Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

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

Through May 6 – Oklahoma spring turkey season.

Through May 16 – Texas North Zone Rio Grande 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

TPWD has announced that enrollment in the agency’s Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) is now open for the 2021-22 hunting season. The agency says in a news release that open enrollment for the MLDP Conservation Option runs from April 5 through June 15 this year. The Harvest Option opens May 1 and runs through Sept. 1. TPWD says that new this year is that fees are now being charged for each enrollment option. Enrollments and fee payments can all be made through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Land Management Assistance online system. Payments can be made by credit card only. To learn more about the state's MLDP, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdforms/media/pwd_1047_w7000_mldp_program_information_white_tailed_deer.pdf…

Hunting Report

The 2021 spring turkey season is underway in North Texas and Oklahoma, where it runs through May 16 and May 6 respectively…The 2021 spring turkey season for the Texas Eastern Turkey Zone (including Grayson, Fannin, and Lamar Counties)will run from April 22-May 14…Early reports this week found turkey last gobbling a fair amount, but the wind is making hunting tough in many places...

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 56 degrees; and the lake is 1.93 low. TPWD says that striped bass are good on large white swimbaits and live shad. Meanwhile, white bass are good on swimbaits, Rooster Tails, small crankbaits, and spoons fished in creeks and tributaries. Largemouth bass are fair for anglers fishing swim jigs, lipless crankbaits, suspended jerkbaits, and Chatterbaits in 3-10’ depths. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber, and brush piles... ...Meanwhile, on the Oklahoma side of Texoma, ODWC reports that striped bass fishing is good on live shad fished along creek channels, in the main lake and around points. The agency says that striped bass are biting well near the northern part of the lake as the spawning run continues. Blue catfish are fair at Texoma on cut bait, live bait and sunfish fished along creek channels and in the main lake river channels. Blue cats are biting well in 25-35' of water for anglers using either juglines or rod-and-reel combos. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows fished around brushy structure, docks and standing timber. ODWC says that crappie are biting better and better each day as the peak of the spawn approaches… At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic this summer from June 11-13, water is lightly stained; water temp is 58 degrees; and the lake is 0.02 high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on lipless crankbaits, swimbaits, soft plastic craws, and football jigs fished near coves, shallow shorelines, and flats in 2-8’ depths. 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 located near the dam… At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 59-62 degrees; and the lake is 0.35 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, curly-tailed plastic worms and skirted jigs fished in 2-8’ depths as the spawn kicks in. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near docks and creeks... At the Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC reports a normal river elevation, water temp of 60 degrees, and clear conditions. As the rainbow trout season continues to wind down after the final stocking in March, fly fishers are reporting good action on caddis flies and nymphs. Meanwhile, conventional tackle anglers are finding trout success on Power Bait and spoons fished along the braids in the river channel and near rocks. Also at the Blue River, ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are fair on jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs fished along rocks and near the shoreline... At Lake Murray near Ardmore, ODWC reports normal elevation, water temp of 60, and clear conditions. Largemouth bass are good on billed crankbaits and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, in coves, in the main lake and on points. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows fished around brushy structure and creek channels...At Lake of the Arbuckles near Sulphur, ODWC reports normal elevation, water temps of 57-59 degrees, and clear conditions. Largemouth bass are being caught on jigs, Ned rigs and Shakyhead worms at 3-10' depths while smallmouth bass are hitting grubs and topwater lures...At McGee Creek Reservoir near Atoka, ODWC reports that largemouth bass and spotted bass are good on Flukes, jigs and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, coves, points and in standing timber...…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… On the upper Texas Coast at Sabine Lake, TPWD reports that speckled trout are fair on live bait fished around the levee. Black drum are good on shrimp fished around structure. And redfish are holding over shell and will be around the mullet and shad...On the middle Texas Coast at Port O'Connor, TPWD reports that speckled trout and redfish are good and have been good around the flats and jetties. To find success, the agency says to wade the reefs for trout, using live shrimp. Also be on the lookout for mullet because the trout will be chasing them. Also good at POC right now is the flounder bite, particularly around the rocks on shrimp...On the lower Texas Coast at Port Mansfield, TPWD says that redfish have been good north of the East Cut and up to 2nd oil gut on Wiggler paddle tails in red and white color. Speckled trout are few and far between in this area, although TPWD says that they weren't hurt as hard further south. In general, as the Laguna Madre fishery recovers after February's disastrous freeze, TPWD is encouraging catch and release whenever possible...…

Tip of the Week

If you are facing tough, silent gobblers, sit tight through mid morning and call softly and sparingly. Sometimes less is more when turkey’s aren’t very vocal.