March 21-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 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.
As the coronavirus crisis continues, changes are affecting the outdoors world all over Texas and Oklahoma. Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (www.wildlifedepartment.com ) announced that while license sales continue online, all ODWC offices are closed to visitors until further notice…As of 12 p.m. on March 19, Texas State Parks will be closing public-serving facilities and programs for the foreseeable future. “Our main priority has always been the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, and in order to maintain this standard to the best of our abilities TPWD facilities will be modifying operations as a precautionary step towards protecting public health,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in a news release. “While we have worked hard to provide access to state parks through much of Spring Break, we have now reached a point where changes are imperative for safety reasons. I am grateful to our State Parks team and volunteers for their valiant work during this exceedingly difficult time and thank our visitors for their patience and understanding as we continue to evaluate additional measures to ensure the safety of everyone in the parks.”…As part of these operational changes, parks will be suspending all cash transactions where feasible. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the self-pay stations, the online reservation system and credit card transactions at this time. Other reduced services include the suspension of equipment rentals and interpretive programs. See www.tpwd.texas.gov for more details…In addition to the state park operational changes noted above, the agency has announced that TPWD law enforcement and boat registration offices, including the license and boat registration counter at TPWD’s Austin headquarters, will be closing to public visitation at 12 p.m., March 19. Texans needing to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, boat and motor owner transfers, and boat registration renewals are encouraged to visit tpwd.texas.gov or call the department at (512) 389-4800…
While spring turkey season opens up in South Texas this weekend, participation is likely to be lighter than normal due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has shuttered stores, restaurants, and made travelers wary of venturing too far from home…Seasons are scheduled to open up in North Texas and southern Oklahoma in early April, although the same concerns will likely still be in place a few weeks from now…There are no official reports being issued as of yet by TPWD and ODWC biologists as to turkey season prospects, but reports from hunters in the field indicate that there are a pretty good number of jakes roaming around this year. Expect gobbling action to pick up as warmer, sunny weather arrives next week…
At Lake Texoma, water is stained; water temps are 56-59 degrees; and the lake is 1.31’ low. TPWD says that striped bass are good using slabs, shad imitations, and live shad. Largemouth bass are fair fishing soft plastics and crankbaits in shallow water. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs by boathouses, marinas, creeks, and inlets. Catfish are fair on cut bait and minnows fished in 25’ of water…At Lake Ray Roberts, water is stained; water temps is 58 degrees; and the lake is 1.81’ high and rising after heavy rains. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on plastic creatures and worms, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits. White bass are good in creeks and in the Trinity River on jigs and spinners. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in the marina and shallow water around 8’ deep in creek channels…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 58-62 degrees; and the lake is 0.19’ low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are excellent on soft plastic creature baits, lipless crankbaits, and Chatterbaits fished around spawning fish in creeks and coves in 2-4’ of water. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows fished in creeks… At the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour event on Fork the last several days, a bass reported to weigh in excess of 15-pounds was caught and released by an angler in pre-tournament practice. Meanwhile, during the event itself, ttwo bass over 10-pounds were caught, six over 9-pounds were caught, and numerous other 6, 7, and 8-pound bass were weighed…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the elevation is above normal, water temp is 56, and the water is muddy after heavy rains. As ODWC’s winter trout season winds down at the Blue, the agency says that fishing for rainbow trout is slow on garlic scented PowerBait used around creek channels. No word on flies that are working, but the guess would be something flashy like bead-head nymphs or streamers that will push water. Find slower moving water off of the main river channel for a chance at trout catching success…As the Texas bass spawn hits its peak season over the next month, at Lake O’ the Pines, TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on medium size crankbaits and Texas-rigged creature baits fished in spawning areas…At Toledo Bend, largemouth bass are very active and caught in large numbers with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs…At Sam Rayburn, largemouth bass are good in creeks skirting structure with worms, jigs, and spinnerbaits…At Conroe, largemouth bass are continuing to bite topwaters, soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and jigs as anglers move a little bit away from beds…At Naconiche, largemouth bass are good on spinnerbaits and creature baits fished in creeks and coves…At nearby Lake Nacogdoches, there is no current report. But a couple of weeks after a 14+ pound ShareLunker was caught there, a bass weighing over 15-pounds was found floating dead in the lake last week…At Falcon, largemouth bass are good all day in coves, timber and vegetation with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic worms…At Amistad, largemouths remain great in the Devil’s River arm of the lake on topwaters, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits…At O.H. Ivie, bass are fair to good as anglers fish around structure with topwaters, plastic worms, and spinnerbaits……
Tip of the Week
While many activities have been cancelled or postponed in the outdoors world for the foreseeable future as the coronavirus crisis deepens, there’s still the chance to step outside on a spring evening and enjoy the Creator’s outdoors canvas. From listening to the birds chirp to feeling the wind blow to watching the sun set, such simple outdoor experiences can do a person’s heart, soul, and mind a world of good when most everything else seems gloomy.