feral dogs are also pretty frightening, and once again I have had two experiences with them. Once was with a single pit bull and the other a pack of mutts my friend Kenneth Pigg and I encountered near Jasper about 10 years ago. Animals that are bred not to fear people and that have predator instincts are far more 14 |

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likely to use them on you than most of the creatures that live here in Texas. In fact, that is about it for resident frighteners, however there are several overseas creatures that fit the bill. I love snakes but there is one I would be extremely hesitant to work with in any capacity: the black mamba. Africa’s longest venomous snake, it has been documented at over 14 feet in length and it is extremely venomous. On top of that, this one makes our cottonmouths and rattlesnakes look rather docile. They can crawl at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour while holding their heads three to four feet off the ground. Like most snakes it does not go looking for trouble, but this one will actually charge people. Both the coachwhip and buttermilk racer will exhibit similar behavior when cornered, but they are nonvenomous. I filmed some interaction with two big specimens for my GETV program “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore” and was amazed at how vicious they were when corned. Double size, add venom and spike up the attitude a bit and you have the black mamba. I do not think I will be cuddling with one those any time soon. One of the dreams I will see realized is diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The great whites do not worry me nor do sea snakes which I would actually love to catch and photograph. The Irukandju jellyfish? That freaks me out a bit. According to Wikipedia “…its venom is very powerful, 100 times as potent as that of a cobra and 1,000 times as potent as that of a tarantula.” These things are tiny and would be nearly impossible to see under most diving conditions; yet they are the source of deaths in Australia every year. Theoretically you could be watching an 18-foot great white in a shark cage and be killed by something 1/10,000th its size. Yikes! I had a brush with one of Africa’s most dangerous animals on a ranch in Kerr County a decade ago.

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My wife Lisa and I were driving out of the ranch and saw a herd of zebras in a meadow about 200 yards from the road. I got out with my camera, made my way along a thick patch of cedars and hoped to close the distance to 50 yards for quality photos. Just as I got about 75 yards out, I heard brush cracking in the thicket and the sound of hard hooves on the rock. I thought it was probably one of the zebras so I walked into the brush and was shocked to see a Cape buffalo looking right at me. Yes, I am talking about the same Cape buffalo that beats down lions and stomps hunters into mud holes on a frequent basis. I had no idea they were on this ranch and was trying to figure out an exit strategy. I remained calm, backed away slowly and calmly started walking back to the road. The problem was, the buffalo was following me. I knew if I picked up the pace it would excite the beast. I kept it slow and steady and, I promise you, walking 125 yards seemed like it took days. Lisa said she would never forget looking in the rearview mirror and seeing a Cape buffalo and me walk onto the road together. It was only five yards away by the time I got to the truck. That did not put any particular fear of Cape buffalo in me; but looking back, it sure made me curious. What would have happened if I had stopped and petted it on the nose? Would I have been deceased on the spot or gained a truly rare trust from a dangerous creature? That is the kind of encounter that makes my life a truly wild one.

Catch Chester on the radio Fridays, 6 pm on 560 KLVI Beaumont (www.klvi.com) and Thursdays online on TF&G Radio (www.fishgame.com) Contact him at CMoore@fishgame.com

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

Leave No Dove Behind

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single mourning dove whipped past. The bird was really moving, crossing the plowed ground about 40 yards from my fence-line station. The shot was there and on the typical take’em-as-they-come dove hunt you need make each legitimate chance count. I rose with a smooth shoulder mount and the old 12-gauge VHE Parker swept ahead of the small target. The rear trigger crumpled the dove. I marked the clean fall, knowing I’d played over my head. Gunning partner David Boyles yelled something about “Blind luck!” Then I made the big mistake, the common blunder of dove hunting. I took my concentration from the mark. I looked down the long fence line at Boyles and yelled the obligatory “Pure skill!” When I turned back to the field, the mark was, well, exactly where was it? I paced a “guesstimated” 40 steps across the furrows. The distance was reasonably accurate but the angle was uncertain. And the ground was a sea of sameness. Jumbled clods, broken stalks and fallow sprigs created constant distractions. At this point, it might be worthwhile to note that a four-ounce mourning dove is a small bird. It’s also a drab bird. I began widening the perimeter of search. I looked back at my fence-line hide to confirm the distance. Maybe not far enough. Nothing. Maybe too far. More nothing. Twice, while this frustrating patrol occurred, Boyles yelled “Over you!” The flight was commencing and I was forfeiting easy shots while focusing on the ground. You either search or you shoot; ethics supported the former. I heard the windswept pop of Boyles’ gun. “Fetch, Dessa! Good girl!” Boyles popped 16 |

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again. “Atta girl! Doggett, over you!” I finally found the stone-dead dove. It wasn’t that far away, just swallowed by the ground. But the exasperating exercise cost productive shooting time. Perhaps worse, it fueled sweaty frustration and frantic anxiety. I started pressing. At least, that is my excuse for missing the next two “cream puff” incomers. All experienced dove hunters have been there. A trained retriever is, of course, the best insurance for clean recoveries but a dog is not always readily available. For example, Boyles and his young Brittany, Odessa, were at least 100 yards away, and it wasn’t my job to louse up his prime-time hunting. I don’t own a dog. I live alone and travel often. So, I take solo responsibility and concentrate on marking falls. Well, normally. The first key to a high percentage of easy recoveries is to shoot over reasonably open ground. Put another way, do not bang away over hopeless thickets or across tangled levees. The “hunter” who willingly does this, knowing retrieves will be very difficult, needs some serious lessons in sportsmanship. The second key is to remember that low cover can be very deceptive. So-called “open ground” usually isn’t. Even dirt clods or drab husks can camouflage a downed dove within plain sight. Unless you are shooting over a putting green, do not take even close falls for granted. Watch the dove down, lock your eyes on the exact mark, and pace directly to that spot. This simple drill will save you 90 percent of the time. Distraction and hesitation are the twin saboteurs to easy retrieves. Get after it—and be cautious about attempting to take another shot over thick cover. Flashy doubles are impressive, but you stand a good chance of losing the first mark. Maybe both as attention swings back and forth. No—recall the adage about “a bird in the hand.” Worry about the next shot once the downed dove is in the sack. If the bird is not visible, drop your hat or a shotgun shell at the estimated spot before widening the search. If things look sketchy, place

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two shells about 10 feet apart on the line of the fall. The markers provide an accurate reference when you come up for air. A dove that tumbles with open wings is much easier to find than the one that slants down with wings together. Remember this as you watch the fall. Nobody enjoys “dusting” a dove but, within reasonable range, a crippled bird can be a quick recovery. The fluttering amid low cover tells the tale. And doves (unlike quail) usually do not run. But if the bird glides down with plenty of life be ready for a follow-up flush. Plan the approach angle accordingly. You want a safe backdrop for the shot. If trees or tall bushes are an issue, look for loose feathers clinging in the foliage (keeping in mind that the white and gray fluff probably will trail downwind in a stiff breeze). Come to think of it, check for the bird, itself, caught amid the high branches. Looking up rather than down can trump even the best dog. Perhaps the easiest recoveries are on the sand banks of a low-water tank. This is one venue when snappy doubles are a highpercentage option. Incomers are putting on the brakes, dropping to water, and you can look good in a hurry. But if a dove plunks into the pond, try to claim it as soon as practical. The wind is your ally here, blowing the drifting bird to the exposed bank. Letting the “floaters” linger can be a mistake. Turtles or other aquatic riff-raff might grab them. I once had a huge bullfrog jump from the bank and snatch a dead mourning dove. I hustled over and the outrageous frog glared at me with the long tail of the dove sticking from its wide maw like a Cohiba Esplendido cigar. I had the gun in my hands. Just when I realized I could add a pair of jumbo frog legs to the bag, the bullfrog dipped under the surface. I never saw it—or “my” dove—again. Well, at least the great majority of times, a prompt mark leads to a clean recovery on a dove hunt.

Contact Joe Doggettl at JDoggett@fishgame.com

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

October is Too Short

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ctober in Texas is like a barrel of apples in the Garden of Eden. And because it holds so many temptations, so many dangling carrots and pots of gold at ends of rainbows, I don’t like the month. Don’t misunderstand. I love what it offers. I’m displeased that it only comes around once each year, and because it’s only 31 days long – and nearly two dozen of those are work days. If you’re like me, and you like all that

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Texas offers its outdoors enthusiasts, October is the month when you can do any number of things and still must find time to prepare for the doing of other things. Here’s a small sample of what you’ll find on the October activity buffet: bowhunting for deer, hog hunting with pretty much whatever you lawfully own and for which you can find cartridges, dove hunting at least through the twenty-third of the month, depending on where you hunt, inshore fishing for trout and reds (on topwaters), freshwater fishing for bass (on topwaters) and catfish, offshore fishing for marlin and tuna, and… And between those trips, each of which really should be taken at least twice to truly embrace the change of season, you’d better get your waterfowl lease prepped. That takes at least a full weekend or two, more if you

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really care about managing your water and making sure cottonmouths don’t squat in your pit blinds. You’d have done the work in September, but it was so hot, and it would have cut into the dove opener and whatever time you needed to get your archery skills back up to snuff. And decoys. No self-respecting duck or goose hunter opens the season with decoys that haven’t seen daylight since January. You’ll want to clean them, maybe break out the paints and do some touch ups, take a head count to see how many really were lost the previous season; if it’s more than five, you are justified in buying two dozen more. Or three. And you’ll want to repair or replace bags that have seen a few too many trips to and from the marshes or rice fields. At some point, and no better time than

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October if you can find the time in October, you’ll need to clean your deer rifles and wipe down your shotguns. There wasn’t time all summer for those tasks, because you were too busy fishing. Or going to Little League games or attending musicals with family members who actually enjoy them. If you live beyond the sight line from atop the tallest building in the nearest major city, by the way, count your outdoors blessings every day. And add this one: You don’t get asked often to attend the performing arts (unless you count the local high school’s annual reprise of Grease). I actually don’t mind a good stage production on occasion and live close enough to Houston’s theater district to catch an occasional Broadwayquality performance – but not so close that I’d ever have to choose between an opera and a duck hunt. Excuse the digression. I flashed back briefly to the second time I saw Phantom of the Opera, my wife’s favorite and a musical I genuinely enjoy, which cost me a shallowwater trout trip to Baffin Bay. That particular chapter in my life occurred in a month

other than October, one that didn’t hold quite so much fishing promise. Had it been in my least favorite month, this one, I’m sure my wife could have found a friend to occupy that second seat. Back to guns and stuff. Those rifles that needed cleaning before the regular deer season also will need to be checked for accuracy. If you’re like me and own more than one rifle, you’ll either have to recruit help, carve out an entire day of range time – which eats off fishing and family time – or make a couple of trips. All this, and I’ve not even considered the non-consumptive sides of the outdoors, such as camping and hiking and birding. Now that temperatures have dropped below 100 degrees (presuming that’s the case, since it actually was nearly 100 degrees the day I put this together), thoughts of walking long distances and sleeping in a tent don’t automatically punch beads of sweat through the pores in your forehead. I have an idea that actually might remedy my disaffection for October, the main complaint over which stems from measuring

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its brevity against its possibilities. There’s simply not enough time to do everything in this one month that can and by gosh should be done by every Texan whose passions for the outdoors follow many paths. How about we make October six weeks long and call it Octember. Then, we’ll carve the middle out of the following month so that we can still enjoy the openings of regular deer and waterfowl seasons on its first weekend and still meet family for Thanksgiving on its final Thursday. We’ll gut that month and its name; it will be called Nober. December we’ll leave alone, for the kids. And because I love fishing for big trout, I’ll look forward to Janbruary.

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

Variety: The Spice of Everything

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hen I started bowhunting with my dad, way, way back in the 1950s, we were fumbling around pretty good in this fascinating rebirth of close-range stick and string predatorship. Why, with the ballistic advancements of Roy Weatherby and the gung-ho wildcatters developing amazingly efficient ammo and rifles to reach way out there to kill big game, why on earth would anyone want to so severely handicap ourselves and attempt the near impossible to penetrate the nearly impenetrable red alert danger zone of game we could easily kill from afar? Why, indeed. What Fred Bear had so profoundly promoted and marketed was the human instinct to seek extreme challenge. Of course, putting a bullet in the vitals of a deer or elk beyond 300-plus yards is certainly a serious sporting marksmanship challenge by anyone’s measurement, but there is something primal and freaky about out-maneuvering prey animals’ ears, eyes, noses, and sixth sense of escape in order to get within 20, even 10 yards with the bow and arrow. Back when, as I believe to a great degree even to this day, all young boys got a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun, Wham-O slingshot, and a bow and arrow. These days, more and more young girls are now part of this wonderful ritual. My entire youth from my earliest and fondest recollections, centered around rotating these three magical projectile implements for the ultimate fun a kid could imagine. Back in Detroit, I was put in charge of English sparrow and starling control in our cinderblock garage, and I had to be forced away from my “poop patrol” duties to function as a student and family member. I simply could not get enough shooting in to 20 |

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soothe the little savage Nuge. The mighty Rouge River snaked through the riverine habitat across the street, and to my young imagination, it may as well have been the jungles of Africa. I played very little baseball, basketball, hockey, football or any other athletic sports. I literally lived in the woods. My fascination with wildlife and the stalking adventure owned me. I killed lots of critters with well-placed pebbles from my slingshot, plenty of birds and squirrels with the BB gun, but it was the mystical flight of the arrow that mesmerized me from day one. I believe I still hold the world record for killing the most river rats. Sixty-five years later now, I am oh so very happy to report that little has changed in my never-ending pursuit of happiness. Much of the game I hunt has gotten bigger and better, but the sheer joy of the pursuit is much like that of my pure, uninhibited youth. Of course, I don’t shoot robins anymore. Most of my hunting is with the bow and arrow. However, my wonderful Labrador retrievers and I still thrill at wing-shooting, waterfowling, and small game as often as possible; and I shoot rifles, machineguns, shotguns, and handguns almost constantly. One of our most popular segments on Spirit of the Wild is Uncle Ted’s Favorite Guns, as I try out many of my various firearms. The grand family tradition of Opening Day firearms deer season in Michigan with my sniper 12-gauge is more exciting for me than Christmas, New Years, and my birthday combined. I kill a lot of game with my 10mm and other handguns, varmint hunt year-round with various firearms and calibers, and literally celebrate hunt, fish, trap, and shoot all year long. My favorite hunting of all is the strate-

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gic ambush where I scout like a madman to determine the best place to kill a deer undetected. Stand placement is a predator science that intrigues me no end. I also still-hunt, stalk, wander and even do some long-range sniper work on game and varmints. I love scoped rifles and handguns, but prefer open sights when I gun hunt. I have done my share of black powder hunting, but find the cleanup procedure less than enjoyable. I love my Excalibur crossbow and am working diligently to regain my Robin Hood accuracy with some of my beloved longbows and recurves. I also run a year-round trap line, and no doubt trapping is one of my favorite forms of hunting. Not only does it teach you the ultimate knowledge of wildlife, but the furs are stunning and the lessons learned on a trap line will certainly make you a better hunter real quick. And, of course, trapping fawn- and small game-killing vermin is the ultimate conservation balancing-act known to man. The Nugent family eats lots of fresh fish, and we get after the bream pretty hard in spring and summer, and occasionally fall and winter when we can. Then there is the most intense shooting fun known to mankind when we saddle up helicopters with my full auto M4 and work on the overpopulated hog epidemic in Texas. There is a very real distinct possibility that I actually have too much fun in the helicopter. A little this and a little that is what keeps me bright eyed and bushytailed when it comes to my love of the great outdoors. Give it a shot and go beyond your sporting paradigm. See how much some different methodologies will do for your fun factor this season. Some things come relatively easy, and some are very difficult to master. But if an old guitar player from Detroit can do it, certainly anyone can. Contact Ted Nugent at TNugent@fishgame.com

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9/10/13 11:41 AM


Commentary by Kendal Hemphill | TF&G Political Commentator

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popular meme, currently making the rounds by email and on Facebook, depicts a battle scene from the American Revolutionary war. The caption says, “Washington didn’t use his right to free speech to defeat the British. He shot them.” The meme is meant to support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is under constant barrage of late, and the message is difficult to refute. English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s claim that the pen is mightier than the sword notwithstanding, America would still be subject to British rule if our forefathers had depended on the Declaration of Independence, instead of guns, to win our freedom from King George of England. As Al Capone is supposed to have said, “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” Still, words are important to us all, and not just those that become law. A case in point is the episode Paula Dean recently endured over something she said two decades ago. In an age when almost everything in the public sector is instantly accessible to virtually everyone on the planet, words may be more effective today than ever before. Americans, of course, have a right to say anything they desire, as long as no one is hurt (such as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater). And if the subject is a public figure, the only requirement is that the statement be true, to avoid libel charges (for written accusations) or slander (for spoken defamation). If the charges are true, the accused has little legal recourse, no matter how painful or costly the statement. The reason we have this right, the right to damage a public figure with the truth

“ It has been claimed that 2A protects all other rights.

Who Rules Over You?

without fear of prosecution, is the First Amendment, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It has often been claimed by Second Amendment supporters (such as myself) that 2A protects all the other rights we have, because it guarantees the citizens a means of requiring our elected representatives to obey

the rule of law. While this is true, it is also true that 1A helps to protect 2A, because it allows us to inform our fellows of any breach, or attempted breach, by those same representatives. The old saw that “You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broke” comes to mind. This freedom, the right to speak the truth about our leaders, is not restricted to the press, although communications media obviously have a far greater voice than some. It applies to every citizen of the United States, in every city, county, and state in the nation. Freedom of speech is as much yours as it is mine. And now, in the Internet Age, when anyone can start a blog or website, the right to free speech is enjoyed by more people than ever before. Which has brought up another question – should everyone with a blog or website be recognized by law as a “journalist?” T e x a S

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The issue is immaterial until someone is hauled into court over something they’ve written, and asked to reveal where they got the information. Forty states have “media shield laws,” which allow journalists to refuse to reveal their sources, but such laws don’t apply in federal courtrooms. Congress is now making its third attempt to pass national media shield legislation. The problem is that some, and here I’m referring to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), want to amend the proposed law so that only paid journalists have such protection. Sen. Feinstein was quoted in a recent Watchdog.org article as saying, “I’ve had it up to here” with citizen journalists and bloggers. She believes shield laws should only protect “real journalists.” By “real journalists” Feinstein means those who are paid to write and report. My first inclination is to disagree with Senator Feinstein, no matter what she says, but that isn’t fair. I do, however, disagree with her on shield laws, but not because of 1A. Although I realize the First Amendment protects the right to free speech, I assume it does not protect the right to confidentiality of sources, even for the press, or else there would be no need for shield laws. The basis of my belief that shield laws should protect everyone, instead of just paid journalists, is that whoever controls the disseminator controls the dissemination. Politicians have no more right to truth, and no more authority to say who is allowed to speak truth, than anyone else, no matter where that truth comes from. The bottom line is that Senator Feinstein and her ilk are opposed to shield laws protecting our free speech for the same reason they’re opposed to firearms freedom – they want to control us. It’s not about speech, and it’s not about guns. It’s about control. Voltaire said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

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9/10/13 11:06 AM


It is no secret that bass are cover nuts. Find some grass, brush, lily pads, lay down logs, boat docks, piers or other assorted forms of cover, and it is a good bet that Micropterus salmoides will probably be nearby.

The Basics of Fishing Shore Cover by Matt Williams

Jason Barber of Gun Barrel City was quick to agree with that textbook logic. Barber is a full-time fishing guide on Cedar Creek Reservoir just east of Dallas. “This lake is isn’t particularly well known for having an abundance of shoreline cover, but where you do find it the bass usually aren’t far away,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to hold them, either. I’ve caught some big bass off of old lawn chairs, ladders and other pieces of junk sitting at the water’s edge more than once.” Bass are attracted to cover for several reasons. For starters, it appeals to their wolfish nature. Green fish are predators. They make their living hunting and they like to kill stuff. Cover provides bass with hiding spots where they can lay in wait for unsuspecting bait fish to swim dangerously close. Cover also affords some shade, which is always a big draw for bass during heat of the summer under a big Texas sun. Another benefit is it provides the fish with a sense of security when they are spawning or simply loafing around. As earlier mentioned, cover comes in many different forms. It also can be found at varied depths, ranging from to shallow to deep. The story line here points to shoreline stuff. From here on out we’re talking skinny water, say six feet deep or less. T e x a S

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So, what is the best way to pluck a few bass out of shore cover? That depends on which type of cover is up for discussion. The best approach for a bush may not the best approach to use around reeds, grass beds or boat docks. Here are a few tips for fishing around different types cover:

Bushes When Texas bass anglers talk about catching bass in the bushes, they are usually referring to willows, buck brush or huisache. In most cases bushes need to have at at least three feet of water in them to attract big numbers of bass, but not always. The best stretches of bushes are typically located in close proximity to deep water provided by a creek, river or ditch. Bushes situated on main lake and secondary points can be promising, as well.

Fishin’ Tips n Casting accuracy is a virtue around bushes. If you can’t cast or flip baits accurately at short ranges, you could be in for a long day. n Flipping and pitching are good tactics to use when bass are buried up tight in bushes. Jigs and Texas rig plastics are the orders of the day for this type of fishing, mainly because they are weedless.

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n When using a Texas rig, be sure to peg the sinker to the head of the weight using some sort of bobber stop. This is will prevent the bait and weight from separating on the fall and reduce the potential for hang-ups. n Always use a stout rod, heavy line and quality hook for flipping around bushes. This will help you to turn big fish quickly, before they wrap you up. Many anglers prefer fluorocarbon line over braid for flipping bushes because braid is prone to cut or dig in to tree limbs. n Be a line watcher. If your line goes slack, twitches or does something out of the ordinary as the bait is falling, set the hook! n Moving baits like a spinnerbait, square bill crankbait, topwater or Chatterbait can be equally effective around bushes at times. When casting around bushes, always cast past the target and bring the bait right up against it on the retrieve.

Grass When Texas bass anglers talk grass, they are typically talking about hydrilla. However, much of what you are about to read could be applied around other types of aquatic vegetation as well. When grass is abundant in shallow water it will usually hold fish all year long, even during the dead of winter.

Fishin’ Tips n Bass like to relate to the outer edges of grass beds, especially stuff that is matted on the surface. Try to position the boat so you can fish parallel to matted grass rather than to and from it. This will help keep the bait in the strike zone for longer periods. n Look for physical oddities in the grass such as a points, guts holes or indentions. Such changes could indicate a change in water depth and prove to be a sweet spot. n When fishing a grass-lined creek, always give special attention to sharp channel bends and swings, inside and outside. n Buzz frogs and hollow body frogs are deadly around hydrilla, lily pads, hay grass and pepper grass. Most buzz frogs have to keep moving to say afloat. These frogs tend work best around vegetation that is scattered on or beneath the surface, or situated in clumps with pockets of open water around. The hollow body stays afloat when sitting idle. It shines in the really thick slop or dense stands of lily pads, where bass may need a little more time to zero in for the kill. 24 |

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n Shallow diving crankbaits can be killer around shallow grass. The trick is to fish the bait just fast enough that it bumps the grass without burying up. Keep the rod tip high and crawl the bait along, almost like working a Texas rig.

Laydowns, Rocks, Boat Docks and Stumps Laydown logs, underwater rocks, docks and stumps are stationary targets that hold good potential provided there is sufficient water around around them.

Fishin’ Tips n Be sure to work your baits as close to underwater stumps as possible. Bump or deflect the bait off the wood if you can. Often times this will trigger a “reaction strike.” n When fishing lay downs, always work the bait down both sides and around any protruding limbs before moving on. At times it may take multiple casts at the same piece of cover from different angles to coax a strike. n Always be careful to avoid bumping stumps and other hard objects beneath the surface with your trolling motor and boat. This can spook fish from a considerable distance and spoil your chances prematurely. n A good pair of polarized sunglasses will reduce glare off the water’s surface and help you detect underwater logs, stumps and other potential holding spots before getting too close and spooking the fish. If you don’t own a pair, get some. n On lakes with lots of docks, a few will invariably be better than all the rest. Often times key docks will be built on points or near a channel swing or drop that offers easy access to deep water. Docks that have been doctored with brush piles can be especially good. n If you spend a lot of time fishing around docks, it would be wise to learn to present baits using the skipping technique. Picture a rock skipping across the surface and you’ll get the idea of what skipping is all about. It will help you penetrate shady areas far beneath a dock or bush that cannot be reached with conventional casting. Plus, it will make you more proficient when it comes to probing around different types shoreline cover.

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How They Actually React to Lure Scents My dad used to say, “Companies make lures to catch fishermen, not fish.” True, every year, companies spend millions of dollars developing new “can’t-fail” scented baits they promise will catch more fish, but do they really work? 26 |

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Unfortunately, most scents, like garlic, appeal more to humans than fish. Open a bottle of garlic-flavored additive in a room full of anglers and everyone immediately starts thinking about lunch as aromatic vapors fill the room. However, bass can’t detect aromatic vapors in the air any more than a scuba diver can smell a dead shark on the ocean floor. Moreover, if a bass could COMPOSITE LAYOUT: TEXAS FISH & GAME; PHOTOS: CANSTOCK

9/10/13 11:09 AM


BY JOHN N. FELSHER detect garlic, it wouldn’t automatically associate it with food. Although the taste and smell systems in fish and humans share many similarities, people and fish simply detect chemicals in vastly different ways. People breathe in particles dissolved in the air and carried by air currents. Fish don’t breathe in air and cannot process airborne molecules. Fish

can only detect chemicals dissolved in the water. A buffalo carcass could sit on a beach under a broiling Texas sun in August and fish would never find it unless some watersoluble chemicals spilled into the water. “Fish can detect small water-soluble molecules with both their taste and olfactory systems,” explained Dr. John Caprio, a T e x a S

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Louisiana State University biology professor who spent decades studying fish neurobiology to determine how fish process taste and smell stimuli. “Humans detect volatile chemicals that dissolve in the air when we breathe them into our noses. Pour liquids up our noses and we can’t smell them. In the same way, fish can’t smell particles in the air.”

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Catfish use their barbels to sense food in the water. They also have sensors all over their bodies.

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Many anglers use rattling baits, like this lipless crankbait, to attract bass.

Saltwater anglers often overestimate the effectiveness of oils in attracting fish.

