Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


May 26-27 - TPW Commission Meeting in Austin. For information, visit www.tpwd.texas.gov .

June 10 – 51st Bassmaster Classic Kickoff Party at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards from 5-9 p.m. Visit www.bassmaster.com for details.

June 11-13 – Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts with daily 6:15 a.m. take-offs from the Ray Roberts Lake State Park Isle du Bois Unit in Pilot Point. For information, visit www.bassmaster.com .

June 11-13 – Daily Bassmaster Classic weigh-ins at Fort Worth’s Dickie’s Arena beginning at 4:30 p.m. For information, visit www.bassmaster.com

June 11-13 – Bassmaster Classic Expo at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center. For information, visit www.bassmaster.com .

June 12 - Metroplex Bass Assassins Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Highport Marina. For information, call Joe Crowley at (214) 907-5816 or visit the website at www.metroplexba.com .

June 13 - JC Outdoors Spring Teams Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call (214) 773-5451 or visit www.jcoutdoors.com .

June 19 - Future Bass Team Trail Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call Joe Copeland at (580) 504-7320 or visit www.futurebasstrails.com.

June 26-27 – Inaugural Ducks Unlimited DUX Expo and Duck Jam music festival at Texas Motor Speedway. For information, visit www.ducks.org .

June 26-27 - Team Trail Outdoors Championship Tournament on Lake Texoma. For information, call (817) 896-2309 or visit www.tto-tx.com .


The final Bassmaster Elite Series event prior to next month's 51st Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts got underway yesterday on Alabama famed Lake Guntersville. As of press time, the unofficial Day One leader on the Bassmaster BassTrak Leaderboard was Caleb Kuphall with 25-pounds, followed by Brandon Palaniuk at 18-10; Chris Johnston (18-08); Steve Kennedy (18-06); and Todd Auten (18-04) to round out the Top 5...The Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour kicks off its Stage Three event today on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes north of Orlando in Leesburg, Fla. As the 2021 BPT season continues, Brent Chapman has the Angler of the Year lead…Last week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event (formerly the FLW Tour) at Alabama’s Lake Eufaula was won by Jason Abram with a final day limit that weighed 14-pounds, 1-ounce. That gave Abram the $100,000 top prize thanks to a four day total of 66-04… Brandon Palaniuk won the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open event last week on the James River in Virginia. Palaniuk, who is fifth in B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year standings currently, had a three-day total of 53-pounds, 12-ounces to capture the win and $52,267 winner’s check. Palaniuk, who won the 2017 Toyota Texas Fest on Lake Sam Rayburn in his run to the AOY title that same season, has now won more than $1.5 million on the B.A.S.S. tours after grabbing his first Opens trophy and his sixth B.A.S.S. title overall. The Idaho angler, who spent the 2019 season on the Bass Pro Tour before returning to the Elite Series last year, will fish in his 10th Bassmaster Classic next month on Lake Ray Roberts and will seek to do one better than the runner-up spot he grabbed in 2013 on Oklahoma's Grand Lake... As Texas begins to move away from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, TPWD has announced that the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens is returning to full operational status. According to the agency, due to the public health situation that has existed since last spring, TFFC had limited its operations and visitor services since March 2020. TPWD says that during the pandemic, in anticipation of a full reopening, TFFC personnel utilized the partial closure to focus their efforts on renovations and upgrades to enhance the visitor experience. “We are excited to again be able to provide the opportunity for Texans to see and experience our fisheries and aquatic resources, and the vital work of TPWD fish biologists firsthand,” said Tom Lang, TFFC Director, in a news release. The indoor portion of the TFFC visitor center, including the dive theater and gift shop, and the Texas Game Warden museum are now re-opened to visitors. There is also a new tram to ride, the "Ethel Express," named after Mark Stevenson's former state record largemouth bass. The new tram—which replaced the previous one that had carried more than 400,000 visitors around the TFFC—is wrapped in beautiful artwork depicting Texas freshwater fish, the state's fish habitat, and the TFFC hatchery ponds... TPWD has announced that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been discovered in deer breeding facilities in both Matagorda and Mason counties. The agency says that this marks the first positive detection of the disease in these counties. The agency says that the disease was first discovered in Texas back in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer found along a remote area of the Hueco Mountains near the Texas-New Mexico border. Since then, it has been found in 228 captive or free-ranging cervids, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, red deer and elk, in 13 Texas counties…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is stained; water temp is 68 degrees; and the lake is 2.39 feet high. TPWD says that striped bass are excellent on live bait in the river channel and various tributaries. White bass are excellent on swimbaits, slabs, small crankbaits, and spoons. Largemouth bass are good using buzzbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic craws, and bladed spinnerbaits in water depths of 2-12 feet. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, timber near a channel, and brush piles…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of next month’s 51st Bassmaster Classic from June 11-13, water is stained; water temps range from 65-69 degrees; and the lake is 0.70 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on Flukes, spinnerbaits, stick baits, and flipping jigs fished near coves, shorelines, and flats in water ranging from 2-14 feet. White bass are excellent in water depths of 12-40 feet for those using live bait, slabs, and swimbaits fished near main lake points, flats, and the river channel. Look for birds diving over feeding schools of white bass to find some great action. Crappie are also good on minnows and jigs fished around docks, bridge columns, and in brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 69-73 degrees; and the lake is 0.09 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are excellent on crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, and skirted jigs fished in water depths ranging from 4 -16 feet. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished near docks and creeks....At the Blue River near Tishomingo, conditions are murky with the river running above normal and having a water temperature of 66 degrees. As the winter stocked rainbow trout numbers continue to thin out with warming water and angling action, trout fishing is now slow on in-line spinnerbaits, PowerBait and spoons fished along creek channels and rocks. For fly fishing enthusiasts, try caddis dry flies, Wooly Buggers, and nymphs. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are slow on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs fished around brushy structure, rocks and shorelines…On the Texas Gulf Coast at Port Aransas, TPWD reports that speckled trout and redfish are in the shallows, out in the channels, or around the jetties. Anglers are finding good action for the two inshore species by using soft plastics, shrimp, or throwing topwater plugs early in the day. Black drum are also good on Bass Assassins fished around vegetation or structure…

Tip of the Week

The 51st Bassmaster Classic begins three weeks from today on Lake Ray Roberts as the June 11-13 world championship of bass fishing returns to Texomaland for the first time since 1979! To find out about the daily launches, weigh-ins, and the Expo, please visit www.bassmaster.com