Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


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

June 5 – 14th annual City of Denison Catfish Rodeo at Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

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 .


The Denison Parks and Recreation Department is hosting its 14th annual Catfish Rodeo on Saturday, June 5 at the Waterloo Lake Park Pond. The pond is roped off and fishing is off limits there for now, but you can look for full details about the event in the Herald Democrat Outdoors section next Friday. In the meantime, for further information, visit the Parks and Recreation Department’s website at https://www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec/page/fishing-derbies or call (903) 465-2720…Wyatt Frankens, an East Texas bass fishing guide at Lake Fork, Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Nacogdoches Lake ((936) 221-8697) just had his March 1st smallmouth x largemouth bass hybrid catch at O.H. Ivie Lake certified as a new IGFA world record for the rare hybrid cross. To read full details on Franken's world record catch in West Texas--which weighed just under 8-pounds—please visit the Game & Fish Magazine website at https://www.gameandfishmag.com/editorial/angler-sets-world-record-for-rare-bass-hybrid/392932...On Wednesday, Tennessee's Ott DeFoe won his third Bass Pro Tour victory and his fourth under the Major League Fishing umbrella of circuits. His first career victory in Florida and his 10th overall came with a $100,000 payday after DeFoe outlasted Bobby Lane and Brent Chapman, winning by more than 25-pounds after catching 30 final day bass for 73-pounds, 14-ounces. DeFoe, the 2019 Bassmaster Classic champ, has thrived in Texas in Major League Fishing and Bass Pro Tour competition, winning the Stage Three event last spring on Lake Fork and Lake Athens, the Heritage Cup filmed on waters around Waco last fall, and the Stage One event this year on Sam Rayburn. In pushing his career earnings to more than $2.38 million dollars, DeFoe was almost speechless after his win. “This is surreal right now," he told MajorLeagueFishing.com. "After the way this week started, this doesn’t even make sense. I give God all of the glory and credit for this win. My decision-making process took me to Lake Griffin the first day, but I had a terrible first day and had to completely change strategies...On the Bassmaster Elite Series, anglers wrapped up the last event prior to next month's Bassmaster Classic tournament on Lake Ray Roberts with a visit to Alabama's famed Lake Guntersville last weekend. The drama was over quickly as Wisconsin pro Caleb Kuphall led wire-to-wire, ending up with a four-day total of 85-pounds, 14-ounces. Kuphall opened with a limit weighing 27-10 on the first day, good enough for a 6 1/2-pound lead. He followed with 15-10 on Day 2, 23-9 on Day 3, and finished with 19-1 on Championship Day to wrap up the win. "“Having as much of a lead as I did, it was very nerve wracking, because you don’t want to blow it,” Kuphall told Bassmaster.com. “You’re like ‘I’ve got this lead and if I blow it, it’s a catastrophic train wreck.’ I kinda just rode that wave.” In winning the $100,000 top prize, Kuphall claimed his first career Elite Series blue trophy and won by 17-pounds, 14-ounces, the second largest margin of victory in Elite Series history...ODWC reports that after hours of attempting to use tranquilizer darts to attempt to capture and remove a young male black bear from a family's backyard in the middle of a Norman neighborhood, employees of the the agency were forced to euthanize the animal when it posed an immediate threat to human safety. The agency says it had hoped to relocate the bear, but that didn't work out as planned...Did you know? While many of Oklahoma's estimated 2,500 black bears are found in the southeastern corner of the state, some are also seen in northeastern Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Panhandle, and elsewhere across the state...

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, the water is stained; water temp is 70 degrees; and the lake is 3.52 feet high. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on live bait in the river channel and tributaries. White bass are good on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are fair for those fishing flipping jigs, crankbaits, frogs, and bladed spinnerbaits in water ranging from 3-18 feet in depth. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished near boathouses, submerged timber near a channel, and brush piles…On Texoma, Striper Express guide Bill Carey says that the recent cloud cover and cooler temperatures has produced some glorious topwater fishing for the stripers roaming the 89,000-acre reservoir...On the Oklahoma side of Texoma, ODWC reports that striped bass fishing is good for anglers using cut bait and live shad along the river and creek channels and main lake points. Crappie are biting better this week in depths of 5 to 15-feet, falling to jigs, minnows, and PowerBait fished around brushy structure, standing timber, and docks. Blue cats are biting cut bait, dough bait, live shad and sunfish along creek channels, main lake areas, and the primary river channels.At Lake Ray Roberts, site of next month’s Bassmaster Classic from June 11-13, water is lightly stained; water temp is 72 degrees; and the lake is 1.56 feet high. As the biggest bass tournament in the world approaches its date in Texomaland, TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and flipping jigs fished near coves, shallow shorelines, and flats in water depths of 3-18 feet. White bass are good for anglers using slabs and swimbaits in water depths of 12-40 feet near main lake points, flats, and along the river channel. TPWD says to look for birds diving over feeding schools of white bass. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around docks, bridge columns, and in brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 71-74 degrees; and the lake is 0.08 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are excellent on crankbaits, bladed spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, and finesse jigs fished in water ranging from 4 -16 feet. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs near brush piles…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the elevation is above normal, water is muddy, and the water temp is at 67 degrees. ODWC says that the remaining rainbow trout are slow for anglers right now, with success coming on in-line spinnerbaits (Rooster Tails) and PowerBait fished along channel seams and near rocks. For fly fishers, think caddis flies and nymphs. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are slow on the river with anglers catching a few on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures fished around points, rocks in the stream bed, and shoreline areas...At Lake Murray near Ardmore, the lake elevation is rising, the water temp is 74 degrees, and the water is somewhat clear. ODWC says that largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, points, and rocks...As the first weekend of summertime fishing arrives on the Texas Gulf Coast, at Sabine Lake, TPWD says that speckled trout will be along the shorelines or around the jetties and are good on soft plastics or live shrimp. Redfish are best around the jetties, the ship channel, and in shallow marsh areas using soft plastics or mud minnows. Flounder are good around rocks on a minnow…At West Galveston Bay, TPWD says that redfish and speckled trout are being found over a hard, sandy bottom with scattered shell and are best on shrimp or topwater lures. Sheepshead are fair and will be found primarily around the rocks on shrimp…At Rockport, TPWD says that redfish have certainly been higher in number than the speckled trout and are currently good on live baits or topwater lures fished around the shoreline. There has been some activity around Bokeelia Flats early in the morning. Flounder have been fair on mullet tossed around the piers and Rockport wall…At Port Mansfield, TPWD says that the speckled trout are still hard to find, but the action is picking up on K-Wiggler ball tails in red and chartreuse. Redfish are scattered with the higher than normal tides, fish areas that generally are not accessible. The agency says to fish the back bays throwing Mansfield Margaritas or Willow Tails for redfish and flounder. Red snapper is also good offshore...

Tip of the Week

The 51st Bassmaster Classic begins two 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.