One of the world’s leading experts in fish behavior relating to chemosensory neurobiology, Caprio learned that the highly developed taste and olfactory systems in fish detect and analyze dissolved chemical stimulants in water much differently from how people process airborne smells and taste sensations. In his research, Caprio studied how different species of freshwater and saltwater fish instinctively react to specific natural chemicals they find in the water. He isolated some key chemicals that stimulate fish to feed and used that information to develop SCI-X, a feeding stimulant found in Attraxx soft-plastic lures (Attraxxbaits. com). When an Attraxx bait hits the water, it immediately begins releasing these natural feeding stimuli, exactly what a fish expects to find when looking for prey. Largemouth bass rely primarily upon sight, not smell or taste, to find and attack prey. Bass react instinctively when they see a wounded minnow swimming with difficulty or a succulent crawfish crawling on the bottom. Therefore, bass normally hit artificial or natural baits that move. “There’s no chemical in a fishing lure that’s going to attract a bass,” Caprio advised. “It’s the visual presentation of the lure and the mechanical movements that attract bass. Once a bass hits a lure, it will taste and feel it. If the object doesn’t have the right consistency and taste, a bass will spit it out, often long before the fisherman knows a bass hit the bait.” A bass also uses its lateral lines like a biological sonar system to detect and analyze 28 |

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sounds and find prey by the vibrations they make. Sound wave vibrations move much more easily and for longer distances through water than through air. Because of its lateral line, a bass can detect a black worm dragged over a muddy bottom at midnight on a moonless night in dark water; but like scents, fish can’t detect all sounds. “Many bass anglers use rattling baits that produce high-frequency sounds that humans can hear,” Caprio said. “However, fish hear low frequency sounds. Many lures give off sounds that are too high frequency for fish to hear.” While companies making bass lures tend to create products that smell pleasant to humans, catfish bait manufacturers traditionally take the opposite approach. They sell baits that smell repulsive to humans, but ones they hope appeal to bottom-dwelling scavengers that habitually rely upon taste to locate food. With highly developed sensory organs, catfish can detect very minute particles dissolved in the water. Like sharks, they may home in on those sensations from long distances. Nevertheless, even the most vilesmelling (to us) baits won’t attract catfish unless chemicals from that noxious mess dissolve into the water. “A fish has a greater sensitivity to taste than a human,” explained Dr. Bill Carr, a retired University of Florida zoology professor who now works with the FishBites lure company. “Fish have taste buds on their lips, in their mouths and sometimes in the back of their throats. A catfish is like a

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giant tongue swimming through the water. It doesn’t just have taste buds on its barbels, but all over its body.” In salt water and sometimes in fresh water, anglers occasionally dump fish oils into the water to chum up fish. They hope hungry predators detect the smelly substance and race in, ready to eat anything. However, oils do not dissolve in water; they separate. A fish may bump into an oily sheen in the water and possibly taste some components, but more likely couldn’t detect it. On the other hand, oily fish such as shad or mullet contain multitudes of chemicals in their bodies. Many body chemicals do dissolve in the water and attract predators looking for a meal. “Often, an angler doesn’t realize that the receptors a fish uses to detect food have nothing to do with what the angler can see,” Caprio said. “Many baits release an oily trail in the water, which deceives the angler into believing that the bait must be working because the angler can see the oil. A chemical trail floating on the surface means that the chemicals are probably not water-soluble so fish can’t detect them.” At worst, adding flavoring or scent enhancements can’t hurt, but adding the right chemicals could greatly enhance the attraction of a lure. The trick comes in thinking like a fish, not like a human and use what fish expect to find in the water when looking for food.

PhotoS: John N. Felsher, Larry Hodge

9/10/13 11:09 AM


Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams | TF&G Freshwater Editor

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t’s October. Time for the Toyota ShareLunker program to begin another year. Here’s hoping the season gets underway with a new protocol that determines which fish qualify for spawning and which ones don’t. Some believe it could mean a lot more bang for the buck for Texas anglers. For those who may not be familiar with ShareLunker, it is a well-known program run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 1986. It was launched primarily as a public relations tool to promote Texas fishing and the catch and release of heavyweight largemouths but has since expanded to include spawning and extensive genetics research aimed at producing bigger and better bass for anglers to catch. Not surprisingly, the amount of state time and money invested in the program is significant. Name sponsor Toyota alone dumps in $100,000 annually, according to Gary Saul, TPWD director of inland fisheries. ShareLunker is built around Texas anglers who are willing to donate big Texascaught female bass to the state so biologists can pair them with select males for spawning in captivity. Most offspring are returned to contributing lakes as fingerlings (some are grown to advanced sizes), while a few are retained for further research. The program has made some cool strides in recent years, including gaining the ability to perform genetic fingerprinting. This process helps scientists identify ShareLunker offspring years down the road, and even the parents that produced them. Any bass weighing 13 pounds-plus caught between October 1 and April is eligible for entry. In the late-2000s, ShareLunker adopted a protocol to spawn only those fish determined to have pure Florida genes. If DNA testing determines a fish to be an intergrade (Florida/native cross), the bass is

“ ShareLunker took in 12 entries in 2013.

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promptly returned to the lake without spawning, regardless of its size. The theory is fish with pure Florida genes stand a far better chance of producing premium offspring than crossbreeds do, according to Alan Forshage, director of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Forshage added that there are plenty of intergrades spawning in the wild, so it wouldn’t be worthwhile to have hybrids taking up valuable hatchery space and risk contaminating their pure brood stock. All that sounds good until you take into account last season’s results. All total, ShareLunker took in 12 entries in 2013. DNA testing procedures implemented in 2009 showed two of those fish

were pure Florida bass — a 14.28 pounder and a 13.75 pounder. The nine intergrades sent back to their respective lakes (one was retained for display at TFFC) without spawning included seven 13 pounders, a 14.06 pounder, a 15.02 pounder and a 16.04 pounder that ties as the No. 22 heaviest bass ever caught in Texas. I am no genetics expert. Nor am I fisheries biologist. But to me it seems sort of silly for a spawning and genetics research program aimed at producing trophy bass to pass on a golden opportunity to spawn and rear the offspring of any bass over 13 pounds, much less a 15 pounder and a 16 pounder. Intergrade or not, any “teener” obviously has something very special going on with its genetics. So why wouldn’t you want to get some of that? T e x a S

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I questioned Forshage about it via e-mail. He replied: “It would be similar to taking a hybrid tomato, sorghum, or any other hybrid and planting seed expecting the same performance,” he said. “Are you a gardner or ever involved in agriculture? It just doesn’t work.” My answer to that is it has to work to a degree. Maybe not as good as crossing two pure Floridas. But it does work. The proof in the puddin’ lies in the 51 intergrades that have been entered in the program since 2009 and all the others before them. Another good example surfaced last April when an angler caught a 12.54 pound lake record from Lake Naconiche with ShareLunker ties. A passive integrated transponder (PIT tag) inside the bass’s body cavity identified it as a 2005 year class ShareLunker female stocked in 2009. Furthermore, DNA analysis identified the fish as the intergrade offspring of a 2.25 pound pure Florida male and a 14.28 pound Florida/native cross caught from Lake Falcon in 2004. Folks may find it interesting that the first documented ShareLunker offspring caught by an angler in Texas turned out to be an intergrade. I know I did. It was also interesting to learn that DNA testing methods used prior to 2009 had identified the mother of the Naconiche bass as a pure Florida when newer technology showed she was just a sorry ol’ crossbreed that nobody with the program seems to care about anymore. There is lots of chatter floating around pertaining to how the ShareLunker program might be improved. I like the idea of spawning every fish regardless of genetics and growing the offspring to advanced size before stocking. That would maximize production as well as survivability and give Texas anglers more bang for their buck. Or TPWD could just go to Florida and buy some more pure Florida bass. That’s the foundation for the quality of Texas bass fishing as we know it, anyway.

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Innovative, Clever, and Downright Odd Alternatives to Conventional Bowhunting Blinds by lou marullo We have all heard the phrase “hide it in plain sight.” In other words, hide it where no one would expect it to be there. How true that is. There have been many times when I have looked all over my house for my glasses, only to find them on top of my head For decades, bowhunters have used tree stands as a very popular way of taking whitetails. Tree stands work and they work well, but is that the only way to ensure the deer will not see you before you take your shot? T e x a S

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I can tell you from first-hand experience that there are many ways to “hide in plain sight,� some of which you might have never thought of before. I once scouted a beautiful 8-pointer as he made his way across a hay lot. He was seen in this particular field quite often. My problem was that although I watched him use a certain trail to enter the field in the late afternoon, when I set up near that trail, he would show up from a different one. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. Finally, I came up with the idea to get there in the early afternoon, bring a chair and a magazine with me and set up right in the middle of the field. The farmer had conveniently rolled huge hay bales in different locations, but right in the middle of the field were two that were close together. Perfect! I kept the wind in my favor and simply waited for the brute to come to me. He felt secure in the middle of the hay lot, which made my job a ton easier. Another time, I went hunting with a good

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friend whom I like to call Lazy Larry. We were hunting alongside a field surrounded by hardwoods. While the rest of us decided to hunt out of our tree stands, Larry thought it would be best to hunt out of the comfort of a broken down shack that was abandoned and located smack dab in the middle of these hardwoods. We all thought he was crazy. As the cold morning hours passed, the wind picked up just enough to make it very uncomfortable and more and more difficult to sit still. To make a long story short, Larry was the only one who scored on a nice 12-pointer! He showed us the nice easy chair that he sat in while looking out the open window. He told us that he was only there for about an hour when he saw the buck behind a doe, heading his way. As they passed in front of this broken down shack the buck was

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Photo: Don Zaidle

totally unaware that he was about to have a bad day. In seconds, Larry sat back down in his easy chair and poured himself another cup of hot coffee. I truly think that the only thing missing was cable TV. How many of you have found a broken down, rusty vehicle where Not all offbeat stands and you hunt? I, for blinds are as one, have seen extreme as this plenty. How they tongue-in-cheek got there I have example, but no idea, but still with a bit of there they were. creative plumbAlthough I have ing... never personally tried it, I can see using that rust bucket to your advantage. As long as the wind is in your face, you could set up next to that old clunker and blend into your surroundings. One of my hunting buddies hunts property close to his house. The farmer had a plot of land bulldozed so he could add more rows of corn to harvest. The bulldozer piled up trees, dirt mounds and brush in a huge

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heap that must have been close to 15 feet high. This was done long before the hunting season began. My friend thought it was a perfect natural tree stand, and he was right. Night after night the deer would walk right by this huge pile as they approached the cornfield. My friend simply located an easy way to climb to the top of this natural brush pile and dug a place to sit and be concealed. He had deer walk right by him all day long. One thing is for sure; whitetail deer are very familiar with their home. Anytime there is something added, it can take weeks for the deer to acclimate to the new addition. Think about it. If you came home after working all day and found that someone had put a new chair in the corner, would you not notice it? No? Maybe I should ask our lady bow hunters that question. I am sure, however, that if someone took that big TV. and replaced it with a 19-inch TV, the men would see that right away! Am I right? It’s the same for deer. If something is different in their living room, they notice it right away. Take the pop-up blind as a good example. I have not had very good luck with pop-up blinds when it comes to hunting

deer. I have seen those curious animals look right at my blind before they come into bow range. Talk about frustrating!! However, something that has been there forever is more natural to the deer. Rolls of hay that the farmer left in the field are no threat to the deer. They have smelled that hay for weeks. They have walked past that old vehicle for years and never had a problem. The same goes for the deer that strolled by Lazy Larry. You can see that with just a little ingenuity, you could come up with many different blinds to use for deer. Not just the conventional ones that you might buy in an outdoors store, but everyday objects that your hunting woods has already in place. You simply need to remember two important facts. First, respect the nose of that deer and keep the wind in your face. Second, try your best to blend into your surroundings. That might mean combining camouflage clothing and keeping still around your new “blind” — no matter what it is.

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Texas Department of Defense Another Look at Revolvers

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evolvers have fallen out of favor as self-defense weapons, especially for concealed carry. At first blush this is not a bad thing. Semi-autos have become so dependable that they are no longer a detriment. Also, they are slimmer, generally hold more rounds, and are faster to reload. So, how can the old wheel gun compete? Well, there are several ways. First is in the case of an ammunition failure. If you have a dud round in an auto you must know how to clear it and get your gun back into

action as quickly as possible. In all the selfdefense courses I know of, these drills are taught. However, if you have a dud in a revolver, all that is required is for the shooter to pull the trigger again. The cylinder rotates and brings a fresh round under the hammer. Also, a revolver is much easier for the novice shooter to learn to shoot well. That is the primary reason that in the Texas CHL course the shooter who qualifies with a revolver can only carry a revolver, while those who qualify with a semi-auto can carry either a revolver or the auto.

| Self Defense | | Concealed Carry | | Tactical | by Steve LaMascus & Dustin Ellermann I often carry an old Smith & Wesson Model 38 Bodyguard in .38 Special. This is the gun I carry in situations where I want a gun but must appear to be unarmed. The little Bodyguard is almost unnoticeable when carried under my belt and covered with my shirttail. And should I need a gun I have five +P hollow points at my Smith & Wesson 329 Night Guard

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The Silent Advantage A SUPPRESSOR is probably the coolest accessory you can attach to a firearm. Commonly called “silencers”, many folks believe the urban legend that suppressors are illegal for civilian ownership. While they are over-regulated by the government, suppressors are legal for civilian ownership if you complete the paperwork, have an extra $200 to submit as a tax and around nine months to wait for the ATF to clear the transfer. If the only knowledge you have of 36 |

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A “Top Shot” built Ruger 22/45 with Tactical Solutions upper, Burris Fastfire sight, Volquartsen trigger set and magazine with GEMTECH Outback IID suppressor.

suppressors is from Hollywood then you’ll be pretty surprised when you experience a real one for yourself. Hollywood suppressors sound more like alien laser

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Texas Department of Defense command. I also carry six extras in a small leather pouch in my pocket, and I have a couple of speed loaders that I sometimes carry in urban environments. There are a number of revolvers on the market that are suitable for concealed carry. I am, as I write this, testing a Smith & Wesson Model 325 in .45 ACP. It holds six rounds in a “clip” that looks like a star. It has a 2 1/2-inch barrel and is made of a super-lightweight alloy. The sights are not adjustable (a point I find disappointing), but it is a very accurate gun and the clips make for the fastest reload I have ever seen in a revolver. Jerry Miculek, the fastest man ever with a revolver, uses a similarly equipped revolver for his shooting demonstrations, and you have to watch very closely to see him reload. Of course, he has fired a million or so rounds to become that proficient. The best rounds for the concealed carry revolver are, in order of power, the .38 Special, .357 magnum, .45 ACP, .44 Special, and .45 Colt. The .44 and .38 Specials can be fired in .44 and .357 magnum guns, thereby reducing muzzle blast and recoil while increasing control and, gen-

erally, accuracy. However, there is an equal loss in power when the specials are used in place of the magnums. I recently tested a Smith & Wesson Model 329 Night Guard. It is a .44 Magnum in the ultra-light Scandium alloy used by S&W. The recoil with a fullhouse .44 magnum is pretty grim, but when used with 200-grain Winchester .44 Special Silver Tip hollow points it is much tamer and more controllable. Since the .44 Special is one of the finest manstoppers ever developed, this makes a dynamite combination. A new addition to the self-defense lineup is the .327 Federal Magnum. It is said to have more manstopping power than a +P .38 Special, but I am doubtful. Still, for someone who is recoil sensitive it is a valid choice, and it does have considerable power behind the little bullets. I have given this advice before, but here it is again: If you are new to shooting, have no great love of guns, only want a gun that is well-suited for personal defense, buy a revolver. You simply cannot beat a revolver for that first five or six shots. Since the average gunfight is over in three shots, you

should have enough firepower in that cylinder to get the job done. If not, well, the fat is surely in the fire and you had better have a Plan B. As for which revolver to buy, I won’t presume to advise you to purchase a specific gun, because there are many good choices, but I will give you a couple of hints. It needs to be as powerful as you are capable of handling in rapid fire. If that is a .32, then get a .32 magnum. If it is a .38 Special, get either a .38 or a .357 magnum. The .357 magnum is one of the best manstoppers you can buy, but it loses some of its wallop in the short barrels of concealed carry guns. The best reason to buy one is that you can carry .357s in the gun and buy or reload .38 Special wadcutters for practice. Or, if you so desire, you can carry .38 Special +P or +P+ loads. The point is that the .357 magnum is very versatile. Also, if you like the bigger calibers, as I said above, the .45 and .44 caliber guns are available and pack a huge punch. I am growing quite fond of the M325 Night Guard in .45 ACP that I have been carrying for the last week or so. It uses the standard star

Suppressors

neighbors will definitely know you are up to something. Subsonic specialty ammunition is available for most pistol calibers and even .223 and .308 but it won’t cycle in your semi-automatic rifle and will have as little ballistic effectiveness as a flying crochet needle. But with new loads, such as the .300 AAC Blackout, chambered in an AR-15-style rifle will cycle with 220grain ammunition at a subsonic speed. These bullets drop like a rock, but they sure are easier to throw. The first advantage of a suppressor is of course sound suppression. Most high-end suppressors allow the shooter not to need muffs or plugs while shooting. Some folks may still prefer to use ear protection with centerfire calibers, but I find it isn’t necessary. It makes a social shoot much more enjoyable because you can carry on a conversation while shooting. This quieter report is also an advantage in a tactical situation. Firing an unsuppressed weapon in a

close quarter area such as a residence will result in hearing loss and reduced situational awareness. Further, the noise suppression is also a training aid when introducing beginners to shooting sports. Shooters who flinch because of noise, muzzle blast and recoil will find themselves shooting a much tighter group with a “can” on the end of the barrel. Another tactical advantage is the elimination of the muzzle flash. The unburnt powder that would normally light up the darkness like fireworks is almost completely eliminated with the suppressor. A can eliminating this flash guards your night vision by preventing the temporary blindness from muzzle flash. It is also a lifesaver for SWAT entry teams when raiding a drug lab or crime scene where flammable substances are present. Suppressors also will help reduce recoil because of the extra weight at the end of the barrel as well acting as a

t Continued from page 36 because although the muzzle report itself Story is very muffledJump the main sound you will

t Continued fromcrack pageofxxthe bullet hear is the ballistic itself. Physics do not allow an object traveling over the speed of sound to be silent in the atmosphere, and the ballistic crack can be surprisingly loud. The best comparison of a bullet’s ballistic crack is about the same as the muzzle report of a standard rifle fired .22LR. Any cartridge firing a bullet over roughly 1,100 feet per second will produce this unsuppressible crack, therefore sounding a bit louder than Hollywood’s deceitful sound effects. If you shoot lower velocity calibers that are below the speed of sound, such as a pistol .22LR and .45 ACP you will have a major reduction in sound signature comparable to a pellet rifle. But cross the supersonic threshold, and the 38 |

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or “full moon” clips, which aid in a rapid reload. I don’t think it will take the place of my Model 25 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt, but it is a very pleasant gun to carry, and it shoots very well. If you want a gun in the renowned .45 ACP, but prefer a revolver over a semi-auto, the M325 is a wonderful solution to the problem. Final verdict: If I could only have one handgun for self-defense and field carry, if would undoubtedly be a big bore revolver. For everyday concealed carry, I would opt for one of the smaller guns, like my old Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38 Special, the Taurus Model 650 .357 magnum, or the Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special or Pug .357 magnum. Taurus also makes some great guns for the ladies in .327 magnum and .38 Special. Just because the old wheel gun has fallen out of favor does not mean that it is not still capable of doing the job. A 1911 in .45 ACP may be a better choice as an allaround carry gun than a Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special, but then again, maybe it isn’t. It really depends on what you require of your gun, not the gun itself. —Steve LaMascus

muzzle brake. They increase accuracy because they act as a perfect muzzle crown for escaping gasses. Texas recently repealed the law banning sound suppressors from hunting game animals so the transfer period might get even longer. If you are considering acquiring one before fall of 2013 you’ll need to act fast and find a Class III dealer in your area. Silencers are great for hunting because they will minimize game scare in the area, reduce noise pollution in the community, and reduce hearing loss while hunting. It also lets you hunt more successfully with your kids, and have the coolest firearm accessory available. —Dustin Ellermann

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Hunters Find Many Options to Hide from Waterfowl Story and Photos by

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any Texas duck hunters sit comfortably in pit blinds sunk into rice field levees, platforms built on stilts over coastal marshes or blockhouses floating like islands on inland lakes. Sure, big roomy permanent blinds make hunting comfortable, but what happens when birds don’t come to that location? By the time ducks migrate through a 3,000mile gauntlet from Canada to the Texas rice fields, lakes and marshes, survivors learn to detect permanent blinds. They can spot big blinds sunk into mud or built over open waters and may avoid them. Ironically, hunting on public lands can sometimes give sportsmen advantages over people tied to fixed locations. Many public properties prohibit permanent blinds. Sportsmen who arrive first get their pick of places while latecomers must move elsewhere. Therefore, hunters on public land must frequently move to new locations, which keeps birds guessing. Although not as cushy as some permanent blinds, temporary blinds or natural cover gives hunters more flexibility to keep up with the birds or change positions as necessary. Setting up each T e x a S

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morning, hunters in temporary locations can position themselves to take advantage of prevailing winds while hunters anchored to permanent blinds might grow tired watching ducks sail over their heads to land elsewhere. Where possible, no blind makes the best blind. Even wily mottled ducks flying along the Texas coast grow accustomed to seeing tall reeds flourishing in various places. Hunters who make the best use of natural cover already in place can often find better gunning than sportsmen sitting comfortably in permanent blinds. In southeast Texas marshes, waterfowlers can crouch down in high native grass. Some hunters sit on waterproof shell buckets or camouflaged seats for comfort. In east Texas swamps, many hunters stand behind trees or in tall reeds. In other places, sportsmen may hide behind log piles, shoreline debris, bushes, rocks or similar cover. F i s h

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Unfortunately, good duck holes seldom come equipped with perfect natural blind materials readily available in the right spot. Therefore, hunters wishing to hunt ponds with sparse cover must bring their own blind materials. Obviously, good blind materials should match the surroundings closely, not stick out like woodland camo in a brown marsh. In fact, the blind should not look like anything at all. Some sportsmen make their own portable blinds. They staple camouflaged cloth or netting to stakes and drive the stakes into the mud around themselves. With such a system, a sportsman can pick a spot, hunt for a while and then easily move to another location to take advantage of prevailing winds or changes in bird flights. At the end of the hunt, they literally pull up stakes and leave. Many manufacturers sell various readymade portable blinds or blind materials to handle diverse hunting situations in different types of habitat. Among the most popular portable, and even permanent blind materials, artificial or woven natural grass mats blend exceptionally well in a brown marsh. Sportsmen can use them in a variety of configurations. Some sportsmen use netting or woven grass mats to hide their boats. Light and maneuverable, small camouflaged boats can venture into many river or marshy backwaters that ducks frequent. They also make excellent platforms for hunting waterfowl on open bays where no other cover exists. Specially designed pop-up blinds on pyramid-shaped frames attach to small boats, allowing sports42 |

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Daniel Felsher waits for birds while hunting in a swamp along a river.

A Labrador retriever prepares to fetch a duck killed by Steven Felsher during a hunt from a permanent blind in a marsh.

men to easily set up in minutes. As ducks approach, drop a side and begin shooting. To relocate, simply lower the frame, pick up the decoys, find another spot to toss out decoys again and begin hunting without leaving the boat. Some mobile waterfowlers may hunt two or three spots in a morning. “Small boats give hunters mobility to go where ducks want to go,” said Mike Caruthers, a waterfowl hunter. “With a boat, we can move easily, so ducks don’t get used to seeing blinds. Small four-stroke outboards today don’t make much noise and get double the gas mileage of old two-stroke engines. Because of the improved gas mileage and quietness of the motors, sportsmen running four-stroke outboards can cover more territory when scouting for new spots and may even hear ducks quacking.” Hunters in low cut agricultural fields like those found in central Texas need special blind options. Some reclining goose blinds look like camouflaged sleeping bags, good for lying in Texas stubble fields. Some blinds actually look like huge goose decoys. Hunters get inside of them, recline in the fields among the regular decoys and look out through holes in the shells. When birds come within range, hunters pop the blind tops and fire at geese that are very surprised to see humans with guns erupting from their cousins’ butts. On agricultural fields, birds expect to see some manmade objects, such as farm equipment, silos or haystacks. Blinds that

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Joe Bullock takes a shot at a flock of ducks from a portable blind made from netting and native brush.

resemble large rolled hay bales make excellent concealment for hunting birds around crop fields. Birds easily see them, but they see such hay bales all year long. The big rolls don’t seem threatening to them -- until sportsmen inside of them pop open the tops and begin firing. For the same reason, plastic tree stump blinds offer great hiding places for hunting on wooded shorelines or river sandbars. Along rocky lake shorelines or beaches, sportsmen may use blinds that look like huge boulders. On both, the tops open so sportsmen can shoot at approaching birds. If caught away from a blind with ducks heading into range, freeze. Sportsmen should lower their faces to keep ducks from seeing their eyes. They should also keep their legs and arms tight to their bodies and hold their guns vertical along their sides like a soldier standing at attention. Ducks would more likely notice someone jumping for cover than a camouflaged person imitating a tree. By definition, any blind should blend in with the surrounding environment so much that ducks won’t even know it’s there. Whether hunting in flooded timber, a lake, a marsh or a soggy agricultural field, let ducks and geese see only what they would naturally expect to see in that area.

Photos: John N. Felsher

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Texas Bowhunting by Lou Marullo | TF&G Bowhunting Editor

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here I was. Perched high up in the forest. My first safety harness was my father’s strong arms that were wrapped around me making me feel secure. I am sure my dad was under six feet tall, but riding his shoulders felt like the top of the Empire State building to me. When he asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him, I was so excited. I did not know what to expect and I certainly did not think that although the whole hunting experience with my father took a total of 45 minutes, the memory is still embedded in my brain and always brings a smile to my face. I could not have been much more than five years old. So many years ago…so many hunting seasons have passed. But still when I first venture into the autumn woods every year, the familiar smell of the wet leaves and the forest floor sparks those memories of happy days with my dad. That day brought no luck, because I hollered “DEER!” at the top of my lungs when we both saw him. We used that 20 seconds of memory to tell the story of my first deer hunt over and over again in front of many campfires. I have since learned that one must be as quiet as possible when hunting these critters. That happened a long time ago, but it shines in the corners of my memory banks like it was yesterday. Taking a child hunting and giving him or her some memories that will last forever is one of the best things a parent can do for their little one. These are some of the “firsts” that they will always remember. Even as teenagers, your first love… first time you kissed or got kissed… and as hunters and adults, you will remember every minute detail of your first whitetail deer. For some reason, you might remember the second or third one, but not as well as that “first.” I have two sons. One of them loves

“ Taking a child hunting and giving memories that last forever is one of the best things a parent can do.

