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Outdoors Digest

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Nov. 29 – First split of Oklahoma light, dark, and white-fronted goose season.

Through Nov. 29 –First split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Through Nov. 29 – First split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Through Dec. 15 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Through Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

Through Jan. 3 – General whitetail deer season in Grayson County with means and methods of harvest restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas East Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 14 – Texas West Zone light and dark goose season.

Through Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Nov. 20-22 – Segment B archery deer hunt at Hagerman NWR.

Nov. 21-Dec. 6 - Oklahoma deer gun season.

Dec. 1-Dec. 29 – Oklahoma second split of dove season.

Dec. 1-Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

Notes

Officials with the Bassmaster Elite Series announced this week a move from the fishing organization’s longtime ESPN 2 home to Fox Sports and FS1 for all 2021 Elite Series tournaments and the Bassmaster Classic. In addition to airing several hours of live weekend tournament programming at each event—including the 2021 Classic on Lake Ray Roberts—the B.A.S.S. derbies will be livestreamed at Bassmaster.com and on the Fox Sports digital platforms… After suffering damages from Hurricane Harvey more than three years ago, TPWD has announced that Goose Island State Park has reopened its new fishing pier, bayfront area and bayfront campsites to the public…According to a TPWD news release, when the Category 4 hurricane hit the park, Harvey’s high wind speeds tore off most of the lights throughout the pier and removed large portions of floorboards. TPWD says that the running boards, which support the floorboards of the pier, were flexed to a point where stress fractures could be seen throughout the length of the pier. Almost all the handrails had also been destroyed…The agency says that the new fishing pier spans 1,620 feet into St. Charles and Aransas Bay, and visitors will be able to cast a line and try to hook spotted seatrout, snook, red and black drum, mullet and flounder. Fishing licenses are not required when fishing from the pier or shoreline in a state park…As a reminder, anyone planning a trip to Goose Island or any other Texas State Park should keep in mind that parks are operating at a limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means that prospective park users should reserve day passes and overnight camping spots in advance since some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit…TPWD says that day passes and overnight reservations can be booked online though the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website (www.tpwd.texas.gov ) or over the phone by calling (512) 389-8900…If your deer hunting plans include a visit to Central Texas and the upcoming Nov. 26-29 antlerless harvest season, TPWD reminds hunters to that region that mandatory reporting is required for any antlerless deer harvested during the four day doe season. That’s also true with any antlerless deer harvested during the archery, youth only and muzzleloader seasons in the region. Within 24 hours of harvest, hunters in the 21 counties participating in the antlerless harvest campaign are required to report their harvest to TPWD using either the free My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app (for iOS and Android) or on the My Texas Hunt Harvest web page…TPWD says that hunters in the following counties are required to report their harvest including Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (East of I-35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (North of US 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays (East of I-35), Jackson (north of US 59), Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Travis (East of I-35), Victoria (North of US 59), Waller, Washington, Wharton (North of US 59) and Wilson…

Hunting Reports

The second Hagerman NWR bow hunt of the year takes place this weekend. As it does, the peak of the November rut is happening, so there should be a number of good bucks taken by archers over the next couple of days…As mentioned last week, as bucks chase does throughout all hours of the day, drivers need to be on the lookout for deer running across the road, particularly in wooded areas and creek bottoms across Grayson County…That was true in northern Sherman this past week when a big buck was run over near the Hwy.1417/Hwy. 82 area near Dean Gilbert Lake…Another good buck was also run over near Gunter, signaling that the rut is on in Grayson County…The first split of duck season opened up last weekend and continues through Nov. 29 in both North Texas and southern Oklahoma. Early shooting was good for gadwalls, pintails, wigeon, and a few mallards…Further to the east, reports of good mallard shooting took place in southern Oklahoma near the well-known B.C. Wetlands hunting club…Quail season is no underway in both Texas and Oklahoma. There is so fair shooting in South Texas, but hunting isn’t especially good in the Rolling Plains and West Texas…In Oklahoma, the early season quail hunting reports are poor at best…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 66 degrees; and the lake is 1.69 low. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live shad and slabs. Diving birds are marking feeding schools feeding on the surface throughout the lake. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing plastic worms, bladed spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits in 2-12’ depths. Crappie are fair on minnows fished near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’. Catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait…Meanwhile, ODWC reports that cut shad is producing some good blue catfish action near fish cleaning stations. Also, striped bass are good on live shad along lake flats and the main lake. Striped bass are feeding pretty well throughout most of the day, although being able to read your electronics is a key to finding good schools of feeding fish. There have also been some reports of dead sticking being productive…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 62 degrees; and the lake is 0.79 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on jigs, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits fished in 3-15’ depths near points, timber, rip rap, and creeks. White bass are plentiful in 15-35’ of water on slabs fished near main lake points, flats, and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and small jigs fished in brush piles between 18-28’ depths…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 64 degrees; and the lake is 2.14 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on skirted jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits fished near heavy timber, roadbeds, brushy points, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished in 14-25’ depths in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, the water is clear, and the water temperature is 60 degrees. ODWC says that rainbow trout are excellent on in-line spinnerbaits, small spoons and garlic scented and peach colored Power Bait fished along the river channel and rocks…On the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD reports that at Sabine Lake, the fall flounder run is still going strong in the Sabine Pass Channel and along drop-offs and anchorage basins. The best lures to use are live mud minnows or jigs and Berkley Gulp lures....

Tip of the Week

As the peak of the whitetail rut arrives, the best hunting tip we have this week is simply this: pack a lunch, get into the woods as often as you can over the next week or so, get into your stand well before dark, and stay in your stand until dark. In other words, HUNT ALL DAY now because mature whitetail bucks are increasingly on the daylight prowl across the Texomaland area as the annual breeding frenzy reaches its best days on the calendar!