Calendar


Through May 3 - Texas South Zone Rio Grande spring turkey season.


April 4-May 17 - Texas North Zone Rio Grande spring turkey season.


April 6-May 6 - Oklahoma spring turkey season.


April 7 – Red River Fly Fishers meeting CANCELLED due to COVID-19 crisis.


April 20-May 6 - Oklahoma spring turkey season for eight southeastern counties including Atoka and Choctaw counties.


April 22-May 14 - Texas Eastern Turkey spring season including Grayson, Fannin, and Lamar counties.


May 5 - Red River Fly Fishers meeting CANCELLED due to COVID-19 crisis.


Notes


Cancellations continue to occur throughout the outdoors world as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe…Locally, the April and May club meetings and fly tying events held in Sherman each month by the Red River Fly Fishers have been cancelled. “Due to COVID-19 Social Distancing recommendations we are cancelling our April and May meetings,” says a statement on the group’s RRFF.org website. “A number of events previously listed on our calendar have been cancelled. Please check with the organizer before attending to make sure they are still happening.” The group hopes to begin regular meetings again in early June…Bass tournaments on nearly all Texas and Oklahoma waters have been cancelled or postponed through April and May…Meanwhile, public boat ramp closures in South Carolina and Kentucky forced officials with B.A.S.S. to postpone the upcoming Bassmaster Elite Series event at South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Lakes. B.A.S.S. officials also postponed the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Junior Series. All three of those latter events were scheduled for Lake Cumberland in Jamestown, Ky. “B.A.S.S. believes it is imperative to heed the advice not only of the CDC but of our elected officials as our country navigates this national crisis,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We are encouraging our anglers, staff and fans to live smart and fish smart, practicing responsible social distancing measures and doing their part to help limit the spread of this disease.”…Meanwhile, two FLW Pro Circuit events scheduled over the next few weeks have been tentatively rescheduled. The FLW derby on Cherokee Lake in Jefferson City, TN, was originally scheduled for April 2-5 and is now slated to occur June 11-14. And the FLW event on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C. was scheduled for April 23-26 and is now rescheduled for May 28-31. “We encourage everyone to follow CDC, federal, state and local guidelines to help prevent infection,” said FLW executive vice president and general manager Kathy Fennel in a letter to FLW participants and stakeholders. “Please watch FLWFishing.com, the FLW Facebook page and your inbox for ongoing updates. Our prayers are with everyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and those on the front line in the fight against it. Let’s all do our part.” …Assuming no delays from COVID-19 measures, TPWD has announced that the private recreational angler red snapper season opens Monday, June 1, 2020 for a projected 63-days in federal waters. The agency says that red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. The season length is based on historical landing data, last year’s fishing effort data and the state’s allocation from the 2019 stock assessment. TPWD says that bag and size limits will remain unchanged for this season. A TPWD news release says those will be two fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and four fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters…


Hunting Report


Spring turkey seasons are scheduled to open in North Texas and southern Oklahoma in the next few days. In general, good hunting is anticipated for those who are able to venture out…The spring turkey season opens on Saturday, April 4 for Rio Grande hunters in the Texas North Zone and on Monday, April 6 in most counties across Oklahoma…While the weather seems a bit wet and questionable over the next 7-10 days, early reports are that toms are strutting well and off to an early gobbling start across a good portion of the Red River Valley. That should mean some good hunting later on in the season after hens have nested, but hunters who have scouted well and can call in a bird prior to it getting “henned up” likely stand a chance at early season success…


Fishing Reports


As noted last week, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the open status of boat ramps, campgrounds, and even lakes themselves is subject to change in many areas and will be that way for some time to come. Case in point is Lake Davy Crockett and Lake Coffee Mill on the Caddo National Grasslands in Fannin County. Internet forums report both are currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis. Please check the latest rules, regulations, and closures from federal, state, and local government agencies before heading out…At Lake Texoma, water is stained; water temps are 54-58 degrees; and the lake is 3.69’ high. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are fair for anglers using slabs, shad imitations, and live shad on main lake humps and points. Largemouth bass are fair for anglers fishing soft plastics and crankbaits in shallow water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, marinas, creeks, and inlets... At Lake Ray Roberts, water is muddy; water temps are 58-60 degrees; and the lake is 4.61’ high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on soft plastic creature baits and worms, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits. White bass are good in the creeks and Trinity River on jigs and spinnerbaits. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows in the marina and in shallow water around the 8’ depth in creeks…At Lake Fork, water is stained; water temps are 62-66 degrees; and the lake is 0.74’ high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on soft plastic creature baits, lipless crankbaits, and chatterbaits fished in spawning areas found in the backs of creeks and in coves in 2-8’ of water. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows fished in creeks... At Lake of the Arbuckle’s, ODWC reports that a new state record spotted gar was taken this past weekend as well as several good bass. One of those was an 11.74-pound largemouth taken by John Schmidt of OKC...At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river’s elevation is above normal, water is slightly stained, and the water temp is 53 degrees. ODWC reports continued good rainbow trout action for the state’s final stocking efforts this current season. The agency says best success is occurring on in-line spinnerbaits, PowerBait and spoons for conventional trout anglers. Fly fishers are finding good trout action on midges and nymphs (think Hare’s Ear nymphs). Focus on current breaks and obstructions situated near various river channels…Also at the Blue River, ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, jigs, and small lures fished around brush, structure, and the river’s shoreline…


Tip of the Week


Looking for some early turkey hunting success? If you can get a gobbler fired up on the roost, the usual playbook is to call sparingly once the bird flies down. But if there are hens with the longbeard, one option that might work is calling, cutting, and cackling aggressively to “out compete” the hens trying to lure the gobbler elsewhere. Sometimes, aggressive calling like that can actually “pick a fight” with a hen, who will come in with the lovesick gobbler in tow. Shoot straight and you might need your favorite wild turkey recipe by mid-morning!