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hunting deer with a bow, the other…well, he would rather hunt two-legged deer (and does a good job at that!). I remember the first time I took my younger son out turkey hunting. Luck was on our side as I just picked a woodlot and hoped for the best. At dawn, we heard the birds start their serenade. I quickly set up a decoy on a mound for him, and then it was just a waiting game. To make a long story short, the proud hunter (and even prouder dad) walked back to the truck with a nice 22-pound long beard. My own personal “first” with a bow happened in my late teens. I was hunting the edge of a cornfield in the middle of the workweek when no one was around. A nice big fat doe decided to walk my way. I remember I was shaking so hard that I thought for sure I was going to fall out of the tree. I pulled back on my 45-pound recurve bow and picked a spot on her vitals area. She looked up at me and knew she was about to have a bad day but it was too late. The cedar arrow was already on its way and flew true. After recovering that whitetail, I immediately went to my mentor’s home and showed him my prize. I never forgot what he told me. I use the same words he gave me so many years ago to all of my students that take my bow class today. He looked at me, smiled and said, “your first one is the hardest one.” T e x a S

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He was right. After you realize that the hunt is the fun part, and the preparation for the hunt should not be a chore, then you will agree with my mentor. That first one is the hardest one. As I type this, I was trying to remember some of my other whitetails that I killed throughout the years. I can visualize a lot of the hunts, but for the life of me, I could not tell you which number this one or that one was. There are details of those “memory” hunts that are a little fuzzy. Oddly enough, I do remember, in detail, my first successful rifle hunt. Before my first success, I was so concerned about drawing back my bowstring at the right time, do I have enough laneways cut for my arrow to fly true, is my camo right, am I hidden enough? So many things to worry about when really the only thing you should be doing is having fun and enjoying the moment. Everything else will happen automatically for you. And even if it does not, is it that important? The way I see it, if a whitetail catches me before I get to release my arrow, then the score is deer 1 hunter 0. I can remember bow seasons when I wore a younger man’s clothes, where at the end of the season, the score might be deer 15 hunter zip! It was fun for me then and I still have tons of fun now. I continued to bow hunt each year. Some years were much better than others. Win or lose it is just fun to be there. I have thanked my dad many times over for my love of bow hunting that he instilled in me that day he took me to the woods with him. Teaching a new hunter the ropes can be one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. I am sure that your “student” will remember you as his or her “first” mentor and will carry that memory forever. Have fun and hunt safe.

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TRUE GREEN MeaslesLike Virus Killing Dolphins

Photo: NASA

A virus similar to measles in humans has killed hundreds of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins since July.

photo: Ducks Unlimited

Habitat Improved at Brazos Bend State Park Ducks Unlimited recently completed the first phase of a wetlands restoration project at Brazos Bend State Park. Managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the park provides Houston-area residents outdoor recreation opportunities including fishing, wildlife watching, camping, and hiking. “Improving water-management capabilities and restoring the area’s natural water cycle will make the habitat better for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species, as well as providing more year-round resources,” said DU Regional Biologist Greg Green. “Previously, unmanaged drainage during spring and summer months prevented the use of Pilant Marsh 44 |

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Recent work at Brazos Bend included improvements to the park’s watermanagement capabilities.

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Morbillivirus infects the lungs and the brain, causing pneumonia and abnormal behavior, and is often fatal, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) biologists. The outbreak has killed 333 bottlenose dolphins in the mid-Atlantic region since July, and may endure for a year, possibly topping the last major outbreak 25 years ago, which killed over 740 animals. There is no way to stop the spread of the virus in wild dolphins. However, the illness is not likely to spread to humans.

—AFP News «TG

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TRUE GREEN Photo: Zookeys

New Raccoon Species Scientists at the Smithsonian in Washington announced the discovery of a new species of mammal called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe), Bassaricyon neblina. The olinguito is the first mammalian carnivore species to be newly identified in the Americas in 35 years, according to Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research group’s study on the creature is being published in the journal ZooKeys (www.pensoft.net/ journals/zookeys).

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Researchers argue that the olinguito should be considered the smallest living member of the raccoon family, which includes coatis and kinkajous. The Smithsonian describes the olinguito’s appearance

as a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear. —Staff Report «TG

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TRUE GREEN CONTINUED... Brazos Bend t Continued from page 44 Marsh and the surrounding swamp. “This project restores the natural water cycle of Pilant Marsh, allowing it to stay wet through the spring, slowly dry in the summer, then refill each winter without

Lyme Disease More Common Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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flooding and harming surrounding upland forest,” said TPWD Natural Resource Coordinator, Andrew Sipocz. This phase of the project was funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program and a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant secured by Ducks Unlimited. Staff from TPWD, Ducks Unlimited

As many as 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, a bacteria-caused illness transmitted by infected deer tick bites, but doctors report only 20-30,000 cases. CDC employees have long known that many doctors do not report every case and the true count was probably much

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and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are planning phase two of the restoration work, scheduled for the coming year. The work will include aerial spraying to control invasive Chinese tallow trees and planting of native oak and other hardwood species. —Staff Report «TG

higher. The new figure is based on a survey of seven national laboratories, a national patient survey, and a review of insurance information. —Staff Report «TG

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Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

The Frugal Fisherman

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andie loves dragging me to garage and yard sales. I hate yard sales. “The old lady down the street is having a yard sale,” she asked me this particular summer morning. “Come with?” “You see?” I growled from where I sat with a box of Kelly Wigglers in my lap. “That’s why everyone thinks that Michigan is broke! You all go to yard sales and can’t afford to cost of complete sentences.” “Insult me and my state is not going to get you out of going,” she replied. “C’mon. It’ll be fun.” Fun for her, I thought. I’m just the other half of a Rodney Carrington joke. We walked down the block to the yard sale that was already populated by various women browsing through card tables covered with nick nacks, lamps, china, old clothes and other sundries. Sandie abandoned me and joined the other bargain hunters in looking over stuff that looked like the stuff at every other yard sale I’ve been to. A lonely, ignored table tucked into a corner of the driveway caught my eye. It was covered in vintage crankbaits, discontinued plastic lures and a mixed variety of fishhooks. What really got my attention, however, was a new-in-the-box Penn 955 International reel. When I inspected the reel, it was flawless. It may not have ever had line on it. On one of the knobs of the reel-handle was a price tag. $20. “Excuse me Ma’am,” I asked our host and saleslady. “Is this the correct price?” The old lady looked slightly flabbergasted. “That was my ex-husband’s. I don’t know why I still have it or any of this garbage. Just give me $10, and you can take that thing.” And that’s how I ended up with a new Penn 955.

Let’s admit it: there are some products that we fishermen are compelled due to finances to admire from afar. Even people who are of reasonable means can’t simply plunk down the equivalent of a car payment for the latest and greatest from XYZ rods or ABC reels. Something I learned is that Life never hits the fan until you have the money to cover the cost. When you’re flush, then the truck needs a new alternator, or your son drops his clarinet down the stairs, or the Labrador knocks over the big screen while chasing the cat. Then the new carbon-fiber reel or micro-guide rod has to wait until next month, at which time your wife’s car needs a new compressor, or the bottom fall off the water heater and your version of the Holy Grail has to continue to wait. A frugal angler, however, knows how to search out the hidden gems that are a fraction of the retail cost. There are plenty of venues and resources where you can buy champagne tackle on a beer budget. Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the comfort and air conditioning of your home. Over the years I have found some remarkable bargains at Flea Markets and garage/ yard sales. The 955 is only the latest example of what I’ve uncovered. In trips past to local “pulgas” and garage sales I’ve found lightly-used Shimano spinning reels, Falcon rods, and some hard-to-find goodies (my personal favorite was the Lew’s BB2-N I found in the bottom of a box I bought at an estate auction for $5). Granted, these finds were pleasant surprises more than they were the norm, but those gems are out there. The key is being selective about where you search. Yard and garage sales and estate sales that are held by older people tend to provide better chances at better products more gently used. Older folks are apt to use their tackle more gently and less often (I have found that some older gentlemen will buy a top-of-the-line rod and reel but will continue to use “old reliable” because, as one widow told me, “if he used it, then it wouldn’t be new anymore, and he always wanted a brand new rod and reel”). Flea Markets are another good option. T e x a S

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You may not find the crazy bargains that a yard sale would provide, but you still find substantial discounts. Salespeople who rent booths are not trying to clear out their attics and garages; they want to make money, and they will price their wares accordingly. Still, that mercenary ethic can play to your advantage because there is always room to dicker. If your offer is reasonable (in other words, do not offer to buy a $20 reel for $1), you can usually make a deal that keeps money in your pocket but still gets you the item. Don’t be afraid to buy slightly damaged products if the fix is an easy one. I once found a Stradic 2000 FA that was in excellent condition except for a broken bailspring, I made my offer, which was 1/5 of the asking price. The seller accepted. One trip to Joe’s Tackle for a new spring, and I ended up with a like-new Stradic for less than 1/3 the asking price. Another great source for bargain-price premium tackle, of course, is on-line. E-Bay and the For Sale boards of message forums such as Texas Flats Fishing are great resources to find good quality tackle at sale prices. You’d be amazed at what you can find. E-Bay is an excellent resource for hard to find reels such as the still popular Chronarch SF (the “Gold One,” as it is affectionately called). You can also find discontinued spare parts that you would otherwise be unable to locate or have to pay a premium for. All it takes is a little time and some (not much) computer savvy. Trust me. It’s worth the savings, because you never know when the lab eats your kid’s retainer.

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Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzalez@fishgame.com

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The most effective means of hunting hogs is with a gun. I will admit to having more fun using a bow to pursue them but when it gets time to collect some wild pork for the freezer, I have no qualms about breaking out a gun. The question is “which gun”? I am no firearms expert but have dealt with hogs enough to give basic recommendations on which calibers will get the job done and also what kind of shot placement you might need for these animals. In today’s high-tech world there is high performance ammunition that will get magnum performance out of small to mediumsized calibers but I will not go into that. This is a basic choice of firearms for shooting in different applications. If you are knowledgeable about wildcat loads and all of the premium ammunition out there, this chapter will not help you anyway. This is for hunters curious about what guns they should use in general and shot placement with those. Let us be honest right up front and say that most hogs are shot by whatever rifle hunters are using for deer simply because many hogs are taken while deer hunting. This means you will be dealing with calibers from the .222 all the way up to the .300 magnum, which in my opinion ranges from under gunning to overkill for deer and hogs as well. A good starting caliber for hog hunting is the .243, which is my all-around favorite deer gun. It is flat shooting, packs serious wallop and a 100-grain boattail bullet will do serious damage to a hog if put in the right spot. I have killed some pretty big hogs shooting them in the shoulder with a .243 and have had no problem bringing them down. Again this is shot placement and if you can not hit the vitals you will have problems anyway. I have gone to head shooting most of my hogs anyway, which we will get into a bit later, and will allow you to shoot smaller calibers but do not be afraid to hunt hogs with your .243. The .25-06 is another good caliber that has some long-range shooting potential and gets a bad rap because it does not have enough “knockdown power.” The .25 calibers like the .250 Savage and .257 T e x a S

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Roberts are highly underrated calibers and will definitely allow you adequate firepower to take down hogs. The .270 is a super popular deer rifle and certainly delivers enough wallop to take down a hog. This is a caliber I have never owned but many of my friends do and they swear by it. Good enough for me. Most hunters however hunt deer with .30 calibers and they are probably the best all-around for hogs as you can certainly penetrate their gristle shield with no problem and have a bit more margin for error in terms of the size hole you put in the animal. When I stalk through the brush of East Texas stillhunting for deer and occasionally for hogs, my gun is a lever action Winchester 30-30 with plain old iron sights. This is not a gun you want to use for long-distance shooting by any stretch of the imagination but it is great for the up close and personal situations I find myself getting into on occasion. The .308 is another popular caliber that is effective for these kinds of situations and that tends not to be so bad on the recoil. The .30-06 is arguably the most popular deer rifle in America and can take down any game in North America and has the advantage of coming in a number of bullet weights all the way on up to 220 grain, which could take down a brown bear. It goes without saying the .30-06 will more than get the job done for hogs in a shoulder shot, but again placing it in the right spot is key. Unfortunately some hunters feel the larger calibers allow them a margin for error. Although that might be true to some extent, that is not the way to approach hunting. As Mel Gibson’s character said in “The Patriot”, “Aim small, miss small.” Now, let me get back down to the smaller calibers. I have killed hogs with .223s on several occasions. In fact, my friend Gary Saurage who is a professional predator hunter has an awesome AR-15 in .223 that I have been privileged to use on hogs

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and even shot them in the shoulder and had guns. However, I must admit my Knight is them fall right there. I will never forget riding a little smoother shooting, and I feel more in a truck with Ted Nugent, his son Rocco comfortable shooting at longer distances and our mutual friend Clint Starling on the with it. The challenge of the muzzleloader YO Ranch and seeing a couple of Russian is limited range. Also you only have one boars cut across a pasture. Ted had a .223 shot. Actually, I have never had a problem on him, so we took off after the hogs which with that in relation to muzzleloaders and were at this point high-tailing it across this bows because we should only need one shot. open pasture. Going into the woods with the idea you With the .223 hanging out the window, have multiple shots to take an animal is not Ted took three shots and the final one rolled a good way to approach things. Actually, the hog over. Upon inspection, he hit the muzzleloaders can keep a hunter honest. I animal right in the shoulder and obliterated will not go deeply into muzzleloaders as that the lungs. Shooting from a vehicle on private is a another world. However, I do recomland is legal in Texas. This is not something mend a .50 or .54 caliber and prefer guns I would recommend to a novice, which is with in-line ignition. I will say that the idea something Ted is definitely not. I just want- of trying a more traditional way of hunting ed to use the story to illustrate that .223s can via muzzleloaders can be “interesting.” be fun when used in the right hands. These guns do serious damage, but they are not what I would recommend an upstart hog hunter to use. This is because if you do not place the bullet in just the right spot you could have a bad situation on your hands. Now, if you head-shoot your hogs, (which as I said earlier is pretty much Chester Moore’s the only way I shoot HOG WILD is available at Academy them with a gun any Sports + Outdoors and more) then they are other retail locations. great because of the Order online at: capability of shootFishandGameGear.com ing long distances or call 1-800-750-4678. without losing much energy and having very little recoil. I have killed numerous hogs over the years with a .22 Magnum by headshooting them. This powerful rimfire with a 40 grain bullet travels at around 2,000 feet per second. It has become very popular My father and I had the opportunity to with varmint hunters for short to medium hunt Ted Nugent’s Sunrise Acres Ranch range situations. The .17 HMR is another back in 2002. It is stocked with pure rimfire popular with varmint hunters. I do Eurasian boars, and they come only in two not recommend either of these calibers for sizes, big and mean. The ranch was covered specific hog hunting, but if you are out on with three feet of snow, and I was freezing a varmint hunt or working on the ranch and to death. The temperature peaked out that come across hogs, a well-placed shot to the day at around 15 coming up from a low of brain will drop a hog in its tracks. They are seven. For a Texan like me, that is brutal. perfectly legal for use on hogs in Texas but I cleaned the gun the night before the hunt, you should check the laws in your state to be but I made a cardinal mistake. I didn’t fire a sure. Both the .22 Magnum and .17 HMR cap through the igniter. Oil can get built up can deliver muzzle velocities in excess of in there. If you do not fire a couple of caps 2,000 feet per second. through it, there can be mishaps in the field. Muzzleloaders are a fun way to hunt As we approached a big group of hogs, hogs. Over the years I have killed several I found a nice boar that I thought would nice boars with my Traditions .54 caliber look great on the wall. I put on a cap, lined and my Knight .50 caliber. Both are fine up the sights and squeezed the trigger.

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Immediately I knew what happened and thought for a second about keeping the gun on the hog because it would eventually ignite but decided to aim at a snow bank which would blow my shot at the hog but would be a safety precaution. About 30 seconds later the gun fired, and the hogs high-tailed it across the ranch. Dad and I both ended up getting nice hogs, mine a big, ugly sow and his a boar with two-inch tusks. Handguns are another niche market that seems to be growing in popularity. I will not even attempt to get into the intricacies of selecting a handgun for hogs, but I do know that a .357 is a good starting point with the .44 magnum probably being the most popular caliber. Being proficient enough with a handgun to hunt hogs is a true challenge and one that requires much discipline and practice. When I guided exotic hunts in Kerr County I was surprised how many hunters carried a sidearm but could not shoot it. We used to shoot behind the camp house after morning hunts, and there would be guys who literally could not hit a six-inch target at 15 yards. I am no expert handgun marksman but at least I hit the target. The funny thing is some of these guys wanted to hunt the exotics we were pursuing with a handgun and ended up humbling themselves. Handguns and rifles are an entirely different world. Before you step into the pistol domain make sure you are ready to make the necessary sacrifices to master your weapon. If you noticed I mentioned shot placement and firearms proficiency a number of times. That is because they are all-important. Just because we are hunting an animal that could rip us to shreds does not mean they do not deserve our utmost respect and a quick kill. Make sure before you go hunting to sight in your rifle, muzzleloader or handgun and know where it will hit at different distances. Invest in a good digital rangefinder so you can take the guesswork out of estimating the distance of your quarry. Shooting guns can be as complicated or simple as you make it. You just have to approach the sport with respect, an eye for safety and enough self discipline to know when to shoot and when to let an animal walk. Remember there is always tomorrow, and the glory of a clean kill pales in comparison to the guilt of a nasty wounding situation.

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Hunt Texas by Bob Hood | TF&G Hunting Editor

Nice Rack, for a Doe

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have traveled thousands of miles down Texas highways over the past half century but none have taken me to more hunting and fishing destinations than Texas State Highway 16. Nor has any other route played a larger role in introducing me to lifelong friends like Lionel Garza and Ramiro Torres. It has been 42 years since I met Garza and Torres on the same trip down Highway 16, the first by coincidence and the second by an invitation. I had stopped at a Freer service station when I saw a man (Garza) measuring the width of a whitetail deer’s antlers a hunter had just entered into Garza’s Muy Grande Deer Contest, the nation’s first deer hunting contest which at that time was about one year old. I left Garza’s Texaco station and continued on south down Highway 16 toward Zapata where Torres managed Oso Blanca, a motel on the banks of Falcon Lake. I had only talked with Torres by telephone prior to that day, mainly to get a weekly fishing report for the Fort Worth StarTelegram. Torres also was a hunting guide with white-winged dove operations in Mexico and deer and quail hunting operations in the Southwest Texas brush country near Zapata. I was anxious to meet this man who had so much knowledge about the fishing on Falcon Lake and hear about his multiple hunting experiences, so I didn’t hesitate to take him up on an invitation to travel to Zapata to hunt and fish with him. Little did I know at the time that Torres and I were soon to discover one of nature’s rare events involving white-tailed deer. As I recall, the sky was cloudless and the temperature rising from a near 80-degree reading when we climbed into his pickup truck at daybreak and headed south from Zapata. Torres later stopped his truck at Photo: Bob Hood

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the intersection of two senderos that was overlooked by a tower box hunting blind. I climbed into the blind and watched as Torres’s tail lights began to fade away as he rolled away to another hunting blind in the distance. As daybreak began to stretch across the wildlife-abundant land, I watched a pair of cottontails emerge from the dense brush into the sendero, followed soon by a covey of blue quail. A pair of coyotes seemed to challenge the morning’s arrival with their high-pitched cries and barks from a ridge nearby. About 45 minutes later and as the sun began to peep through the tops of the nearby blackbrush and mesquites, I heard a rifle shot. From its closeness and by the fact that Torres and I were the only hunters on the ranch this morning, I knew my new-found friend had scored on a big buck. It had to be a big buck, I pondered, because Torres had told me he is only interested in shooting trophy bucks. Plus several mounted whitetail heads on the walls of the Oso Blanca motel office that Torres said he had taken attested to his hunting abilities. Since it was still so early after daybreak, I figured I would not know just how big a deer Torres’s had shot until he came back to pick me up at about 11 a.m. as we had agreed. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Within minutes after Torres’s shot, I saw his pickup truck turn onto one of the senderos leading to my blind, and this time he was traveling much faster toward me than he had done when he left me there earlier before daybreak. Before I could even open the door to the blind, Torres was out of his truck and dragging a deer from its bed by the deer’s hind feet. I saw antlers but didn’t get a good look at them. By the time I had gotten to the ground, Torres was excitedly turning the deer over and spreading its legs apart. To be honest, my Spanish is more than just a little fuzzy, but my eyes are clear. Even though I couldn’t understand what Torres was saying I only had to take one look at the deer’s private parts to get the message. Torres’s deer was an eight-point doe, T e x a S

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complete with all the female sex organs the best we could tell, but with a dark, symmetrical eight-point rack that was completely in the velvet. Torres said the deer was standing in a small opening at the top of a ridge in the otherwise flat terrain as the sun began to rise. When the sun shone on the doe’s velvet antlers, it made them appear to be incredibly massive, a physical trait high on Torres’ list when making a decision to take or pass up a buck. Since that day, I have seen and photographed two other antlered does taken by Texas hunters. Each of this pair had hardened antlers and one responded to a hunter’s “rattling horns,” although the reason is uncertain. Researchers report that the majority of antlered does have velvet antlers and that the reasons they grow antlers are multiple. A hormone imbalance may be the most often cause. Also, most antlered does can reproduce, research indicates. Whatever the reason, an antlered doe is just one more of the many surprises Mother Nature has awaiting those of us who have the privilege of hunting and witnessing them firsthand simply by being there.

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Quail

Texas quail populations have always gone down and come back up again, in a constant struggle with predators, drought, disease, wildfires and other natural threats. But can they survive their most formidable enemy of all — Modern Man?

by Bob Hood As I sat just after daybreak on the front porch of a Lampasas County ranch last spring, I heard a sound I haven’t heard in several years in that area of Texas. It was the call of a single bobwhite quail assembling his covey of birds from their circular nighttime roost in a field before venturing out for insects, seeds and whatever else the nearby pastures offered. I thought about how great it was to hear a bobwhite quail calling to the other birds. I also thought about how many Texas hunters remember the quail’s greatest years in the 1980s, and then their descent to nearextinction in portions of Texas—and 35 other southern states where native bobwhite

quail populations have almost disappeared. Hunters who are 50 years old today are fortunate, indeed, if they experienced the great quail hunting of the early 1980s with their fathers or other hunters. Quail hunting in that period was absolutely fantastic, both for bobwhite quail and blue quail in Texas. T e x a S

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lations, were noticed throughout the majestic bird’s native southern range. Many theories have targeted the blame for the disappearance of quail. Among them have been droughts, floods, wildfires, diseases, toxins, fire ants, feral hog expansions, and predators such as skunks, racoons, etc., as well as avian predators such as hawks and owls. Although all of these “blames” can cause a decline in quail numbers in certain areas, the real reason for the quail’s overall decline has been the loss of habitat. Only one who has hunted quail over the past half century or more can clearly see the true picture. Loss of suitable habitat for quail is not a theory. It is a fact. The avian predators, skunks, raccoons and other wildlife that often destroy quail nests and eat their eggs and chicks have always been here. The destruction of habitat by man is more recent and has escalated year-by-year throughout the quail’s native range to a point where previous areas that supported large quail populations no longer exist. Twenty years ago, surveys by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reported

Loss of habitat has been the defining factor in the sharp decline in populations of bobwhite and blue quail in Texas and other southern states.

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of bobwhites in other states. Another TPWD report showed that 224,000 hunters went afield for quail in Texas and harvested 5.5 million quail during the 1992-1993 season. That number

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was surpassed that year only by dove hunters. The quail population in Texas has fallen drastically since then but it began many years before that when land fragmentation, agricultural practices, timber management and other habitat-related changes began to occur. In Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina where quail hunting had become more of a cultural activity than a recreational activity, reports indicate quail numbers have dropped an astonishing 90 percent since the 1960s. In Texas, fewer than 30,000 hunters went after quail in 2011, an 80 percent decline over the previous 20 years according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates. Also, a 70 percent decline of the state’s quail population was estimated for that same two-decade period. Simply put, the drop of quail numbers equals a drop in the number of quail hunters. Only the purists will kennel, feed and take care of bird dogs year-round, much less buy and train pups from year to year if the areas they are privileged to hunt have few

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or no birds. Quail, being ground-nesting birds, require a varied grassland to meet their needs, not only for nesting but also for raising their broods and using their habitat as escape cover from predators. The bobwhite quail once had that, but in recent years land fragmentation by land owners selling their properties off in small tracts or changing once-suitable quail habitat into plowed fields void of native vegetation have caused quail to vanish. The reason: the small islands the quail have been left with are too small to provide a self-sustaining population of quail. Although the picture for the bobwhite quail has been a gloomy one for several years, the bird is not gone. The severe droughts of 2009 and 2011 resulted in little reproduction not only of quail, but also turkey and other ground-nesting birds. However, adequate rains in the spring of 2012 and more recent rains this year have spurred good reproduction in South Texas, the Edwards Plateau, Hill County and some portions of the Rolling Plains. The rains not only help provide adequate

moisture for quail eggs to hatch, but also help produce lots of insects for the chicks to eat once they are out of their nests. Although wildlife experts report 1,500 to 3,000 acres of contiguous or adjoining acres of good habitat is needed to provide a quail population all it needs to sustain 700 or more birds, finding such an area is becoming increasingly difficult. In recent years, some landowners have become sensitive to the quail’s decline and have taken measures to manage their lands to help meet the quail’s needs by providing larger areas of native grasses and other habitat. It is on those lands where you will find the most quail today. Changing land use practices in one direction for such things as agricultural and livestock production, timber management and urban expansion has been the major cause for the quail’s decline, but changing land practices in the opposite direction is our best hope for rebounding quail populations.

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Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

The Big Rack

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t was a warm, windy morning. My window was open and the breeze had cooled things off somewhat. The door to my office slammed open. A man stood there. I was glad, because the last time it was a monkey holding a football and I still hadn’t gotten all the bananas out of the carpet. “I’m looking for a big rack for next deer season,” the man said and casually leaned against the frame. “Don’t you know better than to lean against frames?” I asked. “Straighten it up and sit down over there.” I walked to the closet without taking my eyes off him, opened the door and selected a wooden coat rack. I handed it to him. He examined it. “Now that’s a nice rack.” “Thanks,” I said, smiling slightly and gratefully wove my way around and between his feet. I’m an Outdoor Detective. We perfected slight smiles. “But what I had in mind was a nice set of antlers,” he clarified. “I want something for my wall.” “For your wall,” I repeated, thinking. “Yes.” “How about a diploma?” “That would be nice.” “But you’re really looking for a trophy.” “Now you understand.” “How about this one!” I shouted suddenly and slid a gold trophy across my desk. “Bowling,” he read off the engraved plaque. “Highest Attendance In A Season.” “Whadda ya think of that?” “I’ve seen better.” “Oh, a hardcase, huh?” 56 |

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He looked down beside him. “No, this one is Cordura.” We eyed each other across the desk. Mine dried out first and I had to blink. I blinked the right one first. Then the left. He winked, slowly. I was worried, wondering just what kind of man I had in my office. “You want me to find you a rack,” I repeated, clarifying my position. “At least ten points.” “What kind of spread?” “Twenty-four.” “You could get better odds on the next Aggie game from that bookie down the street.” “I know. But I heard you produced the best racks in town.” “You want a deer under that?” “Of course.” “Oh, attitude huh? You think you’re a tough nut to crack?” “Don’t try to hammer me, you stinkin’ gumshoe.” I opened the lower right hand drawer of my desk with my left hand, then moved the rocket launcher out of the way. I keep it there for emergencies. I tried to find a hammer but it was still in

the way. Reluctantly, I took the weapon out and placed it on the desk. “Bazooka?” “Sure,” I handed him a piece of gum. “No, I mean the weapon. Is that a bazooka?” I examined it. It looked vaguely familiar. “Yes.”

