Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


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.

Sept. 1 – Application deadline for 2021 Hagerman NWR archery deer hunts. To apply, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing/hunt-category-details.phtml?OCat=NAD .

Sept. 1-Oct. 31 –Oklahoma dove season first split.

Sept. 1-Nov. 12 – Texas North Zone dove hunting first split.

Sept. 11-20 – Oklahoma special resident Canada goose season.

Sept. 11-26 - Texas early teal season.

Sept. 11-26 - Texas early Canada goose season.

Sept. 11-26 – Oklahoma early teal season.


With the arrival of August, the first Texas Parks and Wildlife Department drawn hunt application deadlines arrive this weekend for those hoping to draw an alligator hunting permit or a chance to chase doves on private lands. Next up will be the Aug. 15 application deadline for drawn hunt permits for hunters seeking archery deer, archery mule deer, javelina, private land pronghorn, and pronghorn…Texomaland bowhunters should keep in mind that the deadline to apply for 2021 archery deer hunting permits at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is scarcely a month away, falling on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, this year. For more information on all drawn hunts in the TPWD public hunting system—including the ones at Hagerman NWR—please visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing … The 67-point Brian Butcher whitetail buck taken in Chase County, Kansas in October 2019 has been panel scored by the Pope and Young Club and confirmed as the new No. 2 non-typical buck in the bowhunting record book. The huge buck and its unusual rack--it has three scorable points on the right side and 64-scorable points on the left side--was initially scored by veteran Pope and Young Club and Boone and Crockett Club measurer Ken Witt of Arlington, who combined his measuring talents with B&C measurer Marc Murrell in Jan. 2020 to reach the deer's entry score of 343 4/8-inches gross and 321 3/87-inches net. After two groups of panel measurers examined the deer in Reno, Nevada prior to the P&Y Club's recent convention, the score remained unchanged. For more on the giant deer, visit Bowhunter Magazine's website at https://www.bowhunter.com/editorial/brian-butcher-buck-bowhunting-nontypical/394744 ...Among the numerous awards received by the Pure Fishing Group at last week's 64th ICAST fishing trade show in Orlando, Fla., the Berkley PowerBait Gilly swimbait--in some amazingly accurate sunfish colors, by the way--was selected as the 2021 ICAST Best of Show product by a group of buyers and media representatives. For more on the Gilly, or any of the other products released at ICAST, visit Game and Fish Magazine's website at https://www.gameandfishmag.com/editorial/who-won-the-best-of-show-at-icast-2021/394971  ...With the fishing world slowly returning to normal in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, last week marked the return to an in-person ICAST fishing trade show after it was cancelled during the summer of 2020. To find out what Kevin VanDam--widely considered as bass fishing's GOAT (greatest of all-time)--thought of the return to Orlando, visit BassFan's website at http://bassfan.com/news_article/10311/profile.asp ...TPWD says that after obtaining 18 successful spawns from 19 of the 23 Legacy Class bass—the 13-pound or larger largemouths loaned by anglers to the state’s ShareLunker program and selective-breeding efforts—the agency’s fish hatchery staff was able to produce 271,872 fingerlings this year, all aimed at benefitting Texas public waters…August means a return of Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinners in the Texomaland area. The first one of the fall quacker backer season will be in Whitesboro on Aug. 26 at Ranch 82 while the second one will be held by the Celina DU chapter on Aug. 28 at Rock Creek Ranch in McKinney. For information on these and other events, please visit www.ducks.org …

