Outdoors Digest

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Dec. 6 - Oklahoma deer gun season.

Through Dec. 15 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Through Dec. 29 – Oklahoma second split of dove 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 Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

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

Through Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Dec. 5-Jan. 3 – Pheasant season in the Texas Panhandle.

Dec. 5 - Jan. 31 –Second split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Dec. 5-Jan. 31 – Second split of Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season.

Dec. 5-Feb. 7 – Second split of Oklahoma white-fronted goose season.

Dec. 5-Feb. 14 – Second split of Oklahoma light and dark goose season.

Notes

  As reported by BassFan and others, Ron Lindner, one of the iconic names in the sportfishing industry and the co-founder of the In-Fisherman Communications Network, died Monday evening in Minnesota at the age of 86. A member of several Hall of Fames and a recent inductee into The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, Lindner is best known for In-Fisherman magazine, In-Fisherman TV, and being a lure innovator. The latter includes the famous Lindy Rig for walleyes, a lure set-up that has sold a reported 70+ million over the years. For more on Lindner’s impact on the fishing industry, visit  http://bassfan.com/news_article/10098/ron-lindner-dies-at-86#.X8hwqmhKiUk#ixzz6fXBKzhBh …Greg Hackney and Jason Christie, two regulars on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour over the past two years, have both confirmed this week via social media posts that they will take advantage of their recent B.A.S.S. Central Opens points status and return to the Bassmaster Elite Series for the 2021 season…Trout season is just around the corner in the Grayson County area. The first local stocking will be on Dec. 15 at Pottsboro Lake. That will be followed on Dec. 17 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond... Due to the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and resurging virus numbers in the North Texas area, the Red River Fly Fishers have announced that the group will not hold its annual Christmas party this month or its next regularly scheduled meeting in early January 2021. The RRFF.org website indicates that the group hopes to resume in-person meetings in February 2021, virus conditions permitting. The RRFF group also notes that it has postponed the annual Red River Rendezvous at Eisenhower State Park at the end of January. The annual fly tying weekend is tentatively rescheduled for July 2021. For more information, visit www.rrff.org …

Hunting Reports

  The fall season’s third and final Hagerman NWR deer bowhunt is scheduled to take place this weekend. While the bucks are in the post-rut phase, there is still some deer movement reported in the local area. With the recent chilly weather, don’t be surprised to see a good buck or two get tagged this weekend…Speaking of big bucks, a mid-150s buck was taken in central Grayson County last week. Another couple of great bucks were reported near Gunter and two more good bucks fell here in the local region over the last couple of days…The first split of duck season came to an end last weekend on both sides of the Red River and the action was a bit slower than when the season began a couple of weeks earlier. Gadwalls, wigeon, teal, and the occasional mallard seemed to make up most first split bag limits and that was the case last weekend as well…The second split of the 2020-21 duck season will begin tomorrow morning in the Texas North Zone and in Oklahoma’s Zone 2. There should be a slight push of new ducks in after this week’s cold front…Good numbers of snow geese have been observed recently at Hagerman NWR…The 2020 pheasant season opens up this weekend in the Texas Panhandle. While the rooster hunting is a far cry from what it used to be, a fair season should be coming up between Dec. 5 and Jan. 3 for those who venture to properties with good amounts of cover near center-pivot irrigated crop fields…Mixed bag quail reports continue out of South Texas and portions of West Texas, the latter for bobwhites and scaled quail. In Oklahoma, the reports are fairly dismal this year so far…

Fishing Reports

  At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 59 degrees; and the lake is 1.32 low. TPWD says that striped bass and white bass are good on live shad with diving birds marking schools feeding on the surface throughout the lake. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing soft plastics, crankbaits, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits in 2-12’ of water. Crappie are fair on minnows fished near boathouses, timber, creek ledges, and brush piles in 15-25’ of water. Catfish are good on cut bait and live bait…Meanwhile, also at Texoma, ODWC reports that fishing has been great the past week on the lake, particularly for stiped bass. Stripers are hitting flukes, live bait and shad fished in the main lake itself, around points, and in the river channel itself. Anglers should use electronics to find active fish or search for diving birds to indicate bait balls and feeding striper. Dead-sticking has picked up and is an effective technique to catch good fish according to ODWC…Meanwhile, the Oklahoma agency says that Texoma blue catfish have been good on cut bait and shad fished around docks and the main lake. Blue cats are being caught on or near cleaning docks for anglers using cut bait. Crappie are fair on jigs, live bait and minnows fished around brushy structure and docks. If you know of a dock with brush below, you should be in business right now…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 58 degrees; and the lake is 0.91 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are slow on skirted jigs, bronze-colored jerk baits, and bladed jigs and spinnerbaits fished in 3-15’ depths near points, timber, rip rap, and creeks. White bass are fair in 15-35’ of water on slabs fished near main lake points, flats, and drop-offs. Crappie are fair on minnows and small jigs in brush piles between 18-28’...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 60 degrees; and the lake is 2.32 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on skirted jigs, spoons, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits fished near creeks with timber, roadbeds, brushy points, and rocky shorelines. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 14-25’ depths in brush piles and standing timber found near creek ledges or drop-offs…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, water temp is 48 and the water is clear. ODWC says that rainbow trout are good on in-line spinnerbaits, midges, nymphs and Power Bait fished along river channels, current seams and rocks. Peach and pale green garlic scented Power Bait has been the bait of choice for bait fishermen this past week while egg patterns along with flies having rubber legs have been top producers for fly-fishermen. ODWC says that there has been a hatch going on in the late afternoon, which is producing some dry fly action and trout taking emerger patterns. Due to the clear water and lower conditions, fish are spooky, so be willing to fish 4-6-pound test lines, downsizing as necessary…On the Texas Gulf Coast at East Galveston Bay near Houston, TPWD reports that speckled trout are good on shrimp or mullet around the reefs or under the birds. Redfish are good in the marsh on shrimp while sheepshead are decent along the rocks and piers on shrimp. The flounder bite remains good along the Intercoastal Waterway spoil islands and drains...

Tip of the Week

 As noted last week, it’s time to celebrate the Christmas holidays, with a little touch of Denison’s most famous resident added in for good measure. TPWD reports that anyone visiting Denison’s Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site during the first three Saturdays of December can find some holiday fun by grabbing a self-guided tour packet and walking the grounds free of charge. As they do so, participants can learn about how Christmas was celebrated in North Texas during the 1890s (when America’s 34th President was born in Denison) and during the 1940s (when the City of Denison preserved the Eisenhower Birthplace house). TPWD says that children’s craft kits will also be available for purchase through the site’s retail-to-go program while supplies last. Birthplace house tours are also available with advance reservation and payment. For more information on the holiday festivities at Denison’s Eisenhower State Historic Site, please call (903) 465-8908.