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“Why do you have it in your drawer?” “Because a tank wouldn’t fit.” He chewed thoughtfully, looking at the ceiling. “It’s been such a nice day,” he said. “Yep, there’s been twelve inches of snow in the last couple of hours. So how can I help you?” “Shovel my front walk, or find me a lease.” I slid one across the desk. It came to rest beside the bowling trophy. “Sign that lease and you can drive the car for three years, or for three thousand miles, whichever comes first.” “You can’t trick me,” he sneered. “No one keeps a car for three years these days.” “All right. Here, I have a lease for you in west Texas. Big racks that can hold up to a 52 Tall.” “Now we’re talking,” he said. “We’ve been talking all along,” I argued. “Right.” He paid me with a wad of cash big enough to choke a horse, I know because I woke up the next morning and a horse was lying in bed beside me, dead as a mackerel. I resisted the urge to beat him, because there was no use. Everyone says you can’t beat a dead horse. The man had his deer

lease and I had enough to finance my own deer season. I went back to the office to start another day as an Outdoor Detective.

Contact Reavis Wortham at RWortham@fishgame.com

Illustration: Texas Fish & Game

9/10/13 11:35 AM


Digital Edition

October Surprise by chester moore

PHOTO: CANSTOCK

BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU SIT IN BOW (OR SQUIRREL) SEASON. Also be careful where you climb and when you crawl on the ground tracking that buck after the sun sets. Although October brings with it deer hunting opportunities, it also has some hidden dangers, like copperheads. These pit vipers are responsible for more bites than any other snake in Texas due to their abundance and extremely effective camouflage. People strolling through parks walk right on top of them and hunters paying no attention get hit every year. Sometimes the strike is the buttocks. Although the venom of the copperhead rarely kills, you probably will not get your hunting friend to help you treat such a wound. T F & G

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Copperheads are of course not the only venomous snakes prowling the wild grounds of Texas in October. Cottonmouths and rattlesnakes are also on the move and although the chance of being bitten is low, so are coral snakes. To avoid snakebite, hunters should remember a few important things. First off, look where you sit and step. Any spot can potentially hold a snake but areas around deadfall in the forest, rock crevices and anywhere near water is the most likely location. F I S H

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TF&G ALMANAC Table of Contents GEARING UP SECTION

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SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides & Prime Times | by TF&G

TESTED • Ugly Stik, 68 TEXAS Power Pole | TF&G OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE INDUSTRY INSIDER • Costa | 69 TF&G SECTION FISH AND GAME GEAR• Hot New SPECIAL SECTION • Texas Hunt70 Outdoor Gear | TF&G 97 ing Traditions | TF&G OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED 117 DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and FISHING FORECAST More | TF&G by

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COVER STORY • October Surprise | by chester moore

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TEXAS BOATING • Choosing a Tow Vehicle | by lenny rudow TEXAS KAYAKING • Dawn’s Early Light | by greg berlocher PAUL’S TIPS • Tips for Hunting Bushytails | by paul bradshaw TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • Affordable Reloading | by steve lamascus

If you are on property with bunches of small potholes filed with water keep your eyes out for cottonmouths as that is their preferred habitat. I have seen far more cottonmouths in puddles in the woods than I ever have in the marsh or deep swamp. Something else to consider is all of the pit vipers move Scorpions around more at can deliver a night so be carenasty surprise to hunters ful walking to your who don’t blind and also look where when trailing anithey sit. mals after hours. The last time I trailed a deer in South Texas at night, I found myself on my hands and knees just a few yards away from a monster western diamondback. A less frightening but equally dangerous foe is heat exhaustion. Temperatures can push 100 degrees in parts of Texas during October so make sure to get plenty of fluids. It is best to hydrate yourself early and often. Water is the best but mixing it up with electrolytesupplying drinks such as Gator-Aid will get

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • Fast and Furious | by capt. eddie hernandez

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON • A Good Red Tide | by capt. mike holmes

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA • Go With The Flow | by mike price

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT • Is This Fish Safe to Eat? | by capt. mac gable

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • House and Bars | by

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the job done as well. Nothing frightens me more in the wilds of Texas than bees, particularly the deadly Africanized “killer” bees. These bees are spreading and have firmly established populations in the Brush Country and part of the Trans-Pecos and Hill Country. The sting of one bee might only cause some pain (unless you’re allergic) but the wrath of a swarm could spell death. In 2003, I had a truly frightening bee experi-

ence near Bracketville. While about to draw down on a turkey, I heard what I

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www.FishGame.com literally thought was a low-flying plane in the distance. All of a sudden, a shadow passed overhead and I looked up to see a massive swarm of bees less than 30 feet up. I remained calm, said a prayer, and watched the huge swarm pass by. After talking with ranch officials, I learned the Africanized kind is present in the area, and thanked God the swarm did not sense how frightened I was. Back in 1998, I guided my father on a hunt for red deer out in Kerr County. After bagging a big 8-pointer, we hoisted it into a strong oak and began to skin it. Suddenly, thousands of bees moved in, started buzzing all around us, and began to cover the animal. Dad backed his truck up under the deer, I cut the hoist down, and we moved more than a mile away. Other stinging insects such as yellow jackets can be problematic around deer blinds where they have a tendency to inhabit CONTINUED ON PAGE 60 A L M A N A C

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Texas Boating by Lenny Rudow | TF&G Boating Editor

Choosing the Right Tow Vehicle

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O: YOU’RE ABOUT TO BUY A NEW truck or SUV? Lest you forget, the No. 1 concern is not how comfortable it is, fuel economy, looks, or even cost—it’s tow capacity. As a boat-loving fisher/hunter, nothing is as important as getting your boat from Point A to Point Boat-ramp. And, as any experienced trailer-boater can tell you, towing your boat down the road is usually a lot more stressful and dangerous than running the boat itself. A big part of making sure towing is safe and enjoyable is pulling your rig with the appropriate tow vehicle. You don’t need to over-do things, but an under-sized truck will be under a lot of strain as you go up hills—

and tough to stop as you coast down them. So, just how big is big enough? The most basic way to figure out if your vehicle has the oomph to tow a specific boat is, of course, by looking at the published numbers. There are a few key ones to remember: towing capacity, GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating), GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), GTW (gross trailer weight), and tongue weight. As you probably already know, towing capacity determines how heavy a boat your vehicle can pull. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Not so fast. After adding together the weight of your boat and engine, many people forget to add in the weight of

the trailer itself. And you’ll need to calculate the amount of weight added by a full fuel tank, which can be quite substantial. Gas weighs 6.073 pounds per gallon, so if your boat holds 100 gallons, for example, that’s another 607 pounds you need to add into your calculations. And if there’s any heavy gear in the boat, add it in as well. Put all of these together, to get GTW. GCVWR describes the total weight of your entire rig, including the vehicle, its occupants, gear, and the entire tow package. This can differ a bit from GVWR, which is the amount of weight that can be in the vehicle itself. When calculating GVWR, always remember to include the trailer’s tongue weight. This describes how much weight the tow hitch has bearing down on it from the trailer, and it should always be between 10 and 15 percent of the trailer weight. If you’re outside of this range, be it too light or too heavy, issues like swaying, steering, and braking can all become problematic. You may need to shift your load or

ALMANAC COVER: October Surprise t CONTINUED FROM PAGE 58 just as you decide to go hunting. Always approach blinds cautiously and examine them before the actual hunt and never under any circumstance approach a beehive. Scorpions are problematic for some hunters especially in the Hill Country and Brush County where they are super abundant. Always make sure to check your sleeping bag before climbing in. That seems to be the most popular place for a scorpion ambush. Anything could happen in October so make sure to keep your wits about you as you hit the field. But the danger might not be one listed in this story. I have a problem with bulls. Yes, bulls, as in Elmer. While TF&G Bowhunting Editor Lou Marullo and I hunted with Exotics Plus out 60 |

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near Mason, we ran into a bad bull. I was set up a few feet away from Marullo in a makeshift ground blind to film him (hopefully) shooting an axis deer. A couple of hours into the hunt a big, black bull came in and stood about 20 feet in front of me. This thing looked like the Anti-Christ with a toothache. The beast struck an enraged pose as it fixated on me. I tried not to look scared, but it was too late. The bull had fire and brimstone raging in its eyes. I did not know whether to remain still or stand up and let the bull know I was a human. Just then, Marullo chunked a few rocks at the thing and broke its concentration. The ugly thing soon walked off and I breathed a sigh of relief. I could have sworn I saw three 6’s on its hind end, but that could have been the heat getting to me.

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After the hunt, I told him I was glad the bull did not kill me for more than one reason. I can see the obituary now: “Chester Moore: dove with great white sharks in the Pacific, milked rattlesnakes, played with jaguars, waded through piranha-infested waters in South America—killed by a hornless bull.” I would like to tell you this was my only crazy bull encounter but it was not. It is one of several and for some reason it always happens when I have a bow in my hand. There is something about bowhunting that brings out adventure and sometimes it is not the kind we are seeking. Stay alert!

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Texas Boating

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adjust the way your boat sits on the trailer, to straighten out thing. What happens if you try to tow beyond your vehicle’s capacity? For one thing, going up hills won’t just happen slowly; it’ll take a serious toll on your truck. If you do get up those hills without an issue, you might not be able to stop once you start rolling down the other side. And your insurance

The suspension and brakes are two more parts that will serve you well if they’re beefed-up. Again, this isn’t easily altered after the vehicle has been purchased, so be sure to check out exactly what a vehicle’s tow package does or does not include when it’s being purchased. Brakes, in particular, should get some extra attention. The surge brake systems popular on many mid-sized

“ Towing your boat down the road is usually more stressful than running the boat itself.

company may well lay the blame squarely on your shoulders when an accident results. So simply put, do not exceed your vehicle’s stated capacity. Many vehicles can have an enhanced tow rating, by adding some special gear. Let’s start with the hitch—if your vehicle doesn’t have one, naturally, towing isn’t even an option. Hitches are rated by class, with classes I through V. The simplest class I hitch is usually called a bumper hitch, and is only acceptable for extremely light loads like small skiffs or aluminum rigs, with a GTW of 2,000 pounds or less. Class II can haul up to 3,500 pounds, class III gets you 5,000 pounds, class IV goes up to 7,500 pounds, and class V can haul a whopping 12,000 pounds. Most hitches can be added to most vehicles at any time, but some of the vehicle’s character traits are a bit tougher to manipulate. Transmission coolers, for example. Towing a heavy load is tough duty for a transmission, and having extra cooling capacity cannot only make the vehicle more capable, it can also extend its service life. 62 |

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trailers are prone to failure, and if you tow several times a year for several years, the chances are that one day or another you’ll hit the brake pedal and find it a lot harder than expected to stop. Obviously, having heavy-duty brakes on your tow vehicle will be a big advantage if—or when—this happens. Tow packages should, of course, include all the other pieces and parts you need to legally tow a trailer down the road. Light plugs (there are several different types so be sure your vehicle has the right one), eyerings for securing safety chains, and extrawide side-view mirrors are all good things to look for. Many of us will be using our tow vehicle for daily use as well as hauling the boat, and this may mean making a choice between day-to-day convenience and towing ability. In short, you need to put towing first. Even though it may account for a fraction of the time you use the vehicle, if it’s not up to snuff, an accident or mechanical failure may mean you end up with no vehicle at all. That’s not to say you can’t effectively

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tow with a family-oriented crossover, van, or SUV. In fact, most of you boaters will need to pull just 2,500 to 3,500 pounds, which is no problem at all for many properly equipped SUV and a few crossover models. For the biggest loads and the most comfortable towing, however, full-sized pick-up trucks are the norm. In any case, four-wheel drive is a huge asset. Nine times out of 10, getting up and down the ramp is no problem, but when those wheels start spinning on an algae-covered ramp, you’ll really wish for four-wheel drive if you don’t have it. Wait a sec – we’ve been talking towing for a long time here, and we still haven’t broached the subject of power plants? Yes, this is a major issue, but all too often sheer power clouds our judgment regarding all the other factors we’ve been discussing. So, I saved it for last. In a nutshell, thanks to torque, diesel engines can handle heavier loads with a lot more ease than gasoline engines. In fact, most experienced trailer boaters who regularly haul large boats wouldn’t think of doing so with a gasoline power plant under the hood. So a diesel SUV (There aren’t many out there, but there are a few.) may actually tow better than a full-sized pick-up with a gasoline engine. In any case, the best way to judge whether your vehicle has enough oomph under the hood is, again, to go by the published numbers. But bear in mind that loads over 7,500 pounds or so are more easily handled with diesel. Whatever type of boat you tow and whatever type of vehicle you use to tow it with, one thing is for sure: if that truck isn’t up to snuff, you’ll be riddled with well-deserved stress each and every time you hit the road. So make sure your hauls are happy ones— by choosing your tow vehicle wisely.

Contact Lenny Rudow at LRudow@fishgame.com

Get more boating tips in LENNY RUDOW’s Texas Boating Blog at www.Fishgame.com/blogs A L M A N A C


Texas Kayaking by Greg Berlocher | TF&G Kayaking Editor

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EDFISH, THEY HAUNT ME. STALKING a pod of tailing reds in the gray light of dawn induces an overwhelming sense of excitement; call it aquatic buck fever. I am not alone. Once introduced to this noble cause, some salty anglers are so smitten that they totally abandon their pursuit of speckled trout and flounder, dedicating their entire existence to the pursuit of tailing reds. I am a self-admitted redfish aficionado. Sadly though, many anglers I meet have never seen a tailing red or experienced the intoxicating visual of a redfish crushing a topwater plug as it dances across a shin-deep flat. October and November are magical months on the Texas coast, prime time for seeing and catching tailing redfish on the flats. Kayak anglers have a decided advantage over wading anglers in the range they can cover. Stealth is another advantage over the cloddish wade fishermen; sucking mud and clumps of unseen oyster shell doesn’t hinder the paddling angler. Kayaks float in inches of water and glide along silently. The productive angler paddles to a new area on a flat and then invests time eyeballing the new exapanse. Young anglers with better reflexes than the author stand up in their kayaks to defeat surface glare and spy cruising fish. Some enjoy fishing while seated in their hulls but I prefer to use my kayak to locate schools and then close the final distance on foot. A stake-out pole and short length of rope is all that is needed to pin your hull in place. Easing over the side and into the shin-deep water, the stalking begins. One of the secrets to seeing tailing fish is to fish shallow. Hint: If your knees are wet, you are too deep. Feeding reds grub around in the shallows, trying to dislodge small

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Call it aquatic buck fever.

Dawn’s Early Light

shrimp and crabs from their hidey holes. As they tilt their heads down to the bottom, the top corner of their caudal fin breaks the water’s surface, giving away their location. Redfish and mullet frequent the same areas and both are known to tail. This confuses neophytes, who often mistake tailing mullet for rummaging reds. Mullet have forked tails while redfish have square tails, sometimes called flags by seasoned sharpshooters. In addition, the trailing edge of a redfish’s caudal tale is vivid turquoise, which I believe should be voted the Official State Color of Texas; however, I digress. Tailing redfish are easier to sneak up on than fish than redfish cruising the flats. Feeding fish are more concerned with filling their bellies than the danger that lurks

across the flats – unless you give the fish a reason to panic. Now is the time for cautious footsteps, with a half minute, or more, between each sliding step. If you can hear yourself moving thorough the water, you are going too fast. Spoons, weedless soft plastics, and topwaters are all great offerings for tailing reds. Fly fishermen should knot on a Clouser Minnow or bendback pattern if they are fishing below the surface. VIP Poppers get my nod if I am fishing on the film. If the reds are actively feeding, I really don’t think it really matters much. The secret is in the presentation. The cardinal sin of sightcasting is to drop your lure or fly right into the middle of a pod of tailing reds with a loud plop. Imagine relax-

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ing in your easy chair, munching on your favorite snack and someone sneaking up behind you and clapping both hands right next to your ear. The word startling comes to mind. A loud presentation will set off a panicked rush of reds. Instead, land your payload to the edge of the feeding school as softly as you can. You need to land your lure close enough to get their attention but far enough away that the splashdown doesn’t cause pandemonium. Unfortunately, on the job training is the best teacher in this department. My best advice is to give the fish some room. If they don’t notice your offering, cast again and close in a little on the next cast. When the lure lands, you will often see all of the tails submerge. This is the moment of truth. Allow your lure or fly to settle for a second and then creep it away from its landing spot. You want to make a little sound to get the red’s attention, as if something good to eat has landed in the neighborhood. The noise arouses curiosity and the fish start to look around. Well, this is the plan anyway. One of the most frustrating things about fishing in skinny water is seeing the fish close on your lure or fly, only to give it the cold shoulder. Without realizing it, many beginners swim their baits directly at feeding fish. This isn’t natural. Baitfish flee predators in the immediate area; they don’t swim right up to them. Nothing arouses a redfish’s suspicion like an unnatural presentation. October and November are marvelous times to find tailing redfish on the flats. Winds are very mild and most mornings are glass calm, making it easy to see tails protruding from the water’s surface. Watching redfish feed in ruler-deep water in dawn’s early light is a visually stimulating experience. Once you have witnessed it, redfish will haunt you too.

Greg Berlocher can be reached for question or comment at GBerlocher@fishgame.com. A L M A N A C


Paul’s Tips

Squirrel! Tips for Hunting Bushytails

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IDS TODAY AREN’T GROWING UP the same way you and I did. At least they aren’t growing up with the same experiences. I’d be willing to bet that most of them have never ridden in a truck with less than four doors. They don’t know the joy of sitting in the middle of a pickup with a single bench seat, no air conditioning, and a manual transmission where you had to move your leg so the driver could shift into 4th gear or reverse. A lot of them haven’t experienced the simple joy of squirrel hunting either. Why? It’s our fault really. Yes, they have a lot of other things vying for their attention such as video games and yearround sports leagues, but last I checked we’re the adults and if we take them squirrel hunting they’ll go. Most of us have strayed away from squirrel hunting ourselves because they’re not popular. When’s the last time you saw a hunting show dedicated to squirrels? Ever heard of Squirrels Unlimited, or Monster Squirrels? Me neither. Squirrels have been relegated to a punch line in a Disney movie about a flying house and talking dog. Since most of us don’t hunt squirrels we’ve forgotten how to do it. This month we’re going to cover some squirrel basics so you can get into the woods and take your kids with you to enjoy some hunting that you T F & G

forgot was so much fun. There are two basic ways to hunt squirrels. Find a spot and sit, or stalk through the woods. To be most effective, combine these two. Start the hunt in a likely feeding spot (nut bearing trees) and sit until the sun comes up before starting a slow stalk through the woods. How slow? Go as slow as you think is humanly possible, and then slow down some more while moving towards another likely feeding spot. Since you’re taking your kid with you this is a great opportunity to do a leapfrogging stalking technique. Start out together. Then one of you stay in the first location while the other stalks 40 or 50 yards ahead before stopping. Any squirrels that are hiding will pay attention to the stalker while possibly giving the standing hunter a shot. If no squirrels come out after about ten minutes, the second hunter should stalk to about 50 yards in front of the first one then stop again. If you have planned ahead you should have three or four feeding areas scouted before you hunt. Use this leap-frogging technique as you move from one spot to the other until you’ve covered all of your hunting areas. This might sound counterproductive, but while you sit or stalk, don’t look for squirrels. That’s right, I said it. Don’t look for

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squirrels. Instead look for movement. Trying to spot an animal smaller than your girlfriend’s chihuahua in the middle of the woods is next to impossible. However, watching for a shaking limb or twitching tail is easy. A squirrel that weighs just a few pounds can make ten foot limbs move a few feet as it jumps from one to another. Spot a moving limb and you’ve spotted a squirrel. Also, listen for them. You can hear a squirrel barking from a lot farther away than you can see them. As long as there have been squirrel hunters there has been the debate on what type of firearm to use to hunt them. Some hunters prefer shotguns while others swear by rimfire rifles. My thought is take both. With two hunters it’s easy for one to carry a shotgun to hit running squirrels while the other has a .22 to take quieter shots at stationary targets. Let your kid carry a shotgun while you bring the .22. While we’re on the subject of targets, here’s a little advice on those times when you have multiple squirrels within range. Because squirrels often feed together, this is a problem you will encounter. When you have squirrels feeding in the trees along with squirrels feeding on the ground, shoot the squirrels on the ground first. The squirrels on the ground will disappear as soon as the first shot is fired while the squirrels in the trees will have a harder time hiding or getting out of range quickly. So there you have it, squirrel hunting basics in a nutshell (worst pun ever). Take the time to take your kid squirrel hunting this fall so one day they can tell their kids about the good old days when they learned how to hunt.

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Contact Paul Bradshaw at PBradshaw@fishgame.com

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by Paul Bradshaw | TF&G Contributing Editor


Texas Guns by Steve LaMascus | TF&G Shooting Editor

Affordable Reloading Tools

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O BUY A TOP-GRADE RELOADING outfit with everything you could possibly need, you’d pay a shocking price. I have not figured it out, but I would venture to guess that a complete outfit, with one of the best bench-mounted, compound leverage presses, electronic pow-

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der scale, trimmer, and the many other small and not-so-small items you need or think you need, would run close to $500, possibly more. Most of us who have such complete rigs got them piecemeal over a period of many years. After this latest bout of ammunition scarcity on our dealers’ shelves, I would hope that a good many of my readers have decided to take my advice, buy a reloading outfit, lay in a stock of components, and learn to reload. If we ever again find ammunition and reloading components available in plenty, I for one will buy as much as I possibly can afford. Then should we again be unable to buy ammo or, as I have found to be the case, almost anything that is

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related to shooting, I will at least have the wherewithal to continue to hunt and do a bit of shooting. Jack O’Connor did this during the Second World War, and continued to turn out quality magazine articles on shooting, in spite of the fact that all the ammunition being made was being used by our soldiers overseas. I have been perusing the Internet sites this morning (June 20th) and have found a startling number of once plentiful items marked “out of stock, no backorders.” If that doesn’t start you to thinking, I don’t know what will. Now to the point of this article – the fact is that you do not need to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy a very useable reloading outfit. Many of us started out with one of the little Lee outfits that use a hammer to drive the case into and out of the dies and seat the primers and bullets, and little dippers to measure the powder. These work, in a pinch and after a fashion, but are far from precision tools. Better by far is a hand-held press that uses standard dies. The best of these that I am acquainted with is made by Lee and sells for $54 through Brownells (www. Brownells.com). It comes with a powder funnel, both primer seating punches, and a tube of case lube. In addition you will need a set of dies and a shell holder ($28-$60), a case neck brush ($10), a powder scale ($23-$65), and something to secure the cartridge cases so they won’t tip over when you fill them with powder. A lube pad is handy but not necessary, and you will eventually need something to trim your cases. So, for about $125 -- not counting bullets, powder, and primers -- you can be reloading for your favorite rifle or handgun. I don’t know about you, but I find that a small stock of reloading components gives me peace of mind far beyond their actual value. While I do not believe it will happen any time soon, I feel secure in the knowledge that if ammunition becomes completely unavailable for a very long time, I will be A L M A N A C


able to protect and feed my family, while those who depend on factory ammunition could be far up the proverbial waterway without means of propulsion. The little Lee Hand Press uses standard shell

easy. I intend to put this Lee Hand Press into my grab-and-go bag along with a couple of hundred primers and bullets and a pound of powder for each of 2 calibers. I will include a set of dies for the rifle I take and a set for my .357 Magnum. I will thus be ready to go should for some unforeseen reason

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or who wants to try it out on a budget before he (or she) commits to the whole catastrophe. Such a person may find that the Lee Hand Press is all he needs. This is especially true if only one or two calibers are to be loaded for. On such a device, it is possible to load ammunition that is every bit as good as what you would normally load on one of the big bench-mounted presses. The only difference is that the Lee Hand Press requires a good bit more muscle and grip when resizing a fired cartridge. This is, to put is as succinctly as possible, one cracker jack little hand-loading tool.

The Lee Breech Lock Hand Press.

holders and dies. It is not attached to a table or bench but is held in the hands. It would likely be difficult to full-length size a badly over-size cartridge case, but neck sizing is easy. I have used it to load .30-06 cartridges and it was simple and

I am forced to escape from my home on a moment’s notice. Along with a bullet mold and a few ingots of bullet metal, I can be self-sufficient in the wild for a long time. A more probable and pedestrian use for a Lee Hand Press or other similar devices, is in the hands of the person who wants to get into reloading, but wants to save money,

Contact Steve LaMascus at SLamascus@fishgame.com


Texas Tested

SURE, YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT THE UGLY Stik. Yeah, you’re familiar with its nearlyindestructible construction, relatively low cost, and decent performance. But that wellknown history is about to change, because Shakespeare is rolling out an entirely new form of ugly: the Ugly Stik GX2 rod and reel combo.

