Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


Through Oct. 31 –Oklahoma dove season first split.

Through 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.


Happy Labor Day weekend from the Herald Democrat outdoors staff…Social media reports last Saturday indicated that the Texomaland area lost a prominent member of the outdoors community when Tim Brown, Sr. lost his battle against COVID-19 in a local hospital. A 62-year old Fannin County resident, Brown was a familiar part of the Red River Valley outdoor scene from taxidermy work to conservation efforts to simply helping ignite a passion for the outdoors in the lives of others. Reports indicate that visitation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, from 1-3 p.m. at the Boyd Baptist Church in Bonham. A funeral service will then be held at the church from 3-4 p.m. Rest in peace Tim…Longtime Mossy Oak camouflage public relations man Tim Anderson, who had turned the reigns over to Jake Meyer in recent years, died suddenly on Wednesday near his Iowa home. Anderson’s death sparked an outpouring of grief yesterday around the country as outdoors industry members, outdoors media, celebrities, and Mossy Oak employees all took to social media to express their shock and grief at losing a man that almost universally loved by anyone who loved the outdoors. There is no word yet on arrangements for Anderson. Again, rest in peace Tim… The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has designated the Trinity River basin’s Lake Worth as “infested” with invasive zebra mussels. According to the TPWD news release, infested status at the Tarrant County water body signifies that there is an established, reproducing population of zebra mussels in the lake. "This finding that Lake Worth is fully infested is not unexpected,” said Raphael Brock, a TPWD inland fisheries biologist out of Fort Worth. “There are two infested reservoirs upstream that can send zebra mussel larvae downstream to Lake Worth during high water events such as we’ve seen this spring to then settle in the lake. It is important for boaters to step up and follow TPWD guidelines and regulations to limit further spread to other reservoirs in the DFW area and other parts of the state.”…

Hunting Reports

Opening day of dove season brought mixed reports across the state, as usual…Here in the Grayson County area, some hunters found fair shooting and bagged a few birds although most local hunting is a far cry from what it used to be as agriculture disappears and urbanization increases…The same is true for the Collin County area, which used to be lights out in the Celina/Prosper area. Some enterprising hunters still found some good opening day shoots down in the northern fringes of the DFW Metroplex according to some internet reports…Out near Wichita Falls, the shooting was red-hot for white-winged doves in and around old grain fields…Up near Frederick, Okla., one Grayson County wingshooter got into a good limit shoot…Social media reports for North Texas Outfitters showed gun-barrel melting action on opening day near Waurika, Okla. with a good number of limits coming…Looking at reports on TexasHuntingForum.com, there was a mix of success in North Texas. Reports there ranged the gamut from poor to good to somewhere in between…After the opening day shoot, expect bird numbers to be scattered up pretty good as the Labor Day weekend arrives. Scouting is as important now as ever since hunting pressure moves birds around and breaks up opening day concentrations of birds…With the early September heat building, don’t overlook waterhole prospects given the current few days of dryness across North Texas and southern Oklahoma…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 86-89 degrees; and the lake is 0.29-feet low. TPWD says striped bass are good on live bait along the river channel with some topwater action happening at sunrise. White bass are good on silver slabs and white swimbaits. Largemouth bass are good for those fishing Flukes, Shakyhead jigs, crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near boathouses, timber near a channel, and brush piles…On the Oklahoma side of the two-state reservoir, ODWC reports that fishing this week has been better. Striped bass are fair on Alabama-rigs, Flukes, Sassy Shad and shad below the dam, along channels, near the dam, main lake areas, and points. People are catching stripers near the dam on topwater lures, particularly early in the day. They are also catching them below the dam on Flukes and live shad. Crappie slow on jigs, minnows and PowerBait fished around brushy structure, docks and standing timber. Crappie are being caught in 16-25 ft. of water on jigs tipped with PowerBait…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic earlier this summer, water is lightly stained; water temp is 87 degrees; and the lake is 0.25 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnersbaits, and jigs fished near timber, rip rap, and drop-offs. White bass are fair for anglers using slabs and live bait near main lake points, flats, and along the river channel. Crappie are fair on minnows around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 87-90 degrees; and the lake is 1.01-feet low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on long Carolina-rigged plastic worms, deep diving crankbaits, and football jigs worked near roadbeds, timber, and brush piles. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles, bridges, and timber…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, water temp is 81, and the water is clear. ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, Flukes, and spinnerbaits fished around brushy structure, rocks, and shoreline areas…As the last big weekend of the summer vacation season arrives on the Texas Gulf Coast, fishing has definitely been affected along the upper coast due to the passage of Hurricane Ida to the east in Louisiana…TPWD says that in West Galveston Bay, high tides from the Category 4 hurricane definitely have the fishing off, although it is becoming more consistent as the week goes along. San Luis Pass is proving to be a surefire hotspot with a variety of coastal fish being caught. The agency says that wade fishing in the west and closer to the pass has seen some good success. Redfish and trout are good for saltwater anglers using shrimp on popping corks, croaker bottom rigs…Along the middle coast at Port O'Connor, TPWD says that the fishing is excellent in the Matagorda Jetties region. Speckled trout are being caught on large shrimp and croaker fished in 20-30 feet of water. Redfish are being caught on dead sardines and dead shrimp. Black tip sharks and bonnet sharks are biting anything an angler can cast. And tarpon have been rolling at the end of the jetties…Further down the coast at Port Aransas, TPWD says that summer fishing patterns persist. Tarpon are at the jetties on live mullet while redfish are coming in 30-feet of water at the jetties on live shrimp. Speckled trout are plentiful on shrimp. Sharks continue to patrol the surf around bait balls, so TPWD urges wading anglers to please fish with caution…Finally, on the lower coast at South Padre Island, dead calm water in the mornings is creating ideal conditions for redfish and trout anglers, although the speckled trout are mostly undersized in the aftermath of last winter’s severe freeze. TPWD says that small schools of redfish and black drum are easy to find with the slick bay waters right now. Also, catching king mackerel and fish out of schools of Spanish mackerel is fairly common right now around the jetties to the mouth of the Rio Grande River…

Tip of the Week

The 25th anniversary year for TPWD's Big Time Texas Hunts is now underway and entries are available online for $9 each. The agency says that entries are also available for $10 each at license retailers around the state or by calling 1-800-895-4248. The deadline to purchase Big Time Texas Hunts entries is in a couple of months on October 15 and the agency says that winners will be announced within two weeks of that date. For more information on these hunts and how to enter, please visit TPWD's website at www.tpwd.texas.gov.