Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

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 23-24 – Texas Ducks Unlimited State Convention in Corpus Christi.

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 .

Aug. 26 – Whitesboro Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Ranch 82.

Aug. 28 – Celina Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Rock Creek Ranch in McKinney.

Notes

At the inaugural DUX Expo last month, thousands of attendees and 180 exhibitors were all a part of the impressive first year event held at Texas Motor Speedway. But DU also notes in a news release that the conservation group's legendary volunteers also played a key role in the successful outcome of the first event from June 25-27. Many of those that staffed the event were volunteers from the local region, including some from Texomaland. “DU is a grassroots organization, born from the desire to ensure habitat is available to migrating waterfowl and clean water is available for not just wildlife, but people, too,” said DUX Chairman Hoyt Utay about the effort. “The DUX Expo and the on-the-ground conservation work DU does every day would not be possible without support from our amazing sponsors and volunteers.”...After a barn-burning episode last week about Texas' legendary September early teal hunting action, Ducks Unlimited Television serves up another sizzling episode of early autumn wingshooting excitement this weekend. The DU TV episode airing on Sportsman Channel tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, July 17 at 1 p.m. CT, will feature more speedy bluewings buzzing on by the decoy spread, this time at the Lone Star State's Lone Oak Ranch. To learn more about the show and schedule times, visit either http://www.ducks.org or http://www.outdoorchannelplus.com ...The annual Texas Parks and Wildlife Department drawn hunts program is underway and the first application deadlines are coming up on Aug. 1. After that, other deadlines are on the 1st and 15th of each months into November. This year’s Hagerman NWR archery hunt application deadline will be on Sept. 1st. For information or to apply, visit TPWD's Drawn Hunts page at https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing . For e-mail answers to questions about the Drawn Hunts program, contact hunt@tpwd.texas.gov . And for phone information about the hunts, call (512) 389-4505 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday…ODWC has announced that 39-year old Jess M. Kane has begun serving an eight-year term as the District 1 representative for the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Kane, who is the current Bartlesville, Okla. city attorney, was appointed in January to succeed Commissioner Robert S. Hughes II of Bartlesville, whose appointment expired on July 1…. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says that "Jess Kane is an experienced attorney and rancher from rural Oklahoma who understands the importance of our land and wildlife. I look forward to him bringing his strong agriculture perspective to the Commission to help foster wildlife conservation efforts across our state."…"The joy of observing and hunting game is one of the greatest dividends of successful farm and ranch management," Kane said in an ODWC news release. "In an industry not known for prodigious profits, this return is of high value to farmers and ranchers. I hope to add this perspective to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission and will be honored to help preserve Oklahoma’s long heritage of wildlife conservation."…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 80-83 degrees; and the lake is 6.40 feet high. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on live bait, topwaters, and swimbaits in the river channel and tributaries. White bass are good on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing spinnerbaits, Shakyhead jigs, crankbaits, and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are fair on minnows fished near boathouses, timber near a channel, and brush piles. Catfish are good on earthworms and punch bait…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of last month's 51st Bassmaster Classic won by Hank Cherry, water is lightly stained; water temp is 87 degrees; and the lake is 1.25 feet high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on drop shots, soft plastic craws, crankbaits and flipping jigs fished near vegetation, rip rap and drop-offs. White bass are fair in water depths of 12-40 feet for anglers using slabs and live bait near main lake points, flats and along the river channel. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around timber, bridge columns and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 86-90 degrees; and the lake is 0.27 feet low. TPWD notes that largemouth bass are good on topwaters and buzzbaits (when fished early or late in the day), Carolina-rigged plastic worms and soft plastic craws, shad-colored deep diving crankbaits, and football jigs for anglers working timber and brush piles. Crappie are good on minnows fished near brush piles, bridges and timber...At Lake of the Arbuckles near Sulphur, the lake elevation is 0.5-feet above normal, water temp is 83, and the water is clear. ODWC reports that bass fair on topwater lures fished off points early in the day around dawn and on plastic worms the remainder of the day. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows fished off docks early and around brush piles the rest of the day…At McGee Creek near Atoka, the lake elevation is normal and the water temp is 86. ODWC reports that largemouth and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, Flukes, soft plastic baits and topwater lures fished in coves, along flats, over points and near rocks...On the Texas Gulf Coast, the fishing is generally good as the height of the summer vacation saltwater fishing season continues...At Bolivar Peninsula, TPWD reports that speckled trout have been fair near the north jetty as well along the shoreline on live shrimp. Redfish have been good along the shoreline and are best caught on shrimp, soft plastics or topwaters thrown early in the day. Black drum are good around vegetation or structure for anglers using crab or shrimp. Flounder are fair around the jetty on shrimp...At West Matagorda Bay, wading remains the best method for anglers trying to beat the heat. TPWD says that sand and grassy shorelines along the west side of the bay have held scattered catches of speckled trout on topwaters and soft plastics with shrimp also being good. Black drum are fair on blue crab fished above grass. Redfish are good on live bait and will be found around reefs. Flounder are good for anglers fising around the rocks with shrimp...At Port O'Connor, TPWD says that speckled trout are being caught over mid-bay structure and also along the shorelines. The fishing pier at POC is also great for redfish, speckled trout, and flounder on shrimp...At Rockport, TPWD reports that redfish are good for those using topwaters in black or white/red colors, when fished out in the bay. Speckled trout are good on shrimp fished under a popping cork and are being found along the shoreline or around structure. Flounder have been good on minnows fished around the piers...At Port Aransas, TPWD says the jetty and pier have been great spots. Redfish are good on shrimp under a popping cork, which will stimulate fish activity, or on soft plastics. Speckled trout are good on shrimp, K-Wigglers ball tail, and topwaters... At Port Mansfield, TPWD notes that speckled trout are showing on the flats with grass in the deeper water areas. Best baits are K-Wigglers ball tail lures and topwater plugs. Redfish are shallow and are hitting gold spoons, K-Wigglers paddle tails and topwaters. Red snapper are good when anglers can get out into the Gulf on calmer days...And finally, at South Padre Island, TPWD says that speckled trout are plentiful near the surf on spoons, MirrOlures, topwater plugs and soft-plastic tails. Baits at SPI are working best in the clear/green water zones. Holly Beach and the SPI jetties are great locations too for redfish or black drum for anglers using live shrimp......

Tip of the Week

The Red River Fly Fishers began meeting again earlier this month by way of Zoom video conferencing. The group has indicated previously on its website that it hopes to begin meeting again in August. There’s no word yet if the meetings going forward the rest of this summer or fall will be via video or in person. To find out more information about the group’s upcoming plans, visit the organization’s website at www.rrff.org or the RRFF social media page on Facebook.