{ Ugly Stik GX2 The GX2 combos (available in spinning, low-profile, and spincasting models) are based on the same you-can’t-break-me attitude, but with a lot of new improvements. For starters, the rods come in seven different lengths and actions. Guides are one-piece stamped stainless-steel, for the ultimate in durability. Blanks go through the handles, which have EVA grips with the Ugly Stik logo etched in. And different models are targeted for different types of anglers. Lady’s models, for example, have pink accents, while kid’s models have bright green accents and split-grips. Having a specific spinning reel designed to go Ugly is also a first. These spinners have a double-anodized aluminum spool with oversized bail wire, soft touch handle knobs, two pinion bearings that reduce overall wear on the reel’s internal parts, and are designed to be as tough as the rods they’re mounted on. The body is glass-filled nylon and larger sizes feature three ball bearings plus a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. The 40 and 50 combos are built around two ball bearings plus one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. The spincast combos feature a Shakespeare Synergy Steel six and 10 models,

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plus there’s a Synergy TI Micro option for ultralight anglers. The Ugly Stik GX2 lowprofile model is equipped with an aluminum handle, and an adjustable magnetic cast control. I tried out a 6’6” two-piece rod (double the Ugly, double the fun!) with mediumaction, and the GX235 spinning reel. This rig was the perfect size for casting jigs and spoons to the hordes of 16- to 21-inch redfish that have been in my home waters lately. The rod delivers exactly as promised, and there was no damage when I pulled it down to and even a bit beyond a “U.” The reel’s body flexes a bit but it stood up to saltwater use just fine and is as smooth as one can expect from a reel attached to a combo in this price range. In fact, when one considers price it’s going to be tough to beat these rigs for both affordability and longevity. All of these different Ugly options come pre-spooled with Stren line; prices range from $39.95 to $49.95. For more information, go to www.uglystik.com. —Lenny Rudow

Microscopic Magnificence THOSE OF US WHO HAVE USED POWER Poles know how handy this anchoring system can be: you lock your boat in place at the press of a button, there’s no swinging back and forth on the anchor line, and it works on just about any bottom type. Of course, Power Poles are also rather large and heavy, and are completely unsuitable for small boats like kayaks, canoes, or skiffs. Enter: the Power Pole Micro, a mini-pole designed for just such craft. I got to take a sneak peek at the Micro

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before it was launched, while testing boats this summer. And for you mini-boat anglers, this thing is going to become a must-have. First off, it only weighs 10 pounds. It can be clamped onto the boat, so it’s portable and can be used on a kayak one day, and a skiff the next. Or, it can be deck or transommounted without the clamp, in which case weight drops to 7.5 pounds. It deploys quietly—almost silently, really—at 1.2 feet per second, and can hold up to 1,500 pounds. You can use the Micro to depths of up to 8.5 feet, and it runs on a low-RPM, hightorque, 60-watt electric motor.

z Power Pole Micro

One of the things I really liked about the Micro was the touch-panel control. It’s right on top of the unit, and includes auto up/down, a force adjustment (so you can control how hard it pushes into the bottom), and a battery indicator that works for either 12-volt or a li-ion battery (you can get a dedicated li-ion for the unit, which will power it through 100 up-and-downs between charges). The interface is simple, easy to use, and it gets the job done. If this little rig sounds impressive, it should – the Micro won a Best in Show award at ICAST, in the New Product category. The Micro comes with a two year warranty, and there’s an unconditional lifetime warranty on the spike. For more information, visit www.power-pole.com. —Lenny Rudow

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PHOTOS: SHAKESPEARE; POWER POLE

Ugly is a Good Thing


Costa Partners with Billfish Tag and Release Program COSTA SUNGLASSES ANNOUNCED IT HAS signed on as one of The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) Tag and Release Program partners. Established in 1990, The Billfish Foundation’s Tag and Release Program is the largest private billfish tagging database in the world, and is the cornerstone of TBF’s conservation and advocacy efforts. With more than 200,000 tag and release reports, TBF receives over 15,000 tag and release records annually from across the globe, which provides vital information for billfish conservation. Tag data is studied to further understand billfish species growth rates, migratory patterns, habitat utilization, and post-release survival rates. According to TBF, tag and release data also provides valuable information for stock assessments that are instrumental in a time when industrial longlines represent the largest source of marlin mortality. This data provides the groundwork for conservation minded policy, scientific advancement and gives insight into the demographics and socio-economic benefits generated from billfishing. Costa’s support of TBF’s tag and release program allows the advocacy organization to continue its tagging education and outreach efforts within the angling community. Each tag costs approximately $3. TBF sells the tags close to cost to maximize distribution. Billfish tags and tagging equipment can be purchased at www. billfish.org. “Costa has been a longstanding partner of The Billfish Foundation,” said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa Sunglasses. “Support of tag and T F & G

release programs, like TBF’s and others, allows for more fish species data collection, so we make more informed decisions in regards to sustainable sportfishing practices and policy.” “We’re proud to have Costa on board with our Tag and Release program because of their strong commitment to fish and ocean conservation, in addition to building the best performing sunglasses on the market,” said Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation. Anglers can learn the proper tag and release technique on The Billfish Foundation’s website at www.billfish.org/research/ tag-and-release as well as on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/FishTBF. Instructions are available in English and Spanish. The Billfish Foundation (TBF) works worldwide to advance the conservation of billfish and associated species to improve the health of the species, the oceans and related economies. TBF was founded in 1986 with a mission of conserving billfish worldwide by the late Winthrop P. Rockefeller, along with a group of fifty founding members. TBF’s keystone program, the traditional tagging program, was begun in 1990. Today, it has grown to be the largest international billfish tagging program in the world. As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. It’s currently the fourth-largest brand in the performance sunglasses market. For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners

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Industry Insider

around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can. For more information, contact 1-800447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ costasunglasses or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.

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Fish and Game Gear

Polaris Expands Brutus Line

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Polaris Brutus

electric bed lift for the pallet-sized cargo box, which is standard on the Brutus HD and Brutus HDPTO models. The full Brutus line includes standard features that are ideal for commercial applications. A 24-horsepower diesel engine with hydrostatic transmission, On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive, and treadle pedal for seamless- and shiftless- forward and reverse travel, provide operators with the power and functionality necBHK essary on the jobsite. Clipper As the first side-by-side utility vehicle line to use a multi-link coil over De Dion rear suspension,

Brutus delivers a superior ride quality, minimizes suspension sag when the 1,250-pound capacity rear cargo box is fully loaded and maintains class-leading ground clearance when

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The Blind Horse Knives Clipper BLIND HORSE KNIVES HAS INTRODUCED the Clipper as the latest addition to their hunting line of handmade, Ohio-made knives. The Clipper is a beauty, crafted out of D2 tool steel and adorned with matched stag handles. The hand-peened brass pins affix the stag for years of faithful service. The quality craftsmanship is backed by a lifetime warranty and the knowledge that this heirloom will be passed on to future generations. The Clipper also comes with an equally beautiful hand-made leather sheath with all locally sourced products just like the knives. It was produced by our craftsmen as well in our two Ohio based shops. This hunt master will skin with finest of ease thanks to its saber grind and upswept spear tip. The overall length of the Clipper is a modest 7 ½ inches and the 3 1/4-inch blade allows you to reach the edge of the blade with your finger while still maintaining a full A L M A N A C

PHOTOS: POLARIS; BLIND HORSE KNIVES; ADVENTURE MEDICAL KITS

POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC., THE LEADing manufacturer of off-road vehicles, has expanded its purpose-built commercial vehicle line, Polaris Brutus to include the Brutus base model with cab, heat and air conditioning, which is now available for order through authorized Brutus dealers in North America. In March 2013, Polaris introduced the three-model Brutus lineup as the first side-by-side utility vehicle in the market to deliver front-end power take-off (PTO) capability. The new Brutus model enhances the level of comfort, versatility and productivity by integrating key offerings from the Brutus HD and Brutus HDPTO models. “Each commercial customer is unique; some require the ability to operate a complete line of hydraulic and PTO attachments, while others need a vehicle to transport and haul cargo,” said Aaron Stegemann, Polaris Business Development Manager for ORV adjacent markets. “The fourth model provides all the features that make the Brutus a true workhorse, while creating a more comfortable and productive year-round operator experience.” A fully enclosed, factory-installed cab with heating, defrost and air conditioning ensures operators are comfortable no matter what the outside conditions. As the only Brutus with an all-season climate controlled cab equipped with seating for three adults, the new model’s slide-through access makes it easy for passengers to enter and exit the cab. Also added to the new model is the

trailering with its 2,000 pound towing capacity. All models feature Polaris’ exclusive Lock & Ride cargo system, with a full line of cab, storage and vehicle protection accessories also available. Brutus vehicles come with a 12-month standard warranty. To find a dealer, and for more information on the Brutus line of commercial vehicles, visit Polaris.com/Brutus.


grip on the contoured 4-inch handles. The incorporated lanyard tube adds additional security by allowing you to attach your own lanyard. All BHK’s can be purchased directly from blindhorseknives.com or by calling us at 740-219-1141. We are pleased to be your knife company, a Christian company, and America’s knife company.

deer into target areas. It promotes peak body condition, monster antler growth and higher conception and fawning rates. Buck

A Trio of New Deer Nutrition Products IN SIGHTS NUTRITION, MANUFACTURERS OF nutritional wildlife attractants and supplements, introduces three nutritional deer products to their popular product line: Buck Draw, Buck Strut, and Buck Nut. In free-range conditions, the hardest element for deer to obtain is fat and sustainable energy. Buck Draw is the ultimate supplement and attractant. The peanut-based product is high in proteins, high in carbohydrates and

has the taste and aroma that deer crave. Buck Draw is not only a long-range attractant, but will also draw and maintains more T F & G

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Tfhree deer nutritional products from In Sights.

Draw is packaged in a 25 lb. bag and MSRP is $17.99. Buck Strut is a syrup attractant, and unlike most wildlife attractants, it contains no salt water. The all natural sugar by-products provide an enticing aroma that lures deer in and keeps them in. For best results, pour Buck Strut on decaying wood so that it penetrates the wood and enhances the aroma that deer desire. Buck Strut can also be mixed with corn or roughage. Buck Strut is packaged in a onegallon jug and MSRP is $10.95. For high fat and high energy for deer, Buck Nut powder attractant/ supplement provides essential nutrients which help promote antler growth and improved health needs during pre-rut, rut and post-rut seasons. It also aids in nutritional wildlife health during conception T E X A S

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and fawning of does. Buck Nut contains a blend of peanuts, protein, sugar, and grain by-products. Application is easy. Just pour Buck Nut in deer traffic areas and shooting lanes then reapply throughout the season to increase attraction. Buck Nut is packaged in a one-gallon bucket and MSRP is $16.99. In Sights Nutrition is a USA-based company dedicated to the science and development of wildlife attractants and supplements for hog, deer, turkey and predators. The products are all natural, nutritional, and highly palatable. All In Sights Nutrition products are high in fat, high in energy and have the flavor and aroma that wild game find irresistible. For more information about In Sights Nutrition attractants and supplements, visit their website, www.insightsnutrition.com.

Blair Wiggins Flats Blue Inshore Rods THE POPULAR BLAIR WIGGINS Inshore saltwater rod series has a new look and is improved. Each of the seven new models have been designed around Wright & McGill’s exclusive S-Curve blank technology for superior strength, sensitivity, lightweight and incredible lifting power, and now with a faster firm tip section. The new cosmetics on the handle and fore handle section have been updated with a classy metallic pearl white color. Combined with the Flats Blue rod blanks, you have a oneof-a-kind color design on these rods that makes them almost invisible to fish in clear water. W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series specs: • Split-handle design for weight reduction and improved balance, with zirconium guides for improved casting distance • Custom split foregrip of rubber cork allows for finger-to-blank contact and increased sensitivity O C T O B E R

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Fish and Game Gear

• Revolutionary Blair Wiggins rods with high-density rubW&M’s S Cirve ber handles provide technology. incredible feel and a sure grip • Oversized fighting butt delivers performance and durability Seven specialty actions from 6-feet, 9-inches to 8-feet designed to tackle the toughest saltwater conditions. They are family priced with a suggested retail of $99.99. For more information, visit their website, www.wright-mcgill.com.

Medical Kit for Sportsmen YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR IT ALL – AND YOU don’t have to with a Sportsman Series Medical Kit. The Whitetail Sportsman Kit contains a full complement of supplies to treat the injuries hunters and fishermen are most likely to sustain – penetrating wounds, blisters/burns, serious bleeding, sprain/strain, and muscle aches and pain. It weighs just 15 ounces and is in a compact 7-1/2-inch x 6-inch x 2-inch kit. One kit provides first aid for one to four people on an outdoor trip of one to four days. According to Leisure Trends Data, Adventure Medical Kits is the number-one brand in First Aid and Survival in the outdoor retail market. These kits are 72 |

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available at Academy Sports + Outdoors. For more information, call (800) 3243517 or visit www.AdventureMedicalKits.com.

Carolina Brass Products LAZER IS HAS INTRODUCED A NEW LINE OF Carolina Brass products. Carolina Ready Rigs are intricately made in two finishes, brass and black, and in four sizes. Each rig is equipped with a brass Carolina weight, glass beads and brass clackers that create a rattle no bass can resist. For anglers looking to make their own Carolina Rigs, Lazer’s brass program has all of the components needed. Brass Carolina Clackers are available in brass and black finish. The Brass Worm Weights come

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in two sizes. Brass Carolina Weights are available in three sizes. Rounding out the product line is a collection of glass bead products in two sizes and three col- ors, black, crystal and red. Two assortments are the Pro Clacker Assortment and the Brass and Glass Bead Assortment. The Lazer Carolina Pro Clacker Brass Clacker

Assortment is the perfect mixture of brass clackers and red glass beads. To add some color to your fishing experience, try the Brass and Glass Bead Assortment. This brass and glass bead assortment includes red brass weights detailed with a black flake and red beads. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, sizes and piece count vary. Get more information online at eagleclaw.com.

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

www.FishandGameGear.com Whitetail Sportsman Medical Kit F I S H

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Hotspots Focus: Upper Coast

by Capt. Eddie Hernandez

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F HOSTING A FISH FRY IS ON YOUR agenda in the near future, I have good news. We are entering into one of the best, if not the best, month for consistently catching big numbers of quality fish. Though the dog days of summer are behind us now, the heat is on when it comes to fishing on Texas’s coastal bays and estuaries. It doesn’t get much better, or easier for that matter, when it comes to putting food on the table than it does in October. The cold fronts will begin to purge the marsh and bayous of shrimp and baitfish and that will trigger a feeding frenzy that

“ Cold fronts will purge the marsh and bayous of bait and trigger a feeding frenzy.

Fast and Furious on Sabine

will last well into December. Terns and gulls feasting on large pods of shrimp will be dead giveaways to the coordinates of huge schools of trout and reds attacking from the depths. If fast and furious action is what you’re seeking, fishing the birds is the easiest way

to fill a fish box quickly. Shut the big motor down well ahead of the fish and troll or drift until you can reach them with a long cast. Keeping the wind to your back will definitely help in making the long casts needed to get your lure to the fish. I’m convinced that there aren’t any baits you could tie on that won’t produce strikes when the fish are schooling under the birds. Soft plastics, topwaters, Rat-L-Traps, spoons, jerk baits, and swim baits will all get the job done. I prefer soft plastics on 1/4 oz. lead heads so I can get good distance on my casts and not have to deal with trebles every time we catch a fish. Flounder Pounder’s C.T. Shad, Bass Assassin and H&H Cocahoe Minnow in glow, chartreuse and morning glory always work well. October is also a great time to get into some serious redfish action at the jetties. Dark colored plastics and Hoginars fished deep should provide you with lots of action on slot fish as well as a few oversized ones. Fish the deep holes and washouts for best results. If you want to experience Sabine’s version of running with the bulls, break out the big rods and fish these areas or the surf. Put whole or cut mullet or croaker on the hook and make sure your drag is set. These big bulls don’t mess around once they realize they are hooked and there’s no better time to do battle with them than October.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Keith Lake HOTSPOT: Keith Lake Fish Pass SPECIES: Flounder, Reds, Trout BAITS/LURES: Live Mud Minnows, Soft Plastics BEST TIMES: High Tide

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Hotspots Focus: Galveston

by Capt. Mike Holmes

The Good Kind of Red Tide N THE FALL, FISHERMEN ON THE UPPER Texas coast anxiously await a “red tide.” Not the red that comes from algae, kills fish, and makes eyes and lungs of beach goers burn, but the sight of surf or bay water tinged crimson by schools of feeding redfish! Cooler temperatures and an abundance of bait bring the smaller reds of the bays onto reefs and into deeper channels, depending on the time of day, weather conditions, and tidal stage. Coastal bayous like Offatts, Chocolate and Bastrop will hold reds, also cuts and bars near San Luis Pass. Standard bay tackle – which was once a red level-wind casting reel on a “popping rod,” but now might be an open-faced spinning reel or even a fly rod – can be used with any natural bait from live shrimp and finger mullet to cut bait from any small forage fish, to artificials that imitate those same foods to “engage” reds from legal minimum size to legal maximum size. In open water with a clean sand bottom, lighter lines may be used, but around shell reefs or in bayous with uncertain bottom formations, lines as heavy as 20#, even 25# test might be necessary. Monofilament does fine, if you are not enamored of “super braids.” While treble hooks are almost universally the choice for speckled trout and pan fish, smaller sized circle hooks do well for reds when fishing natural baits, especially the “bleeding bait” Daiichi hooks. There are thin wire circle hooks for bay species, but reds are not that hook sensitive, so a thicker wire hook in 2/0 to 5/0 size works well – except with live shrimp — they need the thinner wire. T F & G

Cooler temperatures and an abundance of bait bring reds into deeper channels.

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on a surface lure “walking” over a shell reef is as much fun as the law allows. October is perhaps the best month for top water reds. Mature, adult reds come to the surf in fall, and provide the long rod surf angler with one of fishing’s greatest one-on-one challenges. With no boat and no helpful crew, the man (or woman) connected to a heavy red while on the beach with no direction to move except to the sides must best a heavy fish by themselves. The “fight” of a bull red, while not spectacular, is best described as brutish! Even before hooking a red in the surf, the fisherman must normally wade chest deep in wild water, often wearing waders, and cast a large bait and heavy sinker as far as he can within reason. I say “within reason” because the object is to put the bait between sandbars, in the deeper guts where the fish search for food. A fish will sometimes take a bait in the shallower water on top of the bar, but deeper is better.

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Hotspots Focus: Matagorda

by Mike Price

Go With The Flow

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IDE PREDICTIONS IN OCTOBER FOR Port O’Connor show many mornings with outgoing water movement. The best place to drop your lure or bait when water is draining out of backwaters is where the lake or bayou meets the bay or Intracoastal Waterway. In early October I was on the southeast side of West Matagorda Bay. The wind was light and variable. The tide was outgo-

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ing, but getting low as water drained out from several shallow lakes into a bayou and then into the bay. On the advice of Matagorda guide, Al Garrison, I was at my chosen fishing spot early. A couple of days before, Al had said, “The action is in the first hour and the fish are in the back bayous.” The redfish were in the bayou between the lakes and the bay and they were hungry. Using a Stanley Wedge Tail Minnow on a 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a small piece of Fishbite, I caught two keeper redfish in the first 10 casts. Then I decided to go into the back lakes, but they were muddy and shallow. The redfish had left the lakes, and were on their way into the bay, which is

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why I caught them in the bayou. In late October, the water temperatures decrease by about 10° F. This stimulates white shrimp to leave the bays on ebbing tides and go offshore where they grow and spawn. Fishermen really get excited about tossing lures under birds eating shrimp that are being forced to the surface by trout and redfish. This is called fishing the birds. Fish can be found under just a few birds of any species, but the ideal bird activity occurs when a mix of 20 or 30 gulls, terns, and pelicans are diving into the water, squawking and screeching. Both East and West Matagorda Bays have birds feeding in the fall, but East Matagorda Bay consistently yields more and bigger trout. If you see birds sitting on the water, it is worthwhile to fish the area because the birds are often right above the shrimp and fish. Former fishing guide Eddie Vacek put it this way, “The birds sit when the shrimp that fish were chasing go deep; then, when the fish go after the shrimp and chase them to the surface, the birds jump up and go for the shrimp.” Flounders are feeding up in the fall as well. You will find flounders on shorelines, especially shorelines that have an oyster reef running parallel to shore. They tend to bury into the sand or mud right next to the grass and wait for an unsuspecting fish or shrimp to come by. They also like to position themselves for an easy meal at the point where lakes and bayous drain into the bay. Last October Jeff Wiley was fishing a spot where a lake drained into the bay, while I fished a nearby shoreline. After a little while Jeff said, “There aren’t any fish here.” About five minutes later he hollered at me, I looked over and witnessed a big bend in his rod and a lot of splashing. Jeff’s net was too small for the 24-inch, six pound flounder, and he was fortunate that the fish was well and truly hooked because it fought a long time. He also caught a second flounder at the same spot that was 21-inches. October has all the conditions for great fishing in East and West Matagorda Bays: A L M A N A C


GALVESTON FOCUS light winds, dropping water temperatures, hungry fish, and pleasant weather.

THE BANK BITE PALACIOS is a picturesque town on West Matagorda Bay with three lighted fishing piers open 24 hours a day. The Pavilion Pier is wheelchair accessible. To find out what’s biting and whether they have live shrimp for sale, call Shrimp Shack at 361-972-1466. They are open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 5 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Contact Mike Price at MPrice@fishgame.com

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t CONTINUED FROM PAGE 75 A big red makes long runs against tight drag pressure, and puts its head down into the sand while shaking it to free the hook. This shaking can be felt through a bent rod – even those of up to 14 feet used by many surf casters – and is the sign a red is on the line, not a jack or ray. The commonly accepted theory is that adult reds live in deeper Gulf waters, then come to the surf to spawn – where the accepted premise is that tidal currents carry the eggs through a pass and eventually to the back bay marsh nursery grounds. I have never really gone along with this theory, personally. For one thing, I have never caught a big red in the surf carrying eggs. The whole idea seems less ordered and efficient than the ways in which Nature usually operates. My thinking is that it makes more sense for reds to spawn in deeper, less turbulent water, and have the fingerlings swim through the pass and across the bays. There would certainly

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be documented evidence of mature reds spawning in the shallow back bay areas. Tiny reds would be running the gauntlet of a variety of predators on this journey, but I think they would have a better chance than egg clusters with no means of navigation or propulsion. Just my opinion, which we are all entitled to have.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Wadeable areas within reach of shore, piers and jetties, and the surf SPECIES: Redfish, but also speckled trout, flounder, pan fish BEST BAITS: Live or “fresh dead” natural baits, soft plastics, top water plugs, or streamer flies, depending on your preference. BEST TIMES: Morning and evening, but cooler weather allows mid-day fishing on productive tides.

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Contact Mike Holmes at MHolmes@fishgame.com.

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Hotspots Focus: Rockport

by Capt. Mac Gable

Is That Fish Safe to Eat?

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WAS CLEANING MY CLIENT’S FISH after a successful/productive day on the water when a young lady in her teens said “Capt. Mac, I don’t want any of the fish I caught, you can give them to my friends, or just throw them away.” “I take it you don’t care to eat fish,” I said. “No, I hear they are not safe to eat, you know, chemicals and bad bacteria. I looked it up, and a person should only consume fish about once a year if at all, so thanks but NO thanks,” she said. These words are not exactly what a guide wants to hear after eight hours on the water with a box of 30 fish to clean. No amount of reassurance was going to change her mind, so as nice as I was capable of, I told her it would have been nice to know that before we killed these fish by putting them in the fish box. “Sorry,” she said, “but I just got caught up in the moment of catching them.” Her friends, not knowing, decided to follow her lead, so after paying me and thanking me for a good day they hopped in their vehicle and departed. I was left cleaning 30 trout. On top of a full day, I now needed to find a good home for the abundant filets. The more I cleaned the madder I got. Here I was over the legal catch and possession limit for what now looked like one person’s catch, not to mention the knot in my stomach. Each one of these nice trout could still be making their home in our bay waters, providing a nice catch for other anglers or future clients. Luckily it was not hard to find a home for the tasty morsels, and I was quick enough to get the girl’s and her friends’ contact data along with their license numbers so Capt.

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Mac wasn’t left holding the proverbial fish bag. I don’t know of any guide on the Texas coast who would not happily turn fish loose if the clients just told the guide they didn’t care to keep them for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter whether it’s green peace or save the whales, saving trout, reds, flounder, black drum, gaff top etc. should count too. It doesn’t matter whether it’s no appetite for fish or reading the latest web article by whomever professes to be an unqualified expert on the subject. It doesn’t matter whether they are convinced based on the hare-brained idea that if they eat these fish they will grow an extra head and more fingers by the next morning. Whatever the reason, please don’t kill the fish. Catch them, turn them loose and rest in peace knowing those magnificent finny rascals are still out in our bays swimming and multiplying to their hearts’ content. The past few years, I’ve been often asked about the fish we catch being fit table fare. The abbreviated answer is YES mostly. Some species are better than others. Now that I have your attention, don’t turn the page — please. I will answer this with scientific facts, and then add my own common sense approach. My answer will not be self-perpetuating. Whether you are an avid angler or a novice who would like to eat the fish you catch, you should inform yourself with as many facts as you can on the species you plan to consume and the body of water that species is caught in. I have read, talked to biologists and researched this subject continually over the years and have found some good sources for those that want/ need to be in the know. The Texas Parks and Wildlife web site is a great place for this kind of data. A quick way I have found: on your web browser type in “TPWD Fish Consumption Bans and Advisories” and you will find more data than you probably care to know. The data is arranged by body of water and includes freshwater as well as saltwater, it also has a questions and answer section that is pretty good. I don’t like start-

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ing at their home page for I find navigating their web site is difficult and it’s hard to find things, so this will take you right to the source. Another good source is the Texas Dept. of Health Services (TDSHS). To get to the TDSHS site type “TDSHS Listing of Water bodies with Possession Bans.” The site is busy with data and one can get lost pretty easily, so use this website as a direct approach. “Well, that���s great Capt. Mac,” you say. “So you’re just gonna get me lost in cyber land, and I’ll end up confused and leaning toward putting all meats on the shelf and grazing like a cow.” (Don’t try this please, cows have four stomachs for a reason). Here is pretty much what the data currently says: We are safe for today where the big five are concerned (trout, black drum, flounder, reds, gaff top) and most everything else from our bays. Lavaca Bay and Galveston Bay are the exception, so if you are fishing there be up to speed on the advisories for those bodies of water. In my opinion the bays and the species that reside there in are pretty healthy places for catch and eat activities. In my opinion this is due to the barrier islands that protect them from the Gulf of Mexico contaminants. Our bays also have some wonderful filtering elements / species that I believe help keep our bays healthy. For example, enough cannot be said for sea grasses that improve water quality by absorbing nutrients from the water and oyster reefs that continually filter our bay bay water. One oyster can filter 50 gallons of bay water a day. We are blessed with an abundance of these Ostreidae in the Rockport area. The Gulf of Mexico, as you will read if you visit these websites, is an altogether different animal. It seems several species of blue water Gulf of Mexico fish suffer from mercury contamination. The list includes, but is not limited to black fin tuna, little tunny, jack crevalle, swordfish, wahoo and all species of sharks. So I consume them sparingly. A footnote to our bay waters: A L M A N A C


After my reading of reams of data, it seems in those bays that have contamination issues, our prized gaff top is more susceptible than most other species to these contaminates. There is a lot of data out there today. Most can scare the bejeebers out of you, so know your source, be informed and check your sources frequently. Thankfully for now our bays are, for the most part, healthy. The intent of this article was not to write a science paper but rather to quell some fears. If, after the research I did, I felt we were in harm’s way I would say so. For now, though enjoy our bays and its resource. I can say with much confidence that I would rather have a filet caught in our bays than one from a foreign land or one in a grocery store freezer. Our healthy fish are a testament to the resilience of the habitat and with due diligence and conservation minded anglers let’s hope, let’s pray and let’s work to continue this healthy trend. • • • It is always nice to feel the first cold front hit the bay waters of Rockport. It allows us to forget the 115 degree days that pummeled us this summer. The croaker bite can still serve up its magic, but I like the live shrimp this time of year or mud minnows. Keep the Berkley Gulp shrimp close as well. The smart angler will have all three on their boat. Much like September, the days after the first cold fronts of October are about bait diversification.

preferred bait. Deadman Island is good for black drum using fresh dead shrimp. The more it stinks the better, as the scent will drift into the ICW and pull the drum out of deeper water. ST. CHARLES BAY - Indian Head Point and the adjacent spoil area is good for reds. Drift across this area when wind allows using Berkley Gulp shrimp or Gulp crabs with a hopping motion as you drift. Most hits will come as the lure drops toward the bottom. There is a lot of grass in this area which is why the reds hang out here. The newly laid sand area just off Hail Point is a good place for flounder this time of year. A tandem rig using grubs is productive. If no bite, tip your jigs with a piece of cut squid for scent. CARLOS BAY - Spalding Reef is good for trout and reds using a popping cork and live shrimp. This is high tide country for the fish bite with the most productive areas being the deeper edges of both sides of the reef. This is a good wade area as well. Poverty Reef is good for black drum and an occasional red using live shrimp free-lined. Don’t work the shrimp a lot or fast as this is oyster shell. Move enough to keep the shrimp active.

is good for reds using cut menhaden on a Carolina rig. Some tide movement is best. Be patient and set the hook hard. The deeper edges of Third Chain Island is good for trout on a north wind using new penny and root beer colored soft plastics like bass assassins or Saltwater Shad Assassins in treuse goose. AYERS BAY - Ayers Dugout is still a good place early morning for reds using cut mullet or live shrimp under a silent cork. Second Chain Islands are good for black drum using live shrimp or fresh dead on a light Carolina rig.

