It’s been a busy week with lots of news, so how about a dose of Outdoor Notes, big bass fishing style? And in putting together this week’s collection of notes, there’s no better place to start than with the results of last weekend’s Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, the Bassmaster Classic!


Cherry Goes Wire-to-Wire for Classic Win: In last week’s 50th Bassmaster Classic at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, North Carolina pro Hank Cherry used a jerkbait to suck the drama out of the event on Day One with a five fish limit that weighed 29-pounds, 3-ounces.


With that huge bag of largemouth bass, Cherry seized control and built a commanding lead he would never relinquish en route to easing the sting of a near-miss third place finish at the 2013 Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.


Over the next two days in Alabama last weekend, the 46-year old pro would weigh in limits that went 16-10 and 19-8 to run away with the derby and claim fishing’s biggest prize and it’s $307,500 payday. In winning the three-day event, Cherry finished with 15 bass that weighed 65-05 as he outdistanced the field.


Derby at Fork Still Scheduled — While dozens of sporting events have been cancelled in recent days due to the gathering coronavirus storm, so far, no cancellations have taken place for several outdoor events scheduled here in North Texas.


That includes the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour event scheduled on Lake Fork, a fishing derby that is slated to start today and scheduled to run from March 13-18.


While there are several fan events scheduled to take place in coming days, given the almost total shutdown of sports at the college and professional level this week, don’t be surprised to see changes in the world of professional fishing too.


The bottom line is this — before you get in the truck and head down to Emory to meet and greet some of the sport’s best anglers as they try and catch some true Texas giants, be sure to check MLF’s social media accounts or visit the circuit’s website at www.majorleaguefishing.com to get the latest updates.


Incidentally, as long as the Lake Fork derby goes on as scheduled — and the Championship Round at Lake Athens — you can watch live streaming on-the-water coverage of the event by visiting the MLF website.


(Editor’s Note: I had intended to preview this event in today’s space, but with the ominous effects of the coronavirus building and threatening sporting events and outdoors shows, I decided to go another direction. Suffice it to say that it should be a spawning slugfest with a lot of big fish weighed in on the SCORETRACKER Live! leaderboard. My tournament pick for the MLF event at Fork and Athens? None other than Kelly Jordon, a former guide on the famous lake.)


TPWD Fishing, Hunting Regulation Proposals — As noted in the Outdoors Digest (online version) over the last couple of weeks, TPWD is now accepting public comment through March 25 concerning proposed changes to hunting and fishing regulations for the 2020-21 license year.


Those proposals include several Texas water bodies here in North Texas. Over at Cooke County’s Moss Lake, the agency is proposing to modify the 14-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass to a 16-inch minimum length limit.


At Lake Texoma in Cooke and Grayson Counties, the agency is proposing the standardization of harvest regulations for blue, channel, and flathead catfish in the Texas and Oklahoma waters of the lake as well as the Red River below Denison Dam.


In Lake Texoma itself, TPWD is proposing to remove the 12-inch minimum length limit for blues and channel cats along with removing the 18-inch minimum length limit for flatheads. In the Texas waters of the Red River below Lake Texoma (from Denison Dam downstream to Shawnee Creek), the agency is proposing to reduce the daily bag limit for blue and channel catfish from 25 to 15 fish.


On the hunting side of things, TPWD is proposing to implement rules to administer an automated process for the application and issuance of pronghorn and antlerless mule deer permits


Other proposals include the establishment of seasons and bag limits for the take of migratory game birds for 2020-21; to decrease the daily bag limit for scaup from three to one in all zones; to decrease the daily bag limit for the light goose daily bag limit from twenty to ten during the regular season in both zones; to shift goose seasons (and the light goose conservation season) in the Western Zone to one week later than in previous years; and to shift snipe hunting season dates two weeks later than in previous years.


Comments can be made at the agency’s website public comment page at www.tpwd.texas.gov; by phone to Ken Kurzawski at 512-389-4591; by e-mail at ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov; or in person at the TPW Commission meeting in Austin on March 26 where each speaker is allowed three minutes to make their comments. For more information, call TPWD at 800-792-1112.