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 84-87 degrees; and the lake continues to be 5.00 feet high. TPWD says that striped bass are good on live bait and swimbaits fished in the river channels and the lake's tributaries. White bass are good on silver or chartreuse slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are good for anglers fishing tubes, Shakyhead jigs, deep-diving crankbaits, and purple, blue or black Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are good on minnows fished near boathouses, around timber near a channel, and over brush piles...At Lake Ray Roberts, site of last month's 51st Bassmaster Classic won by Hank Cherry, water is lightly stained; water temp is 86 degrees; and the lake is 0.13 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on orange and red soft plastic crawfish baits, crank baits, drop-shots, and flipping jigs fished near timber, rip rap and drop-offs. White bass are good in water depths of 15-35-feet for anglers using chartreuse slabs and live bait fished near main lake points, flats and along the river channel. Crappie are good on minnows fished around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 86-88 degrees; and the lake is 0.50 feet low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on topwaters and buzzbaits fished early or late in the day, on Carolina-rigged soft plastic worms, deep-diving crankbaits and football jigs fished along roadbeds, timber, and brush piles. Crappie are good on minnows fished near brush piles, bridges, and timber…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC reports a normal elevation, water temp of 78 degrees, and stained water. The agency says that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass in the stream are good on crankbaits, plastic baits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures fished around brushy structure, rocks, and shoreline areas. Channel catfish are fair on chicken livers and worms fished along channel braids and rocks...At McGee Creek near Atoka, ODWC reports a normal lake elevation and a water temp of 85 degrees. Largemouth bass and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, Flukes, soft plastic baits, and spinnerbaits fished in coves, around points, near rocks, and in standing timber...As the summer vacation and fishing season along the Texas Gulf Coast enters the month of August, TPWD reports good fishing in the Sabine Lake, particularly in deeper water areas. Redfish and speckled trout are good on river channel humps in 5-11-foot depths for those using live shrimp or live croakers fished under a popping cork or soft plastics with a 1/4-inch jighead and a chartreuse tail. Flounder are good in 8-14-feet of water for anglers using jigs, Gulf shrimp, and soft plastics with chartreuse tails. TPWD says to fish the in-coming tides and in the channel, finding bait fish in and around the steel bulkheads...Also in the Sabine Lake region, TPWD says that trout are good in the jetty region for those fishing early morning topwaters, live croakers, soft plastics, swimbaits, and topwaters. There are many catches of sharks being reported at the jetty too...Remaining in southeastern Texas on the Bolivar Peninsula, TPWD says that speckled trout have been fair in recent days near the north jetty as well as along the shoreline on live shrimp. Redfish have been good along the shoreline and are best caught on shrimp, soft plastics, or topwaters early in the day. Black drum are good around vegetation or structure on crab or shrimp while flounder are fair around the jetty on shrimp...On the Middle Texas Coast in West Matagorda Bay, freshwater runoff has hampered fishing and made the search for shrimp more difficult. But for anglers fishing the surf, the action is excellent for spotted seatrout, redfish, and black drum, especially as the daily winds die down. For success here, use artificial lures and live bait...And finally, on the Lower Texas Coast at Port Mansfield, TPWD says that speckled trout are scattered on the flats in deeper water, especially on the edges of grass beds for those using K-Wiggler ball tails, shrimp under a popping cork, and topwater lures. Redfish seem to be shallow on the sand flats for those using K-Wiggler paddle tails and topwaters. Also, TPWD says that good numbers of redfish are at the jetty, being taken by those using gold spoons. And finally, the agency says that this week should be good for red snapper offshore thanks to light winds and relatively calm seas. The agency says that if you can get out, keep a few to eat and release the rest. As a reminder, the Texas private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters will close next week at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5. State waters out to nine nautical miles will remain open with a four fish daily bag limit and a 15-inch minimum.

Tip of the Week

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is offering constituents a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card, all for sharing a few opinions! Specifically, ODWC wants to hear about people’s perceptions of the agency's brand, and for those who help out, one lucky winner will be randomly selected from submissions to a completed online survey. To complete the survey and get in the drawing, go to http://truegritresearch.OWDC-3.alchemer.com/s3/ . The agency says that it will only take a few minutes, the info received will help ODWC better serve its stakeholders in the future, and the deadline for submitting completed responses is Aug. 2, 2021. For more information, visit the agency’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com .