THE BANK BITE THE BEACHFRONT at Goose Island State Park is the place to be. Wade out thirty to fifty yards using free-lined live shrimp or Saltwater Shad Assassins in native shrimp or glow chartreuse. Move slowly and cast away from the bank toward the deeper cuts that frequent this area.

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

MESQUITE BAY - Beldon Dugout

COPANO BAY – Free-lined shrimp is hard to beat over the shallow shell reefs that frequent this bay. The reefs just off Hannibal Point are a good place as trout and reds feed early morning and late evening. The submerged pilings close to Smith Channel are a good place for sheepshead and some descent size black drum using peeled shrimp on a slow sinking Carolina rig (use very light weight). The mouth of Copano Creek is a good place for reds using mud minnows or cut piggies. Think light rigs here as the water is usually calm and noise can spook the reds. ARANSAS BAY- Still some trout action on Long Reef using free-lined croakers if you can find them. If not, a new penny jerk shad is the ticket. Grass Island Reefs still hold trout with free-lined live shrimp the T F & G

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Hotspots Focus: Lower Coast

by Calixto Gonzales

Houses and Bars

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CTOBER IS A MONTH WHEN the redfish just take off. It’s great in September, but awesome in October,” says Captain Eddie Curry. The huge summer influx of fresh water that ran through Lower Laguna Madre is a thing of the past by October, but its effects will be evident. The increased nutrients that flowed into the system serve like a giant slug of fertilizer in the bay, and all levels of the food chain will benefit, most notably redfish. October will find herds of redfish patrolling the hyper-skinny water north of the Cullen House area. The slot-sized members of the drum family will be rooting around seeking newly-emerged crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp and young of the year baitfish. There are also some real beasts in the 30+ inch range just looking to cause trouble. The thing is, when Curry is talking about shallow water he means SHALLOW water, calf- to knee-deep water. Add the carpet of sea grass that covers the bottom, and the effective fishing depth is even shallower. Fishermen can take consolation in the fact, however, that the bottom is mostly sand, which makes for splendid wading. It doesn’t take any real imagination to fish this area, according to Curry. A 7 to 7 1/2-foot long medium light to medium action rod, 10-12 pound live, and a 1/4 ounce gold, weedless spoon. The venerable Johnson Silver Minnow is an excellent choice, although there is a plethora of different makes and models that are just as effective. Simply cast your offering across the flats and retrieve it with your rod tip high in the air and swim the spoon just over the tops

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of the grass. A red or pink plastic trailer enhances the appeal of the bait. It would be a finicky redfish (a quality the species is not known for) to pass up a chance at killing your spoon. Certainly, soft plastics can be especially effective. Whether you swim the lures on a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce head or under a noisy float (which is a simple, effective, and successful way to introduce neophytes to fishing with lures), plastics can do a number on trout and redfish in this area. The important part is to fish with the pattern you have the most confidence with (there is a reason, however, that the venerable red/white tail soft plastic is still a best seller along the lower coast). Gulp! Baits such as the Shrimp have become increasingly popular among LLM fishermen, especially when live shrimp are sold out. Fish them the same way you would a live shrimp, under a popping cork or free-lined when fishing the depth breaks. Good color choices are rootbeer, pearl and glow. If you’re looking for some fat speckled trout, then the Parallel Bars is an area that is very good. The Parallel Bars are actually a couple of spoil islands that have become submerged over the course of several years. The bars tend to form a sort of funnel, which tends to concentrate bait that is migrating from the gulf up into the LLM. The trout tend to hold and feed on the deeper (3 to 4 foot) flats around the bars, but they are actually all around. This is the sort of spot that memorable days are made of. Those fishermen who prefer techniques other than topwaters would do well fishing a live shrimp under a popping cork or Mauler-type float, but Curry says that a plastic shrimp tail under the same float works just as well. It will save on live bait, too. In fact, a technique that has become very popular on the LLM over the past two years is using a Gulp! shrimp or shad tail underneath a Mansfield Mauler or Cajun Thunder.

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An important factor is tidal movement. If the water is moving—especially in the morning—the fish will be actively prowling the Parallel Bars area. If there is no tidal flow, fishing will get very difficult. Note: This is one of the more popular spots on Laguna Madre in June, so don’t be surprised to find several boats drifting the area (some ambitious souls also try to wade the area). A little common sense, combined with patience and tolerance, however, should make things bearable. Anglers who fish the color change west of the Bars will will find potholes of sand scattered throughout the flats. Sharpshoot around these holes with gold spoons, soft plastics, and topwaters in blue/chrome, Halloween, or limetreuse. Keep a keen eye for redfish tailing throughout the area, because they’ll be forming pods and foraging through the area. Of course, live shrimp fished under a popping cork or Mansfield Mauler is the traditional go-to rig for this area.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Padre Island Shoreline, North Side of Causeway HOTSPOT: Left side, immediately after crossing. SPECIES: Speckled Trout, Redfish LURES/BAITS: Live shrimp or soft plastics under a Mauler or Popping Cork, topwaters early. BEST TIMES: Early morning, late afternoon, especially with a rising tide. Wade out towards boat channel, fish dropoffs.

Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com

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pop it.

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

Specks Hanging Out with Hanna by GEORGE KNIGHTEN LOCATION: East Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Hanna’s Reef GPS: N29 28.70298 W94 45.70302 (29.478383, -94.761717) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic Bass Assassins in Lime/Chartreuse, Red Shad, and plum colors CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Choose a Limetreuse or chartreuse color if there is a lot of sunlight. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Catchall Basin GPS: N28 42.19698 W95 46.61202 (28.703283, -95.776867) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4 - 3/8-ounce; leadhead with soft plastic CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: Drift letting your lure sink to the bottom. LOCATION: East Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Deep Reef GPS: N29 31.062 W94 41.20602 (29.517700, -94.686767) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman

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409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Chop on the water, throw MirrOlure She Dogs in chartreuse/Pearl color pattern. If the sun’s up and the water is green, throw a chrome/blue colored She Dog. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: St. Mary’s Bayou GPS: N28 39.56802 W95 56.54298 (28.659467, -95.942383) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead with a Norton Sand Eel Jr; in Margarita or Limetreuse colors CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: On a good falling tide, the fish start dumping out into the flats. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Blue Buck Point GPS: N29 47.77998 W93 54.43902 (29.796333, -93.907317) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in bright colors with a 1/4-ounce; leadhead CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 ehernandez@fishgame.com goldenhookguide.com TIPS: Let the lure drop down a couple of feet and

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LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702 W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in bright colors with a 1/4-ounce; leadhead CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 ehernandez@fishgame.com goldenhookguide.com TIPS: Look for the birds working bait. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Willow Bayou GPS: N29 51.72702 W93 46.90698 (29.862117, -93.781783) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in bright colors with a 1/4-ounce leadhead CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 ehernandez@fishgame.com goldenhookguide.com TIPS: Let the lure drop to the bottom and retrieve slowly. LOCATION: Trinity Bay HOTSPOT: Fischers Reef GPS: N29 39.91398 W94 50.55198 (29.665233, -94.842533) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Bass Assassin soft plastics CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Choose a Limetreuse or chartreuse color if there is a lot of sunlight. LOCATION: Trinity Bay HOTSPOT: Dow Reef GPS: N29 39.20202 W94 53.889 A L M A N A C


(29.653367, -94.898150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic Bass Assassins in Lime/Chartreuse, Red Shad, or plum colors CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: If you’re drifting throw a 1/4-ounce. leadhead; if anchored and there is current, throw a 3/8-ounce lead head.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Cedar Shakes with San Antonio Trout by DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Cedar Lake GPS: N28 13.92996 W96 40.26996 (28.232166, -96.671166) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwater lures CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 361-785-2686 bayflatslodge@gmail.com www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Walk the north shoreline from north to south, while casting back to the southwest. LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Grass Island GPS: N 28 06.200 W97 00.300 (28.103333, -97.005000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys and soft plastic lures CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 361-785-2686 bayflatslodge@gmail.com www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Locating bait activity is the secret to success.

Capt. Jon Fails 361-949-0133 TIPS: Fails likes a bait that he can fish slow and still have a lot of movement.

curly tail soft plastics CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails 361-949-0133 TIPS: Redfish should be out of the grass by October; cover the flats with soft plastics. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: JFK Causeway GPS: N27 38.07102 W97 14.46102 (27.634517, -97.241017) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Topwaters; brown/chartreuse curly tail soft plastics CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails 361-949-0133 TIPS: October should have schools of redfish roaming in the Causeway area; high water should have the fish moving. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Refuge Reef GPS: N28 18.63 W96 45.96996 (28.310500, -96.766166) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys and soft plastic lures CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 361-785-2686 bayflatslodge@gmail.com www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Fish early, late, or stay at home. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: King Ranch Shoreline GPS: N27 35.20002 W97 17.99802 (27.586667, -97.299967) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown/chartreuse curly tail soft plastics CONTACT:

LOWER GULF COAST

An Unnecessary Drumming by CALIXTO GONZALES LOCATION: Arroyo Colorado HOTSPOT: West of Unnecessary Island GPS: N26 23.39616 W97 21.55356 (26.389936, -97.359226) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: Live shrimp, fresh shrimp. Gulp! Shrimp in Pearl or New Penny/ 1/4-ounce jighead. CONTACT: LG Outfitters 956-371-0220 lgoutfitters.com TIPS: The large school of black drum stays in this area through to the end of November, or until the first big cold front (whichever comes first). Watch for disturbed water and a large mud cloud as your cue to their location (or, watch for a small flotilla of boats in one area). Live and dead shrimp both work. Some fishermen will tip a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce ball-type jig with a dead shrimp and bounce it through the school. Try a Gulp! Shrimp in New Penny or Pearl. A thump usually lets you know when you’re hooked up. LOCATION: Brazos-Santiago Pass HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beachfront GPS: N26 3.6504 W97 9.0672

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.48602 W97 12.88302 (27.624767, -97.214717) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Topwaters; brown/chartreuse T F & G

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Texas Hotspots (26.06084, -97.151120) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Live mullet, cut mullet, crab chunks. Shrimp tails/football head jig. CONTACT: Quik Stop 956-943-1159 TIPS: Fall is a great time for a shot at a truly large redfish. Bulls in excess of 40 inches are stacked up in the surf between the South Brazos Jetties and the Mouth of the Rio Grande. Popular baits are whole or cut mullet and chunks of blue and calico crabs, both on fish finder rigs. Light tackle fans can try a Kelly Wiggler Shrimp tail in Green Apple, or a 4” Gulp! Shrimp in Molt or Electric Chicken. Fish either bait on a 1/4 ounce football-style jighead (such as the Strike King Tour Grade Jighead) to scoot it along the bottom. Hang on! You’ll probably be walking up and down the beach to keep up with the beast you hook. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Old Causeway Pilings GPS: N26 4.39536 W97 11.0412 (26.073256, -97.184020) SPECIES: mangrove snapper BEST BAITS: Live Shrimp, fresh shrimp, cut squid. CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 capjimmymtz@aol.com TIPS: Anglers with children will find plenty of chunky, feisty, and cooperative mangrove snappers waiting around the pilings of the defunct causeway. A live or dead shrimp on a simple split shot rig with a #2 Khale hook and a spinning outfit with 12 pound line is all you need. Toss the bait into the shadows near pilings and wait for a tug. The bigger mangrove snappers tend to hang away from the pilings. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: South of Port Mansfield GPS: N26 32.08128 W97 25.18722 (26.534688, -97.419787) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Super Spook, Jr. in Baby Trout, Redfish. Eel-style plastics in dark patterns. CONTACT: Captain Danny Neu 979-942-0165 danny.neu.39@facebook.com TIPS: Fish the contour just south of the condominiums. Topwaters are ideal early in the morning. If there is floating grass over the mud, use a soft

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plastic such as a Norton Sand Eel, Jr. in LSU or Texas Roach. The smaller eel tails call for a lighter jighead (1/8th is appropriate, 1/16th if there is no wind). Though the water is shallow, fish the baits near the bottom. LOCATION: South Bay HOTSPOT: South Bay Center GPS: N26 1.11768 W97 11.34654 (26.018628, -97.189109) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in red/white, clear/ glitter/chartreuse (Kelly Wiggler Sand), poppers in red/white, bone. CONTACT: Captain Carlos Garcia 956-433-6094, 956-433-6028 texasredfish20@gmail.com TIPS: Watch for large schools of over-sized redfish cruising the broad flats. New sea grass regulations will curtail “running and gunning” to intercept these schools, but you can still pole, drift, or use a trolling motor to get into range. Use a popper such as the Strike Pro Thunder Pop or a MirrOlure Pop-a-Dog. If you prefer plastics, long baits such as a Down South Lures Shad or Kelly Wiggler Ball Shad pinned on a 1/8th ounce jighead can be a stealthy option. Cast in front and beyond the schools and bring the lure back into them. LOCATION: South Bay HOTSPOT: South Bay East Shoreline GPS: N26 2.02464 W97 10.28562 (26.033744, -97.171427) SPECIES: dolphin BEST BAITS: Live shrimp, fresh dead shrimp. CONTACT: Captain Carlos Garcia 956-433-6094, 956-433-6028 southtexasredfish20@gmail.com TIPS: Fish the channel edge on a moving tide. There are large schools of black drum in the boat channel during the fall. Most are slot-sized “eaters.” Use a split shot rig with live shrimp. If the tide is really tearing through the channel, use a 1-ounce pyramid and a dropper rig. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Convention Center Flats GPS: N26 6.57072 W97 10.5885 (26.109512, -97.176475) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live Shrimp, shrimp tails in light colors/1/8th ounce jighead. Shad tails.

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CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 capjimmymtz@aol.com TIPS: Drift fish for trout with live shrimp or soft plastics under a popping cork or Mauler-type of float. Gulp! Shrimp were made for this sort of application. An old school chrome spoon is also very effective. If there are few fish over the grass and potholes, move west to the color change and drift the transition line.

PINEY WOODS

Fish the Humps for Fall Fork Bass by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Fork HOTSPOT: Fall Lake Fork Fish on the Hump GPS: N32 52.674 W95 31.44 (32.8779, -95.524) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Lake Fork Tackle brand Boot Tail Magic Shad on jighead and River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130 topwater . CONTACT: Rick Carter 903-765-3474 Guide@lakeforkbassfish.com www.flwpro.com TIPS: Fish will start schooling late in the day so starting hitting the lake in the late afternoon/early evening. Good spots for fish this time of year are Bell Hump, Hurley Point, and Hobbs. These spots will produce big catches in fall! LOCATION: Fork HOTSPOT: Caney Creek Point GPS: N32 49.3995 W95 32.70408 (32.823325, -95.545068) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Slab Bandit jig, small minnows CONTACT: Seth Vanover 903-736-4557 svanover2008@hotmail.com TIPS: October marks the beginning of the winter crappie run. Target the points leading out from Caney Creek and the SRA point. I also fish a small ridge off the west end of the dam I call Shoe. A L M A N A C


I use a five-foot Abu Garcia rod with lightweight reel spooled with Mr. Crappie High Vis six-pound test line. If cloudy, I use a Slab Bandit Sour Grape jig and when sunny the Slab Bandit River Cane is deadly. Small minnows also will work when the water is colder. Watch your graph to locate a good school of crappie. Pitch the jig out, feed out line so it falls where it lands and work it back in a hopping motion off the bottom. LOCATION: Caddo HOTSPOT: Upper River Channel GPS: N32 43.15686 W94 6.22254 (32.719281, -94.103709) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs, crank baits, soft plastics CONTACT: Paul Keith 318-3437455caddoguide1@att.net caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish dark colored jigs in heavy vegetation along the river channel. Also fish shad-colored crank baits and Carolina-rigged soft plastic trick worms or lizards in the boat lanes where they intersect with the river channel. Keep a watch out for schooling bass starting this month.

LOCATION: Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake Points GPS: N30 23.78448 W95 33.9219 (30.396408, -95.565365) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Primos Dipping Bait CONTACT: Richard Tatsch 936-291-1277 admin@fishdudetx.com fishdudetx.com TIPS: Fish water that is 20-25 feet deep with Primos Dipping Bait that is on a sponge hook. I prefer light line with a one-eighth-ounce barrel weight. Fish the bait on the bottom or just above it, feeling for stumps. Work the other points on the lower end of the lake. Chumming the areas ahead of time with range cubes or soured maize and then re-chumming every half hour will help increase the numbers of catfish that you catch.

903-592-8221 SKopech@hotmail.com TIPS: This area has lots of lily pads and button willows. Start early with plastic frogs or Flukes by working them around the outside edges of the lily pads. Once the sun begins to rise, target the button willows with Texas-rigged plastic worms. The fish usually will be holding tight in the button willows. Also keep an eye out for underwater logs off the points of the islands. The logs often hold bass. LOCATION: Livingston HOTSPOT: Caney Creek GPS: N30 47.31438 W95 4.26972 (30.788573, -95.071162) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slabs, spoons, soft plastic jigs, swim baits CONTACT: Dave Cox 936-291-9602 dave@palmettoguideservice.com palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: Work Slabs and spoons just off the bottom, jigging them about one foot after the lure touches down. If you don’t get bites, slowly work your jigging action up to various depths to locate the fish. Chrome, chartreuse and white are the best colors. If you see surfacing action, switch to Sassy Shad jigs or swim baits and cast directly into the action. LOCATION: Toledo Bend HOTSPOT: Doyle English Sandbar GPS: N31 42.34698 W93 48.57696 (31.705783, -93.809616) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slabs, tail spinners, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Greg Crafts 936-368-7151 gregcrafts@yahoo.com toledobendguide.com TIPS: The days are starting to get shorter and

the water temperature is starting to fall. The fish will be bulking up in anticipation for the coming winter season. White bass will start migrating to the north end of the main lake river channel sand bars. Concentrate on the inside river channel bends. Use your electronics to locate the baitfish. There usually is lots of schooling activity in these areas.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Face-Off with Lavon Crappie by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Lavon HOTSPOT: Face of the Dam GPS: N33 2.11968 W96 28.00596 (33.035328, -96.466766) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick 214-232-7847 straightlineguide@yahoo.com TIPS: Following the hot summer weather, the water temperatures are still hot. The fish are holding in 14 to 20 feet of water. Fish live minnows with a rod that has a sensitive touch. I prefer 100 percent graphite rods that are seven feet long. A 10-foot B&M rod also works well. I use 12-pound test Stren line with a 1/8-ounce weight three inches above the hook. The area along the face of the dam is my favorite place to fish at this time of the year. LOCATION: Aquilla

LOCATION: Lake O the Pines HOTSPOT: Lily Pads GPS: N32 51.33864 W94 42.00528 (32.855644, -94.700088) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plastic frogs, plastic worms, Flukes CONTACT: Sonny Kopech T F & G

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Texas Hotspots HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 54.00534 W97 12.3141 (31.900089, -97.205235) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, Tail Hummers CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck01@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: The white bass are schooling early along the riprap chasing threadfin shad. Position your boat along side the dam and make long casts. Use a fast to medium retrieve back to the boat. Keep a look out for schooling activity early and late. A good pair of binoculars is great for helping locate the action. LOCATION: Cedar Creek HOTSPOT: Clear Creek GPS: N32 12.55446 W96 3.74016 (32.209241, -96.062336) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shads, slabs, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Jason Barber 903-603-2047 kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com kingscreekadventures.com TIPS: Lower the Sassy Shad jigs or slabs to the bottom and crank your reel one full crank. Then jig the lures slowly. If this doesn’t produce strikes, work the jigs much faster. Watch for any schooling activity here and in the flat between the mouth of Clear and Caney Creeks. Trolling Rat-L-Traps in this area also often produces catches and helps locate the schools. LOCATION: Cooper HOTSPOT: State Park Points GPS: N33 20.34816 W95 39.36432 (33.339136, -95.656072) SPECIES: hybrid striper BEST BAITS: Sassy Shads, jig heads, spoons CONTACT: Tony Parker 903-348-1619 tawakonifishing@yahoo.com tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: Use your electronics to locate humps just off the main lake points in the state park area. Make long casts and work the Sassy Shads on one-half ounce jig heads or four-inch spoons along the bottom in a slow, hopping motion. Keep and eye out for any shad activity at the surface that

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could signal hybrids chasing them. LOCATION: Fayette County HOTSPOT: Main Point GPS: N29 56.56896 W96 44.06196 (29.942816, -96.734366) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, shad, chicken livers, Stink bait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3101 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Timber in this area attracts predator fish as well as bait fish. The timber offers shallow surface structure as well as deeper structure in about 12 feet of water. Chum the deeper water close to the boat and fish straight down. Expect a light bite and set the hook at the first movement of the rod tip. A cork will help prevent hang-ups when casting away from the boat. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek. HOTSPOT: Employee Dock Area GPS: N30 37.60098 W96 4.59 (30.626683, -96.076500) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, worms, shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: The water comes up to 7-8 feet at the edge of the lily pads here. The baitfish are using the lily pads for cover and the catfish are prowling the pads looking for them. Use a slip cork and fish the outer edge of the pads if the wind allows. Otherwise, use a tight line on the bottom. The railroad dam also offers some wind blockage when the north wind is blowing. Perch also use this area so be prepared for larger blue and yellow catfish to take the bait. LOCATION: Lewisville HOTSPOT: Hidden Cove Point GPS: N33 6.95088 W96 57.4665 (33.115848, -96.957775) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut shad or buffalo CONTACT: Bobby Kubin 817-455-2984 bobby@bobby-catfishing.com

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bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: Use either cut buffalo or shad on a 3/0 or 5/0 hook and drift across the point with a SanteeCooper rig. Lots of eating-size blue catfish are in this area. If you want to catch trophy size blue catfish, use an 8-0 circle hook and larger cuts of bait. Try to drift at .5 M.P.H. if possible. If there is no wind, use your trolling motor. If the wind is strong, use a windsock to slow your boat down. If you want to target channel catfish, chum the area before you begin fishing with soured maize or cattle range cubes. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Main Lake Points GPS: N32 4.30056 W95 26.53152 (32.071676, -95.442192) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plastic worms, Blue Heron Shimmy Shakers, jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 Ricky@Rickysguideservice.com Rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Bass will be on the main lake points near the dam, especially around creeks close to them. Boat docks in five to 10 feet of water are best places to look for bass, especially those with brush around them. Carolina-rigged worms, Shimmy Shakers and jigs are good baits to use around the docks. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Ledbedder Creek GPS: N32 7.43724 W95 28.31844 (32.123954, -95.471974) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Night crawlers CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Channel catfish are hitting good on the main lake humps and at the mouth of Ledbedder Creek. Drift night crawlers on Carolina-rigs in 12 to 20 feet of water or anchor and chum the top of a hump or point with soured maize. Many times, the catfish will start hitting best about 30 minutes after you have chummed the area. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Highway 155 Bridge GPS: N32 8.63886 W95 28.52736

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(32.143981, -95.475456) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: The Highway 155 bridge is almost a sure bet for crappie year-round but is especially good when the water temperature begins to drop. Work small minnows or crappie jigs around the pilings, feeling for brush piles placed there by crappie anglers. When you feel the brush, try to keep your baits just above it. Small minnows will work better as the water temperature drops. Move from one piling to another to catch more fish. LOCATION: Richland Chambers HOTSPOT: 287 Bridge Pilings GPS: N32 0.42 W96 12.32868 (32.007, -96.205478) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Royce Simmons 903-389-4117 royce@gonefishing.biz gonefishing.biz TIPS: Try to be tied up at a piling under the bridge at the crack of dawn. The early-morning action usually is best and lasts longer on cloudy days. Fish live minnows or small jigs slowly, working them on top of the cross bars of concrete that is between each two pilings. Some of the cross bars of concrete have brush on or below them. Change from one piling to another when the action is slow. LOCATION: Richland Chambers HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 59.1102 W96 9.16806 (31.98517, -96.152801) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, Silver Glitter RSR Slab CONTACT: Royce Simmons 903-389-4117 simmonsroyce@hotmail.com gonefishin.biz TIPS: October is just the beginning of my “favorite season.” The gulls have arrived, the shad are hopping and the fishing gets so much better as the water temperature cools. The Highway 309 Flats should provide good early-morning action. Watch for baitfish being chased to the surface and the gulls and herons working above them. Use a silver and blue Rat-L-Trap. When the fish go deep, use a silver glitter RSR Slab. T F & G

LOCATION: Somerville HOTSPOT: Brushy Creek GPS: N30 20.94 W96 33.201 (30.349, -96.553350) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, cut shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Anchor in this area. Use a tight with cut shad or punch bait. Expect to be fishing in about five feet of water with the lake low. If you find dead lily pads, fish the outside edges of the pads that are in the center of the creek. Fish the smallest sinker you can cast. If fishing at night, expect the possibility of a big blue or yellow catfish feeding in this area. A strong line should be used to handle lily pad hook-ups.

the heaviest. Work from the creek channel toward the point slowly until you locate the fish. The main lake points between here and the dam also produce good catches. LOCATION: Texoma HOTSPOT: The Islands GPS: N33 51.17796 W96 42.50988 (33.852966, -96.708498) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Pencil Poppers, Zara Spooks,

LOCATION: Somerville HOTSPOT: BRUSHY CREEK GPS: N30 20.94 W96 33.201 (30.349, -96.553350) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, cut shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Anchor in this area. Tight line using cut shad or punch bait. Expect the water to be around five feet low at this time of the year and there may be some dead lily pads in this area. Fish the edge of the lily pads near the center of the creek. Use the smallest sinker that you can cast. If fishing at night, expect to catch a big blue or yellow catfish. Strong line should be used to handle lily pad hookups. LOCATION: Tawakoni HOTSPOT: Waco Bay Points GPS: N32 51.9714 W96 0.03252 (32.86619, -96.000542) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slabs, soft plastic swim baits, Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Tony Parker 903-348-1619 tawakonifishing@yahoo.com tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: Use your depth finder to locate where the creek channel passes in front of a long sandy point here. Fish the edge of the drop with slabs and soft plastic jigs. The morning action usually is

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Texas Hotspots Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey 877-786-4477 bigfish@striperexpress.xom striperexpress.com TIPS: Start at daybreak and fish the surface lures close to the islands, making long casts to prevent your boat from spooking the fish. Work northward along this string of islands and into any pockets you can. The stripers work up and down the islands feeding on shad. Chartreuse Sassy Shad jigs also will work but the top-water bite is best during the early-morning hours, especially on cloudy days. Later in the day and especially on clear days, move out and search for the schools along the main river channel with your sonar units.

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad-sized crankbaits. CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services 806-792-9220 nclayton42@sbcglobal.net www.lakealanhenry.com/norman_clayton.htm TIPS: Start looking for schools of shad. If you find the shad, you will find bass. The bass will start moving up the creeks to be caught in the same places they were caught in the spring. When the shad start moving shallow because of cooling water, the bass will follow. Until the cooler water comes, the bass are chasing the schools of shad out over the deep water from Gobbler Creek to the dam area. The other day the bass were chasing shad about two hundred yards up Ince Cove.

