Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

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 .

July 17 – 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.

July 20-23 – ICAST Fishing Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

July 25 – JC Outdoors Spring Teams Division Championship on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call (214) 773-5451 or visit www.jcoutdoors.com .

Aug. 7 – 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.

Notes

Happy Father’s Day this weekend to all of the dad’s and granddad’s here in the Texomaland area…Happy anniversary tomorrow to longtime Herald Democrat outdoor writer Lynn Burkhead and his wife Charissa…Now that the 51st Bassmaster Classic is in the books, the next big outdoor event in North Texas will be next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway as Ducks Unlimited hosts the first ever DUX Expo. The event will happen next Saturday and Sunday, June 26-27, at the speedway north of Fort Worth. Look for full details in next week’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section In the meantime, visit www.ducks.org for information… Country music star Gary Allan will headline the Duck Jam music portion of next weekend’s DUX Expo. To purchase tickets for the music portion of the event, please visit https://www.duckjamstore.com …While there is still some construction ongoing, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has announced that the ever-popular spring-fed swimming pool and day use area at Balmorhea State Park will reopen to the public on June 26...TPWD has announced the agency’s new Habitat and Angler Access Program (HAAP), which will award grants to develop and increase shoreline and bank fishing access as well as restore and enhance fish habitat in Texas’ public inland waters. The Austin-based agency says that August 20 is the deadline for communities to apply for grants under the new program, which is funded from the sale of freshwater fishing licenses. The agency says that the HAAP program will enable the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division to support habitat and angler access improvement projects led by eligible groups such as local municipalities, water authorities, educational institutions, and other civic and conservation organizations. TPWD will be requesting applications for the HAAP starting June 21. “The Habitat and Angler Access Program is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate and support partners interested in expanding fishing opportunities and bettering the quality of fisheries for Texans,” said Michael Homer Jr., fisheries biologist for the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division, in a news release. “The program is intended to identify and implement projects with the highest potential to enhance freshwater fisheries resources and improve bank and shoreline access in public waters.” The agency says that grants of up to $50,000 may be awarded to support individual fish habitat improvement and angler access projects on public ponds, large reservoirs, streams and rivers. Also, the HAAP will support fish habitat improvement projects such as bank and shoreline stabilization projects, installation of erosion control features, deployment of artificial habitat structures, and dredging excessive silt and organic materials from reservoirs that have high potential for quality fishery development…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 84 degrees; and the lake is 4.27 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on drop shots, crankbaits, Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits, hollow bodied frogs, and flipping jigs fished near flooded banks, vegetation, and drop-offs. White bass are good in water depths ranging 12-40 feet for those using slabs and swimbaits near main lake points, flats, and along the river channel. Th agency 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 Ray Roberts, site of last weekend's 51st Bassmaster Classic won by Hank Cherry, water is lightly stained; water temp is 84 degrees; and the lake is 4.27 feet high. TPWD says that in the aftermath of the Classic, largemouth bass are good on drop shots, crankbaits, bladed baits, hollow bodied frogs, and flipping jigs fished near flooded banks, vegetation, and drop-offs…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 79-85 degrees; and the lake is 0.23 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on hollow bodied frogs, topwaters, Texas-rigged plastic worms, chartreuse spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and football jigs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber…At Oklahoma’s Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC reports above normal river levels, a water temp of 71, and slightly stained conditions. Channel catfish are good on chicken liver, dough baits, and stink bait used around brushy structure, in the river channel and near rocks. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are slow on crankbaits and topwater lures fished around brushy structure, in the river channel, and near the shoreline... At Lake Murray near Ardmore, ODWC reports a lake elevation that is above normal, a water temp of 83 degrees, and clear conditions. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on crankbaits, Flukes, jigs, and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, coves, creek channels, the dam, points, riprap, and rocks…As the summertime saltwater fishing season heats up on the Texas Gulf Coast, at Sabine Lake, TPWD reports that speckled trout and redfish will be currently found along the shorelines or around the jetties and are good on live baits or topwaters. Speckled trout are also being caught in 9-10 feet of water. TPWD says to look for Sabine Lake redfish over shell and chasing schools of mullet and shad. Flounder are good around the rocks for anglers using shrimp...At West Matagorda Bay, speckled trout and redfish will be found where the bottom is a mud and shell mix. In such places, TPWD says the saltwater species can be caught on live shrimp or topwaters. Wading has been one of the best methods to beat the heat as of late while sand and grass shorelines along this side of the bay have held scattered catches of speckled trout on topwaters and live shrimp. Flounder are good in the area on shrimp fished around the rocks...At Port O'Connor, TPWD says that the action for speckled trout and redfish has been good in 8-10 feet of water for anglers using Down South lures with red/white and a black spoon working well too, along with live shrimp. Black drum are fair at POC on blue crab and will be in deeper water transition areas. Flounder are good around the POC jetties on shrimp or minnows...And at Port Mansfield, speckled trout are starting to show up according to TPWD but are still way off from the quantity before the deadly freeze in February. Work the weather station area and northward, throwing K-Wiggler ball tails in sand pockets and grass . Redfish are still scattered, but when you find them, they can be plentiful for those throwing K-Wiggler paddle tails in red and white, spoons, and topwaters. Red snapper has been good offshore in the Port Mansfield area as light winds and calm seas make for good trips…

Tip of the Week

Looking for a great last second Father’s Day gift this weekend? Then look no further than the new KOA Boning Knife being produced by Charles Allen and his Denison-based Knives of Alaska Company out in the North Texas Regional Airport area. For information on the boning knife, all of the other great Knives of Alaska products, or even products from KOA’s sister company, DiamondBlade Knives, please call (903) 786-7366; visit www.knivesofalaska.com ; or stop by the shop at 3100 Airport Drive in Denison.