Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through May 2 – Texas South Zone Rio Grande spring turkey season.

April 3-May 16 – Texas North Zone Rio Grande spring turkey season.

April 6-May 6 – Oklahoma spring turkey season.

April 8-11 - Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the Sabine River near Orange, Texas.

April 19-May 6 – SE Oklahoma spring turkey season.

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

June 11-13, 2021 – 51st Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts (rescheduled from March 19-21).

Notes

On this Good Friday in 2021, here’s wishes for a Happy Easter weekend for you and your family from the Herald Democrat Outdoors staff… With the end of March, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials have announced that this year’s Jan. 1-March 31 Legacy Class season for the state’s Toyota ShareLunker Program has concluded one of its most successful years of the 21st Century, boasting 23 total entries, several new lake records, two days of triple ShareLunker catches, and five bass weighing over 15-pounds. Look for a full report on the season in next week’s Herald Democrat Outdoors…ODWC reports that some Sooner State residents are reporting small, localized die-offs of birds due to a potential Salmonella outbreak at feeders. While many healthy birds can fight off the infection, stressed or younger birds may not be able to do so as readily. For those who have such an outbreak around their feeder, ODWC gives the following tips to help combat feeder related Salmonella outbreaks: closing the feeder for a day; removing spilled seed and droppings from the ground below feeders; soaking empty feeders in a one-part bleach to nine-part water solution for at least 30 minutes and letting the clean feeders dry overnight; relocating the feeder to new, fresh ground at least 20-feet from the previous spot; and offering fresh water near the new feeding station…

Hunting Report

The 2021 spring turkey season in South Texas continues through May 2 and the early reports are good with lots of gobblers getting taken by hunters in that part of the state…The 2021 spring turkey season is ready to kick off this weekend across most of North Texas (excluding Grayson, Fannin, and Lamar Counties, which don’t begin until later in April) where the North Zone season runs from April 3-May 16. The season kicks off next week across most of Oklahoma where the season runs April 6-May 6. In the Texas Eastern Turkey Zone (including Grayson, Fannin, and Lamar Counties), the season runs from April 22-May 14… What can hunters expect? North Texas Outfitters head man Dakota Stowers says he is seeing good numbers of longbeards this year and the start of strutting and gobbling action. That could mean that next week—when weather forecasters are forecasting a stretch of warm weather—could be especially good for those able to get out…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 55 degrees; and the lake is 2.11 low. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on swimbaits and live shad while white bass are good on swimbaits, Rooster Tails, small crankbaits, and spoons fished in creeks and tributaries. Largemouth bass are fair for those fishing swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, suspended jerkbaits, and Senkos in 3-10’ depths as the spawn approaches. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near deep boathouses, timber, and brush piles in 12-25’ of water...…On the Oklahoma side of Texoma, Bryan County game warden Garret Beam says that fishing has been good this week  with anglers catching striped bass with a fair amount of success, on both live shad and Sassy Shads fished along river and creek channels, main lake regions, and points. The game warden says that a lot of fishermen have been catching stripers in the northern part of the lake near the Roosevelt Bridge as the spawning season continues. For blue catfish anglers, fair action is being reported on cut bait, live shad and sunfish fished along creek channels, in main lake regions, and around the river channel. Blue cats are being caught in 25-35’ foot depths on both juglines and rod-and-reels. With the crappie spawning season still a couple of weeks out, crappie fishing is fair on the Oklahoma side with jigs and minnows working best around brushy structure, docks and standing timber. Beam says that the pre-spawn is underway and the bite is fairly consistent at 15-25’ depths… At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic this summer from June 11-13, water is lightly stained; water temp is 59 degrees; and the lake is 0.10 high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on lipless crankbaits, jerk baits, craws, and football jigs fished near brushy points and the dam in shallow water. White bass are fair in 25-35’ depths on slabs and swimbaits fished near main lake points, creeks, and the river channel. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around docks, bridge columns, and the baitfish schools near the dam… At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 61 degrees; and the lake is 0.15 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, curly-tailed plastic worms, and skirted jigs fished in 2-8’ depths as the spawn approaches. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished in 11-25’ depths near docks and creeks..…After the 2020-21 trout season’s final stocking a couple of weeks ago, the Blue River near Tishomingo continues to run at normal level with a little bit of stain and water temps around 53 degrees according to ODWC. The agency says that trout action is only fair this week for fly anglers using caddis flies and nymph patterns. For conventional tackle success, ODWC says that in-line spinnerbaits, spoons and Power Bait are top choices. Look for remaining trout to be near rocks and channel braids… At Oklahoma's Lake Murray, ODWC reports a normal lake elevation, water temp of 56, and clear conditions. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on Alabama-rigs, crankbaits, and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, creek channels, and coves. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows fished around brushy structure…On the Texas Coast, emergency regulations on speckled trout went into effect on April 1 and continue for 120 days. See the TPWD website for full details…At South Padre Island, TPWD says that black drum are in the deeper water and are best on shrimp. Speckled trout and redfish are in the Laguna Madre flats and are biting on shrimp. The agency says to have luck catching them, you need to be right on top of the fish. They also note that redfish are more plentiful than speckled trout since the freeze in mid-February. Catch and release is still encouraged for speckled trout. Flounder can be found around the jetties and are good on mullet…

Tip of the Week

As spring fishing success picks up across Texomaland, ODWC reports that the fishing this week has been good on Lake Texoma. That’s been especially true for striped bass, which are fair on live bait, live shad and Sassy Shad lures fished along creek and river channels as well as in the main lake itself. With the spring spawn season at hand, ODWC also notes that stripers have been feeding pretty well on the northern part of the lake. If you want to get out this weekend and try your luck, the area north of Roosevelt Bridge will be a good spot to try!