LOCATION: Whitney HOTSPOT: Whitney Hump GPS: N31 54.67194 W97 20.87298 (31.911199, -97.347883) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live shad CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck01@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: I prefer to use cut gizzard shad and making long casts up on the hump and leaving slack in my line. Leave the reel open and the clicker on. The big stripers are moving in on the hump early and are picking up the cut bait and screaming the line out. Let them run until they stop and then set the hook. After the sun comes up, I move out off the ledge and fish live bait straight down on a Carolina rig.

This is also a great month to really catch bass moving up the creeks, especially up Gobbler, Ince Cove, as well as Little Grape and Grape Creeks. Watch your electronics until you see the shad on the screen, and then cast crank baits that are about the same size as the shad. You should find lots of hungry bass following these shad.

PANHANDLE

Henry Bass are Shad Gobblers by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE

LOCATION: Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Costello Cut GPS: N32 54.12816 W98 28.14954 (32.902136, -98.469159) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Live shad, jigs, soft plastic curlytail grubs CONTACT: Dean Heffner 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: The white bass, stripers and hybrids are stacking up here, waiting to move up to the north end of the lake for the winter. Fish live shad if you can find it but I have found jigs and slabs work well, too. Look for the fish to travel in about 20-feet water along the river channel. White is the best color but a chartreuse jighead with a yellow-curly-tail soft plastic also is good. If the lake remains over 10 feet low, the fish may be back at mid-lake but as soon as we have a great temperature change and the water cools the fish will start migrating north.

LOCATION: Alan Henry HOTSPOT: Gobbler Creek to Dam GPS: N33 1.99458 W101 2.2812 (33.033243, -101.03802)

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BIG BEND

Zorro Has the Mark of Bass by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Amistad HOTSPOT: Zorro Canyon GPS: N29 28.81596, W101 16.1724 (29.480266, -101.26954) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Zara Spooks, Spro Frogs, Stanley Ribbets, Power Worm, Senkos, Odom Jigs, War Eagle spinnerbait CONTACT: James Burkeen 830-734-9652 jjburkeen@gmail.com amistadbassin.com TIPS: Fish the outside of pepper grass and duck weed with a Zara Spook or a frog bait, especially early on cloudy days. On windy days I like to work a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait along the points in the same area. Other good spots to try are Tulis and Cabello canyons. If the water level is low, a lipless crank bait sometimes catches larger bass over the hydrilla.

HILL COUNTRY

Buchanan Cats on Shallow Humps by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Buchanan HOTSPOT: Shallow Humps GPS: N30 48.69576 W98 25.27152 (30.811596, -98.421192) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh Shrimp, Cut Shad and Perch, punch bait. CONTACT: Ken Milam’s Guide Service 325-379-2051 kmilam@verizon.net A L M A N A C


www.striperfever.com TIPS: Catfish will be on shallow humps from 5 to 30 ft. of water. Best all around bait is fresh shrimp. Use cut shad and perch for blue cats. For channel cats, bait out some holes with soured Milo and use punch bait under a cork in around 3 to 6 ft. of water. LOCATION: Buchanan HOTSPOT: Dam Morning Stripers on Buchanan GPS: N30 45.30012 W98 25.1169 (30.755002, -98.418615) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Pencil poppers in chrome, blue, or black. Live shad and jigs or slabs. CONTACT: Ken Milam’s Guide Service 325-379-2051 kmilam@verizon.net www.striperfever.com TIPS: Stripers will be near the top of the water early in the mornings from the dam to around mid lake. Throw pencil poppers in chrome, blue, or black. Be sure your bait makes a good splash and flash! After the stripers go deeper, usually around mid-morning, switch to live bait and jigs or slabs and fish over the trees in 15 to 24 ft. of water. LOCATION: Buchanan HOTSPOT: White Bass Action on Upper Lake Buchanan GPS: N30 49.713 W98 22.54206 (30.82855, -98.375701) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Jigs and slabs. CONTACT: Ken Milam’s Guide Service 325-379-2051 kmilam@verizon.net www.striperfever.com TIPS: White bass concentrated best around upper end of the main lake in 18 to 24 ft. deep humps. Fish using slabs and jigs for best action.

shallows early and then move into deeper water. Bass are in their transitional period with the weather cooling off and are not likely to be aggressive. Watermelon, green pumpkin and black colors are good for Power worms. LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Stagecoach Area GPS: N29 53.29956 W98 15.1104 (29.888326, -98.251840) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad jigs, slabs, Rat-LTraps, swim baits CONTACT: Steve Nixon 210-573-1230 steve@sanantoniofishingguides.com sanantoniofishingguides.com TIPS: Work off the point early here with soft plastic swim lures, Rat-L-Traps and slabs and then move slowly into the various coves, fishing in the middle off each one of them along their small channels or draws. Chartreuse and chrome colored lures usually will produce the most catches. Watch your electronics to locate schools of shad. When you do, the white bass won’t be far away. LOCATION: Granger HOTSPOT: Main Lake Brush Piles GPS: N30 42.53316 W97 20.62548 (30.708886, -97.343758) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs, minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 crappie1@hotmail.com gotcrappie.com TIPS: The cool weather has caused the crappie to move to shallow water to feed up for the winter. The large crappie are aggressive and easier to catch than at any other time of the year. Fish marabou jigs just over the tops of the brush piles

in five to 15 feet of water. Sometimes minnows will produce if the jigs aren’t. Well-used, torn-up minnows often produce the larger crappie. Take an old, broken fishing rod and tape a minnow net to the end. Use it to recover minnows that fall off when you catch a fish.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Picnic in the Park for Falcon Bass by BOB HOOD and DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: State Park Area GPS: N26 35.3139 W99 8.68572 (26.588565, -99.144762) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plastic worms, lizards, crank baits CONTACT: Robert Amaya 956-765-1442 robertsfishntackle@gmail.com robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Fish deep-diving crank baits in the shallow water with stickups, working the crank baits very slowly. The bass often will be in a feeding mood, searching for shad and other baitfish prowling along the shorelines. Once the sun gets high, fish Texas-rigged plastic worms in the stickups and brush along the banks. A Carolina rig with plastic worms or lizards also often works well off the rocky points near drop-offs.

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake Point GPS: N29 54.46698 W98 17.361 (29.907783, -98.289350) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Picasso Shakey Heads, Flukes, Senkos, Bass Kandi Sticks, Picasso spinner baits CONTACT: Kandie Candelaria 210-823-2153 kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: Fish the main lake point up river from the pipeline near the drop-off into the river. Work the T F & G

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Sportsman’s Daybook OCTOBER 2013

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

Sep 30

High Tide: 2:57 AM Low Tide: 8:54 AM High Tide: 1:07 PM Low Tide: 8:06 PM

TUESDAY PRIME TIME

1.60ft. 1.31ft. 1.48ft. 0.67ft.

3:00 — 5:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:29a Set: 7:24p Moonrise: 3:23a Set: 4:42p AM Minor: 2:30a AM Major: 8:41a PM Minor: 2:52p PM Major: 9:03p Moon Overhead: 10:05a Moon Underfoot: 10:27p

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PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:41 AM 1.65ft. Low Tide: 12:03 PM 0.25ft. High Tide: 8:02 PM 1.81ft.

3:00 — 5:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:33a Set: 7:15p Moonrise: 10:14a Set: 9:13p AM Minor: 7:54a AM Major: 1:40a PM Minor: 8:22p PM Major: 2:08p Moon Overhead: 3:45p Moon Underfoot: 3:17a

14 High Tide: 2:01 AM Low Tide: 8:06 AM High Tide: 12:48 PM Low Tide: 7:37 PM

1.69ft. 1.20ft. 1.50ft. 0.57ft.

PRIME TIME 1:30 — 3:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:38a Set: 7:07p Moonrise: 4:22p Set: 3:14a AM Minor: 2:14a AM Major: 8:27a PM Minor: 2:40p PM Major: 8:53p Moon Overhead: 10:17p Moon Underfoot: 9:51a

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PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 12:16 AM High Tide: 4:23 AM Low Tide: 12:07 PM High Tide: 8:18 PM

1.46ft. 1.58ft. 0.21ft. 1.72ft.

2:00 — 4:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:43a Set: 6:59p Moonrise: 9:02p Set: 10:11a AM Minor: 7:49a AM Major: 1:36a PM Minor: 8:14p PM Major: 2:01p Moon Overhead: 3:13a Moon Underfoot: 3:38p

28 High Tide: 1:16 AM Low Tide: 8:21 AM High Tide: 11:43 AM Low Tide: 6:11 PM

PRIME TIME

1.58ft. 1.23ft. 1.30ft. 0.79ft.

O C T O B E R

High Tide: 3:11 AM Low Tide: 8:56 AM High Tide: 2:10 PM Low Tide: 8:42 PM

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PRIME TIME 1.60ft. 1.19ft. 1.53ft. 0.74ft.

3:30 — 5:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:29a Set: 7:23p Moonrise: 4:18a Set: 5:16p AM Minor: 3:09a AM Major: 9:21a PM Minor: 3:32p PM Major: 9:43p Moon Overhead: 10:50a Moon Underfoot: 11:12p

8 Low Tide: 12:29 AM High Tide: 4:50 AM Low Tide: 12:52 PM High Tide: 9:18 PM

1.50ft. 1.68ft. 0.17ft. 1.81ft.

PRIME TIME 3:30 — 5:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:34a Set: 7:14p Moonrise: 11:17a Set: 10:06p AM Minor: 8:56a AM Major: 2:42a PM Minor: 9:25p PM Major: 3:10p Moon Overhead: 4:42p Moon Underfoot: 4:13a

15 High Tide: 2:26 AM Low Tide: 8:33 AM High Tide: 2:12 PM Low Tide: 8:36 PM

PRIME TIME

1.64ft. 0.96ft. 1.57ft. 0.73ft.

8:00 — 9:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:38a Set: 7:06p Moonrise: 5:01p Set: 4:17a AM Minor: 3:00a AM Major: 9:12a PM Minor: 3:25p PM Major: 9:37p Moon Overhead: 11:06p Moon Underfoot: 10:42a

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Low Tide: 12:49 AM High Tide: 4:27 AM Low Tide: 12:49 PM High Tide: 9:21 PM

PRIME TIME 1.53ft. 1.59ft. 0.26ft. 1.69ft.

2:30 — 4:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:44a Set: 6:58p Moonrise: 9:49p Set: 11:05a AM Minor: 8:44a AM Major: 2:31a PM Minor: 9:08p PM Major: 2:56p Moon Overhead: 4:02a Moon Underfoot: 4:27p

29 High Tide: 1:35 AM Low Tide: 8:08 AM High Tide: 1:09 PM Low Tide: 7:03 PM

Sunrise: 7:48a Set: 6:52p Moonrise: 2:06a Set: 3:13p AM Minor: 1:15a AM Major: 7:26a PM Minor: 1:37p PM Major: 7:48p Moon Overhead: 8:42a Moon Underfoot: 9:04p

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Oct 1

WEDNESDAY

PRIME TIME

1.56ft. 1.09ft. 1.36ft. 0.88ft.

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High Tide: 3:27 AM Low Tide: 9:11 AM High Tide: 3:07 PM Low Tide: 9:16 PM

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1.60ft. 1.05ft. 1.59ft. 0.82ft.

PRIME TIME 4:00 — 6:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:30a Set: 7:21p Moonrise: 5:13a Set: 5:51p AM Minor: 3:49a AM Major: 10:00a PM Minor: 4:12p PM Major: 10:23p Moon Overhead: 11:35a Moon Underfoot: None

9 Low Tide: 1:17 AM High Tide: 4:56 AM Low Tide: 1:48 PM High Tide: 10:39 PM

1.63ft. 1.71ft. 0.14ft. 1.81ft.

PRIME TIME 4:00 — 6:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:34a Set: 7:13p Moonrise: 12:18p Set: 11:03p AM Minor: 10:00a AM Major: 3:45a PM Minor: 10:29p PM Major: 4:15p Moon Overhead: 5:41p Moon Underfoot: 5:11a

16 High Tide: 2:49 AM Low Tide: 9:05 AM High Tide: 3:24 PM Low Tide: 9:28 PM

1.59ft. 0.73ft. 1.65ft. 0.91ft.

PRIME TIME 8:30 — 10:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:39a Set: 7:05p Moonrise: 5:38p Set: 5:18a AM Minor: 3:43a AM Major: 9:56a PM Minor: 4:08p PM Major: 10:20p Moon Overhead: 11:55p Moon Underfoot: 11:31a

23 Low Tide: 1:24 AM High Tide: 3:52 AM Low Tide: 1:33 PM High Tide: 10:28 PM

1.58ft. 1.59ft. 0.33ft. 1.66ft.

PRIME TIME 2:30 — 4:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:44a Set: 6:57p Moonrise: 10:38p Set: 11:54a AM Minor: 9:38a AM Major: 3:26a PM Minor: 10:03p PM Major: 3:50p Moon Overhead: 4:52a Moon Underfoot: 5:16p

30 High Tide: 1:52 AM Low Tide: 8:14 AM High Tide: 2:18 PM Low Tide: 7:52 PM

Sunrise: 7:49a Set: 6:51p Moonrise: 3:00a Set: 3:47p AM Minor: 1:56a AM Major: 8:07a PM Minor: 2:18p PM Major: 8:29p Moon Overhead: 9:27a Moon Underfoot: 9:49p

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PRIME TIME

1.55ft. 0.91ft. 1.44ft. 0.97ft.

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High Tide: 3:43 AM Low Tide: 9:35 AM High Tide: 4:01 PM Low Tide: 9:51 PM

PRIME TIME 1.60ft. 0.88ft. 1.65ft. 0.93ft.

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:31a Set: 7:20p Moonrise: 6:10a Set: 6:26p AM Minor: 4:30a AM Major: 10:42a PM Minor: 4:53p PM Major: 11:05p Moon Overhead: 12:21p Moon Underfoot: None

10 Low Tide: 2:24 AM High Tide: 4:49 AM Low Tide: 2:51 PM High Tide: 11:56 PM

1.70ft. 1.72ft. 0.16ft. 1.81ft.

PRIME TIME 5:00 — 7:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 7:12p Moonrise: 1:16p Set: None AM Minor: 11:03a AM Major: 4:49a PM Minor: 11:33p PM Major: 5:18p Moon Overhead: 6:39p Moon Underfoot: 6:10a

17 High Tide: 3:10 AM Low Tide: 9:40 AM High Tide: 4:28 PM Low Tide: 10:16 PM

1.57ft. 0.52ft. 1.72ft. 1.08ft.

PRIME TIME 9:30 — 11:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:40a Set: 7:03p Moonrise: 6:15p Set: 6:19a AM Minor: 4:28a AM Major: 10:40a PM Minor: 4:52p PM Major: 11:04p Moon Overhead: None Moon Underfoot: 12:20p

24

Low Tide: 2:22 PM 0.42ft. High Tide: 11:34 PM 1.63ft.

PRIME TIME 3:30 — 5:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:45a Set: 6:56p Moonrise: 11:29p Set: 12:40p AM Minor: 10:31a AM Major: 4:19a PM Minor: 10:55p PM Major: 4:43p Moon Overhead: 5:40a Moon Underfoot: 6:04p

31 High Tide: 2:08 AM Low Tide: 8:34 AM High Tide: 3:18 PM Low Tide: 8:38 PM

Sunrise: 7:50a Set: 6:50p Moonrise: 3:56a Set: 4:22p AM Minor: 2:35a AM Major: 8:46a PM Minor: 2:58p PM Major: 9:09p Moon Overhead: 10:11a Moon Underfoot: 10:34p

G A M E ®

3 «

PRIME TIME

1.54ft. 0.71ft. 1.55ft. 1.08ft.

Sunrise: 7:51a Set: 6:49p Moonrise: 4:53a Set: 4:58p AM Minor: 3:15a AM Major: 9:27a PM Minor: 3:39p PM Major: 9:50p Moon Overhead: 10:58a Moon Underfoot: 11:22p

A L M A N A C


SYMBOL KEY

l

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

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

FRIDAY

4 l

High Tide: 3:59 AM Low Tide: 10:05 AM High Tide: 4:56 PM Low Tide: 10:28 PM

1.60ft. 0.70ft. 1.71ft. 1.06ft.

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:31a Set: 7:19p Moonrise: 7:08a Set: 7:03p AM Minor: 5:14a AM Major: 11:26a PM Minor: 5:38p PM Major: 11:50p Moon Overhead: 1:08p Moon Underfoot: 12:44a

11 Low Tide: 4:02 PM

0.22ft.

PRIME TIME 6:00 — 8:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 7:10p Moonrise: 2:10p Set: 12:04a AM Minor: ----- AM Major: 5:50a PM Minor: 12:04p PM Major: 6:19p Moon Overhead: 7:37p Moon Underfoot: 7:08a

18 «

High Tide: 3:30 AM Low Tide: 10:15 AM High Tide: 5:27 PM Low Tide: 11:00 PM

PRIME TIME 1.57ft. 0.36ft. 1.76ft. 1.23ft.

10:00A — 12:00P

Sunrise: 7:41a Set: 7:02p Moonrise: 6:54p Set: 7:18a AM Minor: 5:14a AM Major: 11:26a PM Minor: 5:38p PM Major: 11:51p Moon Overhead: 12:44a Moon Underfoot: 1:09p

25 Low Tide: 3:16 PM

0.52ft.

PRIME TIME 4:30 — 6:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:46a Set: 6:55p Moonrise: None Set: 1:23p AM Minor: 11:22a AM Major: 5:10a PM Minor: 11:45p PM Major: 5:34p Moon Overhead: 6:27a Moon Underfoot: 6:50p

Nov 1 « High Tide: 2:24 AM Low Tide: 9:02 AM High Tide: 4:14 PM Low Tide: 9:23 PM

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 Texas City Turning Basin +0:33 Eagle Point +3:54 Clear Lake +6:05 Morgans Point +10:21 Round Pt, Trinity Bay +10:39

LOW

PRIME TIME 1.54ft. 0.50ft. 1.65ft. 1.19ft.

5 «

High Tide: 4:15 AM Low Tide: 10:40 AM High Tide: 5:53 PM Low Tide: 11:07 PM

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 12:53 AM 1.79ft. Low Tide: 5:17 PM 0.31ft.

12:30 — 2:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 7:09p Moonrise: 2:58p Set: 1:07a AM Minor: 12:37a AM Major: 6:47a PM Minor: 1:01p PM Major: 7:15p Moon Overhead: 8:32p Moon Underfoot: 8:05a

19 ¡

High Tide: 3:50 AM Low Tide: 10:51 AM High Tide: 6:24 PM Low Tide: 11:39 PM

PRIME TIME 1.57ft. 0.26ft. 1.77ft. 1.36ft.

11:30A — 1:30P

Sunrise: 7:41a Set: 7:01p Moonrise: 7:35p Set: 8:18a AM Minor: 6:03a AM Major: ----PM Minor: 6:28p PM Major: 12:15p Moon Overhead: 1:33a Moon Underfoot: 1:58p

26 º

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 12:22 AM 1.62ft. Low Tide: 4:14 PM 0.61ft.

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:47a Set: 6:54p Moonrise: 12:20a Set: 2:02p AM Minor: ----- AM Major: 5:58a PM Minor: 12:10p PM Major: 6:21p Moon Overhead: 7:13a Moon Underfoot: 7:36p

2 «

High Tide: 2:41 AM Low Tide: 9:36 AM High Tide: 5:09 PM Low Tide: 10:08 PM

Sunrise: 7:51a Set: 6:49p Moonrise: 5:52a Set: 5:36p AM Minor: 3:57a AM Major: 10:10a PM Minor: 4:22p PM Major: 10:34p Moon Overhead: 11:47a Moon Underfoot: None

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 7:18p Moonrise: 8:08a Set: 7:43p AM Minor: 6:03a AM Major: ----PM Minor: 6:28p PM Major: 12:40p Moon Overhead: 1:58p Moon Underfoot: 1:33a

12 º

PRIME TIME 1.56ft. 0.28ft. 1.75ft. 1.30ft.

Sunrise: 7:52a Set: 6:48p Moonrise: 6:54a Set: 6:18p AM Minor: 4:43a AM Major: 10:56a PM Minor: 5:10p PM Major: 11:23p Moon Overhead: 12:38p Moon Underfoot: 12:12a

T F & G

A L M A N A C

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

SUNDAY

PRIME TIME 1.61ft. 0.53ft. 1.76ft. 1.20ft.

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

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

SATURDAY PRIME TIME

¡

»

«

PRIME TIME

BEST DAYS

New First Full Last Good Moon Qtr Moon Qtr Day

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE

º

T E X A S

6 «

High Tide: 4:29 AM Low Tide: 11:19 AM High Tide: 6:55 PM Low Tide: 11:47 PM

PRIME TIME 1.62ft. 0.37ft. 1.79ft. 1.36ft.

7:30 — 9:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:33a Set: 7:16p Moonrise: 9:10a Set: 8:26p AM Minor: 6:56a AM Major: 12:43a PM Minor: 7:22p PM Major: 1:09p Moon Overhead: 2:50p Moon Underfoot: 2:24a

13 High Tide: 1:32 AM Low Tide: 7:53 AM High Tide: 10:59 AM Low Tide: 6:30 PM

PRIME TIME

1.75ft. 1.40ft. 1.47ft. 0.43ft.

1:30 — 3:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:37a Set: 7:08p Moonrise: 3:42p Set: 2:11a AM Minor: 1:26a AM Major: 7:39a PM Minor: 1:53p PM Major: 8:06p Moon Overhead: 9:26p Moon Underfoot: 8:59a

20 «

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:09 AM 1.58ft. Low Tide: 11:29 AM 0.21ft. High Tide: 7:20 PM 1.75ft.

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:42a Set: 7:00p Moonrise: 8:17p Set: 9:15a AM Minor: 6:55a AM Major: 12:42a PM Minor: 7:20p PM Major: 1:07p Moon Overhead: 2:23a Moon Underfoot: 2:48p

27

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 12:53 AM 1.60ft. Low Tide: 5:14 PM 0.70ft.

6:30 — 8:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:47a Set: 6:53p Moonrise: 1:13a Set: 2:38p AM Minor: 12:31a AM Major: 6:44a PM Minor: 12:55p PM Major: 7:06p Moon Overhead: 7:58a Moon Underfoot: 8:20p

3 l End DST High Tide: 1:58 AM Low Tide: 9:15 AM High Tide: 5:06 PM Low Tide: 9:53 PM

PRIME TIME

1.59ft. 0.09ft. 1.81ft. 1.42ft.

Sunrise: 7:53a Set: 6:47p Moonrise: 7:58a Set: 7:05p AM Minor: 5:35a AM Major: 11:49a PM Minor: 6:03p PM Major: 12:17p Moon Overhead: 1:33p Moon Underfoot: 1:05a

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

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

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

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

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

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

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY data is provided to indicate major and minor feeding periods for each day, as the daily phases of the moon have varying degrees of influence on many wildlife species. AM & PM MINOR phases occur when the moon rises and sets. These phases last 1 to 2 hours. AM & PM MAJOR phases occur when the moon reaches its highest point overhead as well as when it is “underfoot” or at its highest point on the exact opposite side of the earth from your positoin (or literally under your feet). Most days have two Major Feeding Phases, each lasting about 2 hours. PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month. PEAK TIMES: When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset, anticipate increased action. A moon rise or moon set during PRIME one of these periods will cause evenTIME greater action. If a FULL or NEW MOON occurs during a Solunar Period, expect the best action of the season.

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

O C T O B E R

2 0 1 3

|

91


Sportsman’s Daybook OCTOBER 2013

Tides and Prime Times

USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T9 T8 T7

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

T17

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

T13 T5

T14

T15 T16

T6

T3 T2 T1

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

T18

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

T19

T20

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

T21

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE GRAPH:

Yellow: Daylight

12a

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

12a

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

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

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY:

12a

AM/PM Timeline

92 |

AM/PM Timeline Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Green: Falling Tide

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

O C T O B E R

2 0 1 3

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

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

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

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


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

Tides and Prime Times for OCTOBER 2013 TUESDAY

30

Oct 1

Sunrise: 7:10a Set: 7:06p Moonrise: 3:07a Set: 4:21p

THURSDAY

2

Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 7:05p Moonrise: 4:01a Set: 4:57p

3 «

Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 7:04p Moonrise: 4:55a Set: 5:32p

Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 7:03p Moonrise: 5:51a Set: 6:08p

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

4 l

Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 7:02p Moonrise: 6:48a Set: 6:46p

5 «

6 «

Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 7:00p Moonrise: 7:48a Set: 7:26p

Sunrise: 7:14a Set: 6:59p Moonrise: 8:49a Set: 8:10p

AM Minor: 2:12a

PM Minor: 2:34p

AM Minor: 2:51a

PM Minor: 3:14p

AM Minor: 3:31a

PM Minor: 3:54p

AM Minor: 4:12a

PM Minor: 4:35p

AM Minor: 4:56a

PM Minor: 5:20p

AM Minor: 5:44a

PM Minor: 6:10p

AM Minor: 6:38a

PM Minor: 7:04p

AM Major: 8:23a

PM Major: 8:45p

AM Major: 9:03a

PM Major: 9:25p

AM Major: 9:42a

PM Major: 10:05p

AM Major: 10:24a

PM Major: 10:47p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:32p

AM Major: 11:57a

PM Major: 12:22p

AM Major: 12:25a

PM Major: 12:51p

Moon Overhead: 9:46a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:16a

Moon Overhead: 10:31a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:02p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:39p

Moon Overhead: 12:49p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Moon Overhead: 2:31p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 10:09p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

High Tide: 2:57 AM Low Tide: 8:54 AM High Tide: 1:07 PM Low Tide: 8:06 PM

1.60ft. 1.31ft. 1.48ft. 0.67ft.

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 PM

High Tide: 3:11 AM Low Tide: 8:56 AM High Tide: 2:10 PM Low Tide: 8:42 PM

1.60ft. 1.19ft. 1.53ft. 0.74ft.

T F & G

Moon Underfoot: 11:39p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 PM 4:30 — 6:30 AM

High Tide: 3:27 AM Low Tide: 9:11 AM High Tide: 3:07 PM Low Tide: 9:16 PM

A L M A N A C

1.60ft. 1.05ft. 1.59ft. 0.82ft.

High Tide: 3:43 AM Low Tide: 9:35 AM High Tide: 4:01 PM Low Tide: 9:51 PM

T E X A S

Moon Underfoot: 12:26a

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

1.60ft. 0.88ft. 1.65ft. 0.93ft.

&

1.60ft. 0.70ft. 1.71ft. 1.06ft.

High Tide: 4:15 AM Low Tide: 10:40 AM High Tide: 5:53 PM Low Tide: 11:07 PM

G A M E ®

Moon Underfoot: 2:05a

+2.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

High Tide: 3:59 AM Low Tide: 10:05 AM High Tide: 4:56 PM Low Tide: 10:28 PM

F I S H

Moon Underfoot: 1:14a

7:30 — 9:30 AM

1.61ft. 0.53ft. 1.76ft. 1.20ft.

O C T O B E R

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:54p

High Tide: 4:29 AM Low Tide: 11:19 AM High Tide: 6:55 PM Low Tide: 11:47 PM

2 0 1 3

|

1.62ft. 0.37ft. 1.79ft. 1.36ft.

93

+1.0 0 -1.0


Sportsman’s Daybook

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

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best 2nd Score Graph Score Best

7 «

Sunrise: 7:14a Set: 6:58p Moonrise: 9:52a Set: 8:58p

TUESDAY

8

Sunrise: 7:15a Set: 6:57p Moonrise: 10:55a Set: 9:51p

THURSDAY

9

FRIDAY

10

SATURDAY

11

Sunrise: 7:15a Set: 6:56p Sunrise: 7:16a Set: 6:55p Sunrise: 7:17a Set: 6:54p Moonrise: 11:56a Set: 10:48p Moonrise: 12:54p Set: 11:48p Moonrise: 1:48p Set: None

12 º

13

Sunrise: 7:17a Set: 6:52p Sunrise: 7:18a Set: 6:51p Moonrise: 2:36p Set: 12:51a Moonrise: 3:21p Set: 1:55a

AM Minor: 7:36a

PM Minor: 8:04p

AM Minor: 8:38a

PM Minor: 9:07p

AM Minor: 9:42a

PM Minor: 10:11p

AM Minor: 10:45a

PM Minor: 11:15p

AM Minor: 11:46a

PM Minor: -----

AM Minor: 12:19a

PM Minor: 12:43p

AM Minor: 1:08a

PM Minor: 1:35p

AM Major: 1:22a

PM Major: 1:50p

AM Major: 2:24a

PM Major: 2:52p

AM Major: 3:27a

PM Major: 3:56p

AM Major: 4:31a

PM Major: 5:00p

AM Major: 5:32a

PM Major: 6:01p

AM Major: 6:29a

PM Major: 6:57p

AM Major: 7:21a

PM Major: 7:48p

Moon Overhead: 3:26p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:22p

Moon Overhead: 4:23p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:20p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:13p

Moon Overhead: 7:18p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for OCTOBER 2013

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:07p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 2:59a

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

High Tide: 4:41 AM 1.65ft. Low Tide: 12:03 PM 0.25ft. High Tide: 8:02 PM 1.81ft.

BEST:

BEST:

9:30 — 11:30 AM

Low Tide: 12:29 AM High Tide: 4:50 AM Low Tide: 12:52 PM High Tide: 9:18 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:53a

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

1.50ft. 1.68ft. 0.17ft. 1.81ft.

Low Tide: 1:17 AM High Tide: 4:56 AM Low Tide: 1:48 PM High Tide: 10:39 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:51a

BEST:

10:30A — 12:30P

1.63ft. 1.71ft. 0.14ft. 1.81ft.

Low Tide: 2:24 AM High Tide: 4:49 AM Low Tide: 2:51 PM High Tide: 11:56 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:49a

BEST:

11:30A — 1:30P

1.70ft. 1.72ft. 0.16ft. 1.81ft.

Low Tide: 4:02 PM

Moon Underfoot: 7:46a 12:30 — 2:30 PM

0.22ft.

High Tide: 12:53 AM 1.79ft. Low Tide: 5:17 PM 0.31ft.

Moon Underfoot: 8:40a

+2.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM

High Tide: 1:32 AM Low Tide: 7:53 AM High Tide: 10:59 AM Low Tide: 6:30 PM

1.75ft. 1.40ft. 1.47ft. 0.43ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 3:55a

+1.0 0 -1.0


Sportsman’s Daybook

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best 2nd Score Graph Score Best

TUESDAY

14

15

Sunrise: 7:18a Set: 6:50p Moonrise: 4:02p Set: 2:57a

THURSDAY

16

Sunrise: 7:19a Set: 6:49p Moonrise: 4:42p Set: 3:59a

17

Sunrise: 7:20a Set: 6:48p Moonrise: 5:20p Set: 4:59a

Sunrise: 7:20a Set: 6:47p Moonrise: 5:58p Set: 5:59a

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

18 «

Sunrise: 7:21a Set: 6:46p Moonrise: 6:38p Set: 6:58a

19 ¡

Sunrise: 7:22a Set: 6:45p Moonrise: 7:19p Set: 7:56a

SUNDAY

20 «

Sunrise: 7:22a Set: 6:44p Moonrise: 8:02p Set: 8:54a

AM Minor: 1:56a

PM Minor: 2:22p

AM Minor: 2:42a

PM Minor: 3:07p

AM Minor: 3:25a

PM Minor: 3:50p

AM Minor: 4:10a

PM Minor: 4:34p

AM Minor: 4:56a

PM Minor: 5:20p

AM Minor: 5:45a

PM Minor: 6:10p

AM Minor: 6:37a

PM Minor: 7:02p

AM Major: 8:09a

PM Major: 8:35p

AM Major: 8:54a

PM Major: 9:19p

AM Major: 9:38a

PM Major: 10:02p

AM Major: 10:22a

PM Major: 10:46p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:33p

AM Major: 11:57a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 12:24a

PM Major: 12:49p

Moon Overhead: 9:58p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:37p

Moon Overhead: 10:48p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

Moon Overhead: None 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:15a

Moon Overhead: 12:26a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:04a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for OCTOBER 2013

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 9:33a

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

High Tide: 2:01 AM Low Tide: 8:06 AM High Tide: 12:48 PM Low Tide: 7:37 PM

1.69ft. 1.20ft. 1.50ft. 0.57ft.

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 PM

High Tide: 2:26 AM Low Tide: 8:33 AM High Tide: 2:12 PM Low Tide: 8:36 PM

1.64ft. 0.96ft. 1.57ft. 0.73ft.

Moon Underfoot: 11:12a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:01p BEST:

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 PM 5:00 — 7:00 AM

High Tide: 2:49 AM Low Tide: 9:05 AM High Tide: 3:24 PM Low Tide: 9:28 PM

1.59ft. 0.73ft. 1.65ft. 0.91ft.

High Tide: 3:10 AM Low Tide: 9:40 AM High Tide: 4:28 PM Low Tide: 10:16 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:50p

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

1.57ft. 0.52ft. 1.72ft. 1.08ft.

High Tide: 3:30 AM Low Tide: 10:15 AM High Tide: 5:27 PM Low Tide: 11:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:39p

High Tide: 3:50 AM Low Tide: 10:51 AM High Tide: 6:24 PM Low Tide: 11:39 PM

+2.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

1.57ft. 0.36ft. 1.76ft. 1.23ft.

Moon Underfoot: 2:29p 1:30 — 3:30 AM

1.57ft. 0.26ft. 1.77ft. 1.36ft.

High Tide: 4:09 AM 1.58ft. Low Tide: 11:29 AM 0.21ft. High Tide: 7:20 PM 1.75ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:23a

+1.0 0 -1.0


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

Tides and Prime Times for OCTOBER 2013

21 «

Sunrise: 7:23a Set: 6:43p Moonrise: 8:47p Set: 9:49a

TUESDAY

22 «

23

THURSDAY

24

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

25

Sunrise: 7:24a Set: 6:42p Sunrise: 7:24a Set: 6:41p Sunrise: 7:25a Set: 6:40p Sunrise: 7:26a Set: 6:39p Moonrise: 9:34p Set: 10:42a Moonrise: 10:23p Set: 11:32a Moonrise: 11:13p Set: 12:18p Moonrise: None Set: 1:01p

26 »

27

Sunrise: 7:26a Set: 6:38p Moonrise: 12:05a Set: 1:41p

Sunrise: 7:27a Set: 6:37p Moonrise: 12:57a Set: 2:18p

AM Minor: 7:31a

PM Minor: 7:56p

AM Minor: 8:26a

PM Minor: 8:50p

AM Minor: 9:20a

PM Minor: 9:45p

AM Minor: 10:13a

PM Minor: 10:37p

AM Minor: 11:04a

PM Minor: 11:27p

AM Minor: 11:52a

PM Minor: -----

AM Minor: 12:13a

PM Minor: 12:37p

AM Major: 1:18a

PM Major: 1:43p

AM Major: 2:13a

PM Major: 2:38p

AM Major: 3:08a

PM Major: 3:32p

AM Major: 4:01a

PM Major: 4:25p

AM Major: 4:52a

PM Major: 5:16p

AM Major: 5:40a

PM Major: 6:03p

AM Major: 6:26a

PM Major: 6:48p

Moon Overhead: 2:54a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:33a

Moon Overhead: 3:44a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:21a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:54a

Moon Overhead: 6:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Moon Overhead: 7:39a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 3:19p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

1:30 — 3:30 AM

Low Tide: 12:16 AM High Tide: 4:23 AM Low Tide: 12:07 PM High Tide: 8:18 PM

BEST:

8:00 — 9:00 AM

1.46ft. 1.58ft. 0.21ft. 1.72ft.

Moon Underfoot: 4:57p

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 AM

Low Tide: 12:49 AM High Tide: 4:27 AM Low Tide: 12:49 PM High Tide: 9:21 PM

1.53ft. 1.59ft. 0.26ft. 1.69ft.

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Low Tide: 1:24 AM High Tide: 3:52 AM Low Tide: 1:33 PM High Tide: 10:28 PM

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Moon Underfoot: 5:45p

BEST:

9:30 — 11:30 AM

1.58ft. 1.59ft. 0.33ft. 1.66ft.

Low Tide: 3:16 PM

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Moon Underfoot: 7:17p

Moon Underfoot: 8:02p

BEST:

10:00A — 12:00P

Low Tide: 2:22 PM 0.42ft. High Tide: 11:34 PM 1.63ft.

T E X A S

Moon Underfoot: 6:32p

0.52ft.

High Tide: 12:22 AM 1.62ft. Low Tide: 4:14 PM 0.61ft.

G A M E ®

O C T O B E R

+2.0

BEST:

11:30A — 1:30P

12:30 — 2:30 PM

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:09p

High Tide: 12:53 AM 1.60ft. Low Tide: 5:14 PM 0.70ft.

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Sportsman’s Daybook

SYMBOL KEY

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

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

28

WEDNESDAY

29

Sunrise: 7:28a Set: 6:36p Moonrise: 1:49a Set: 2:53p

30

Sunrise: 7:29a Set: 6:36p Moonrise: 2:43a Set: 3:28p

Sunrise: 7:29a Set: 6:35p Moonrise: 3:37a Set: 4:04p

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

31

SATURDAY

Nov 1 «

Sunrise: 7:30a Set: 6:34p Moonrise: 4:33a Set: 4:40p

2 «

Sunrise: 7:31a Set: 6:33p Moonrise: 5:32a Set: 5:19p

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 6:32p Moonrise: 6:33a Set: 6:02p

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 6:32p Moonrise: 7:36a Set: 6:49p

AM Minor: 12:57a

PM Minor: 1:19p

AM Minor: 1:37a

PM Minor: 2:00p

AM Minor: 2:17a

PM Minor: 2:40p

AM Minor: 2:57a

PM Minor: 3:21p

AM Minor: 3:39a

PM Minor: 4:04p

AM Minor: 4:25a

PM Minor: 4:52p

AM Minor: 5:17a

PM Minor: 5:45p

AM Major: 7:08a

PM Major: 7:30p

AM Major: 7:49a

PM Major: 8:11p

AM Major: 8:28a

PM Major: 8:51p

AM Major: 9:09a

PM Major: 9:32p

AM Major: 9:52a

PM Major: 10:16p

AM Major: 10:38a

PM Major: 11:05p

AM Major: 11:31a

PM Major: 11:59p

Moon Overhead: 8:24a

12a

Tides and Prime Times for OCTOBER 2013

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:53a

Moon Overhead: 9:08a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:39a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:20p

Moon Overhead: 11:28a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:14p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

= New Moon l º = First Quarter l = Full Moon » = Last Quarter « = Good Day n = Best Day SUNDAY 3l End DST

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 8:46p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

High Tide: 1:16 AM Low Tide: 8:21 AM High Tide: 11:43 AM Low Tide: 6:11 PM

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1.58ft. 1.23ft. 1.30ft. 0.79ft.

Moon Underfoot: 10:16p BEST:

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM 2:30 — 4:30 AM

High Tide: 1:35 AM Low Tide: 8:08 AM High Tide: 1:09 PM Low Tide: 7:03 PM

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1.56ft. 1.09ft. 1.36ft. 0.88ft.

1.55ft. 0.91ft. 1.44ft. 0.97ft.

High Tide: 2:08 AM Low Tide: 8:34 AM High Tide: 3:18 PM Low Tide: 8:38 PM

F I S H

&

Moon Underfoot: 11:53p BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

High Tide: 1:52 AM Low Tide: 8:14 AM High Tide: 2:18 PM Low Tide: 7:52 PM

T E X A S

Moon Underfoot: 11:03p

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

1.54ft. 0.71ft. 1.55ft. 1.08ft.

G A M E ®

High Tide: 2:24 AM Low Tide: 9:02 AM High Tide: 4:14 PM Low Tide: 9:23 PM

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Moon Underfoot: None

High Tide: 2:41 AM Low Tide: 9:36 AM High Tide: 5:09 PM Low Tide: 10:08 PM

A L M A N A C

+2.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

1.54ft. 0.50ft. 1.65ft. 1.19ft.

Moon Underfoot: 12:47a 6:30 — 8:30 AM

1.56ft. 0.28ft. 1.75ft. 1.30ft.

High Tide: 1:58 AM Low Tide: 9:15 AM High Tide: 5:06 PM Low Tide: 9:53 PM

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 9:30p

1.59ft. 0.09ft. 1.81ft. 1.42ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0


A.G. Russell Knives

DeSantis Holsters

North Texas Marine

Active Tuning Solutions

George Young Sales Company

Promatic

BA Feeders

Hallmark Cutlery

Redring USA

Black Hills Ammunition

Husky Liners/Winfield

Sun Optics USA

Blind Horse Knives

KT Coolers

Sure Grip

Corbon/Glazer

Larson Electronics

Tender Corporation

Country Home Products

Lumenok/Burt Coyote Co.

Trophy Tools

CZ-USA

MKS Supply

Versacarry

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Texas Hunting Traditions

S

QUIRREL SEASON WAS THE

biggest thing in East Texas. It was bigger than high school football, deer season and anything else open to sporting minded individuals.

The key word here is “was” because

there are very few squirrel hunters left in the Pineywoods, or anywhere else in the Lone Star State for that matter. Changing demographics, the rise of whitetail populations and a variety of other factors

by chester moore

are at play but there is no question squirrel

Squirrel hunting no longer commands the dominant interest it once did for sportsmen in the Lone Star State.

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Texas Hunting Traditions Recording family hunts in photographic and video form has become a tradition for a new sporting generation.

hunting’s popularity is a shadow of its former glory and has been so since the early 1980s or so. Texans are blessed to have the most incredible sporting opportunities in the state but not all of them are as appreciated as they used to be, and some are not as prevalent as in the past. On the other hand, there are new traditions important to a new generation of hunters. While different from family squirrel hunts, one new tradition is a sign of a techbased society. It is filming hunts.


Texas Hunting Traditions TF&G Bowhunting editor Lou Marullo has been filming his hunts for years, and has a series of how-to videos posted at FishGame.com/video

An increasing number of hunters in Texas film their hunts, enjoying the benefits of super small, inexpensive video camera units and websites like YouTube, which allow them to share their hunts with the world. “Just about every hunter at some point has thought about what it would be like to have their own show. With things like the Go Pro and YouTube you can do that and have a lot of fun in the process,� said TF&G Bowhunting Editor Lou Marullo. Marullo who has been filming his hunts


Texas Hunting Traditions Goose hunting is another Texas tradition that is on the wane, as populations decline and agriculturally-based habitat is encroached upon by development.

for many years said it takes some practice to get used to hunting with a camera but the rewards are great. “You can capture timeless moments and improve on your hunts. By reviewing video you can watch animal behavior and even figure out why you missed (at some point you will) and figure out how animals busted you. Besides the memory preservation and fun factor there is some educational value.� Another tradition that is on the decline is coastal goose hunting.

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Texas Hunting Traditions Bobwhite populations in Texas have declined at a rate of almost 6% per year since 1980.

In recent years, snow goose numbers have been at historic record lows on the coast and land access has decreased at the same time lease prices have skyrocketed. Last year while driving between Beaumont and Houston I saw only one flock of geese in the course of 10 trips. I used to see 10 flocks of geese in one trip. As a waterfowler, it is a sad sight but just a reality many coastal hunters have to deal with. The tradition of quail hunting has also faced a decline in Texas in recent years. In a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) paper entitled “Where have all the quail gone?,� the state agency gives hard numbers that are hard to ignore.


“Since 1980, bobwhite populations in Texas have declined at a rate of about 5.6 percent per year. Scaled quail populations have declined at a rate of about 2.9 percent per year. These numbers add up to a 75 percent loss in bobwhites and a 66 percent loss in scaled quail. Many reasons are cited for these declines, but the evidence seems to point to changes in the quantity and quality of habitat as the leading cause.” An extremely positive new Texas hunting tradition is the proliferation of public access dove leases. For $48, hunters can purchase an Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) and have an opportunity to pursue their outdoors passions on more than 900,000 acres of land. “The price stays the same but the amount of land in the program has

increased,” said TPWD private lands leasing biologist Terry Turney.

“Our stats have shown hunters will drive about 70 miles to dove hunt. We try


Texas Hunting Traditions to get as many areas within that distance

tributed from South Texas (Brooks Coun-

of urban centers with the idea a hunter

ty) to the Panhandle (Hansford County)

can leave it noon, hunt until dark and then

and from the Beaumont region (Orange

return home at a decent hour.�

County) to far West Texas (Hudspeth

Dove (and small game) leases are dis-

County).

Some 84 percent of the dove units and 80 percent of the acreage are located in the Dallas/Ft Worth (Reg. 4), Austin/Waco (Reg. 6), Houston/Beaumont (Reg. 7), and San Antonio/Corpus Christi (Reg. 8) public hunting regions. This aspect of the public hunting program began in 1994 as a pilot program to benefit both hunters and agricultural producers in Texas. Their short team public hunting lease program, sought to lease private lands during the dove season for use by purchasers of the APH permit and these areas are benefitting hunters of 110 |

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Dove hunters in Texas now have access to more public hunting lands than ever, sparking another new tradition.

along Interstate 37 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, effectively doubling its current size. “For the last two decades, white-winged

ed Special White-wing Dove Area

dove populations have steadily expanded

(SWWDA) in South Texas. The

both their numbers and their geographical

SWWDA will now extend eastward along

extent,” said Dave Morrison, Small Game

its current boundary and continue south

Program Director with the Texas Parks

all ages. According to TPWD, dove hunters number upwards of 250,000 and collectively bag between 5-6 million doves during the 70-day season. “Thanks to new rules approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this year, hunters can possess up to 45 birds: three times the daily bag limit. Previously, the possession limit was twice the daily bag. Daily bag limits still apply.” TPWD also reported the USFWS also approved for this year an expandT F & G

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Texas Hunting Traditions and Wildlife Department. “We believe, and the Service agrees, an expansion is appropriate to take advantage of additional hunting opportunities.” As someone who travels around the country I find it evident that we are blessed to live in Texas. While some sectors of the hunting market are undoubtedly on the decline, we still have opportunities many other states wish they had. It is true some of them cost an arm and a leg but as you can see, we still have plenty of affordable opportunities to continue hunting traditions and to forge new ones.

•••

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J

A Retriever’s Legacy ENNY WAS THE SECOND ENGLISH

boots, carried shotguns and praised her

into a good

Setter I ever owned but she

when she made a retrieve. I thought the

pointing dog,

knew she was first in my heart.

world of Jack, too, but he was hard-headed

but most of all

Jack, my first setter, was in his

and lacked the domesticity that causes

she was a hunt-

prime when I picked Jenny from

dogs like Jenny to cuddle up in your lap

ing companion

a litter of five and placed her

by bob hood

and gently lick your hand after a good

that always was

in the kennel on my small Hood County

head-patting. Jenny has been gone for three

the first to load

ranch.

decades but I miss her as if she had passed

up for a quail hunt. Fond memories are

away yesterday. She started out as a pup

like spring plants.

Jenny was the kind of bird dog that loved people, especially if they wore old

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Texas Hunting Traditions just a little moisture, whether it comes from

and chukar on the Richards Ranch near

a soft rain or from gently-falling tears. My

Jacksboro. With native quail populations

memories of Jenny were rekindled earlier

at an all-time low in North Texas, released

this year as I watched a little Boykin span-

bird hunting operations like the one Brent

iel named Dixie while hunting for quail

Hackley operates in Jack County helps

fill a void felt by bird hunters yearning for wing-shooting opportunities but, more importantly, it provides hunters and bird dogs a way to continue to share great times afield. To me, it is more about watching good dog work and fellowship with friends as it is in the number of birds to be cleaned at the end of the day. Todd Lucas, Dixie’s owner, said his dog’s natural instincts have surfaced only recently. “I trained my Labradors and worked with Dixie a little as a pup but nothing serious. She just has that natural desire to please and be included.” In case you are not familiar with the Boykin spaniel, it is an American breed of dog that got its name from Whit Boykin, a South Carolina trainer who provided retrievers for northern hunters who ventured south after the Civil War to hunt the swamp areas of the Carolinas in “section boats.” A small spaniel-like dog with a brown coat was found outside a Spartainburg, S.C., church about 1905-1910 and 114 |

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in a wheelbarrow and went to the barn The Boykin Spaniel is a well-loved breed with a reputation for hard work.

to fetch a shovel. When I returned to the wheelbarrow, Jenny was in it, curled up around the dead baby goat as if to comfort

I attempted to breed Jenny twice but it never took. Nevertheless, she had a hidden

afield with Dixie, and vice versa. After all,

motherly instinct that surfaced one day

nothing is one-sided between a hunter and

when a one-month-old goat I had attempt-

his dog.

ed to bottle-feed died. I laid the dead goat

given to Boykin to train as a retriever. The small size of the little dog worked well because it did not “rock the boat.” Boykin later obtained a similar-looking female spaniel for breeding and thus the Boykin Spaniel breed was created. Dixie reminded me of Jenny. Her retrieving instincts grew every time a bird was downed. Although the chukar’s larger size proved to be a mouthful for a dog with such a small mouth, Dixie never failed to gain a grip on one and bring it to Lucas. She even caught one crippled bird in the air on a leap and surprised us all when, as we watched a chukar sailing away untouched after being shot at three times, Dixie returned with a chukar that had been lost earlier in high weeds. The proud look on Dixie’s face reminded me of the time Jenny retrieved a quail at Rising Star but stopped abruptly with the bird in her mouth to point a single that had stayed crouched in the weeds in front of us after the covey flush.

it. Hopefully, Lucas will have more days

Memories between the two of them are


Texas Hunting Traditions just waiting to be built. As for Jenny, one of my favorite memories came when she

The Boykin spaniel is named for 19thcentury trainer Whit Boykin.

retrieved six quail that I bagged literally without the use of a gun. Jenny was two

day to feed a half-dozen pen-raised quail I

years old when I went behind my barn one

kept in a cage. The cage’s door somehow

had become opened and the quail were gone. I ran to my bass boat to grab my fishlanding net, grabbed a feed sack from the barn and then let Jenny out of her kennel. Minutes later, Jenny was on point in a oneacre grassy field next to the barn yard. My plan worked perfectly. As soon as Jenny pointed a pen-raised quail, I slipped in front of her, spotted the bird in the grass, threw the net over it and then placed the quail in the feed bag. About the time I had five quail in the bag I sensed someone was watching me. I glanced toward the county road that ran beside my barnyard and saw a man standing beside his pickup 116 |

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truck with his hands on his hips. “I’ve never seen anyone hunt quail like that,” he hollered. “Do you want to sell that bird dog?” “No sir,” I said, “but thanks for asking.” And then I broadened the scope of what hunters and their dogs are all about, whether present or in the past, by exclaiming proudly, “She really is something special, isn’t she?’’

PHOTOS: BOB HOOD; CANSTOCK

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TURKEY Central Texas Jami Respondek, 13, killed her first turkey gobbler, weighing 24 pounds, with a 9-1/2inch beard, on the family ranch in west Central Texas on opening day of the season. She was hunting with her dad Michael.

BREAM WHITETAIL

San Antonio Ty Gabriel Ramirez, 3, with his brand new Spiderman rod and his first fish, caught on his first fishing trip, at Hidden Lake in San Antonio. Mom and baby brother admire his fish in the background.

Houston County Alex Taylor, 12, took this 10-point buck while hunting in Houston County for his first deer.

WHITETAIL Sisterdale

BLACK DRUM West Galveston Bay Liam Partain, 11, with fourpound, 13-ounce black drum caught near Bird Island in West Galveston Bay while fishing with his Mom and Poppy. The fish had a large gash in its side, probably from a propeller.

Cassidy Myers (left), 11 years old, with her first deer, a 7-1/2-year-old doe and her older sister Lauren (right), 13 years old, with her second deer, a 6-1/2-year-old doe. The deer were taken 10 minutes apart while hunting with their dad, Gavin Myers, and their brother Caleb on the family lease near Sisterdale.

CATFISH

WHITETAIL Orange Grove Kyler Sweat, age 6, and his dad Cody Sweat with Kyler’s first deer, an 8-point, 14-1/4inch spread. Kyler shot it with a .243 Savage while hunting with his Tata, David Gruener, on his ranch in Orange Grove.

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Rio Grande River Garrett Nitsche, 18, caught this 44-pound flathead catfish while fishing in the Rio Grande River near Laredo.

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RED SNAPPER Freeport Hunter Hughes, 14, of Lake Jackson caught this nice snapper while fishing out of Freeport. The snapper weighed 21-1/2 pounds.

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

EMAIL: photos@FishGame.com

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SPECKLED TROUT Port Aransas Ryan Nelson, 11, of Boerne caught this 20-inch speckled trout, his first, while fishing with his Dad and a friend, Rick Fischer, near the Old Aransas Lighthouse.

ALLIGATOR GAR Trinity River

REDFISH Aransas Pass Daniel Ratcliffe, 15, of Austin caught this 25-1/2-inch redfish on a live shrimp on the Lighthouse Trail between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas.

Kyle Naegli and Bradley Nichols of Katy caught this seven-foot alligator gar while fishing in the Trinity River. The gar weighed 195 pounds.

WHITETAIL

REDFISH

WHITETAIL

Sheridan

Moses Lake

Braden Ascenzi, 6, shot his first doe while hunting with his father Brad on their lease in Sheridan. Braden used a Smith and Wesson AR-15 .223 off a shooting stick in a pop-up blind.

Max Roach, 7, right, and his brother Simon, 5, left, with two 24-inch reds they caught at the flood gates on Moses Lake with Spiderman rods and live shrimp .

DeWitt County Kyle Kotara, age 8, of La Vernia got his first 8-point buck while hunting with his Dad, Larry Kotara, on the family lease in DeWitt County.

REDFISH Sargent Evan Gardner caught this 50-pound bull redfish while surf fishing in Sargent. He caught it using dead finger mullet at about 9:00 p.m.

BLACK DRUM Aransas Pass Gabriel Rodriguez, Jr. caught this black drum while fishing with his father, Gabriel Sr., at Aransas Pass.

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9/10/13 12:00 PM


October 2013