Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Nov. 28 - Texas North Zone duck season first split.

Through Nov. 28 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season first split.

Through Dec. 5 – Oklahoma gun deer season.

Through Dec. 14 – Oklahoma woodcock season.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Dec. 1-29 – Oklahoma dove season second split.

Dec. 3-5 – Segment C archery deer hunt at Hagerman NWR.

Dec. 4-Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Dec. 4-Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Dec. 14 – TPWD trout stocking at Pottsboro Lake.

Dec. 17 – First TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Dec. 17 - Jan. 2 - Texas North Zone dove hunting second split.

Dec. 18-Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Notes

Happy Thanksgiving to you and those dear to you from the outdoors staff at the Herald Democrat… After a question from a longtime reader last week, a clarification is in order for the story on upcoming rainbow trout releases here in Grayson County. When TPWD releases some 1,100 trout in Pottsboro on Dec. 14, it will be at Pottsboro Lake according to the TPWD news release. Where is that exactly? According to the waypoint associated with the news release, it’s at James G. Thompson Park in Pottsboro. To get there, from FM 120, go south on FM 996 to the park entrance, which is just south of the railroad tracks…Officials with B.A.S.S. announced the slate of 2022 Bassmaster Kayak Series events in 2022, the derbies powered by TourneyX. Of the five regular season events, two will be within reasonable driving distance of Texomaland, including the season opener on Lake Fork from Feb. 5-6 and the fourth derby of the year at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake on April 16. The circuit will visit six states, will have a March 2-3 Bassmaster Kayak Series Championship at South Carolina’s Richard B. Russell Lake, and will award $5,000 cash to the Old Town Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year… Bozeman, Mont. based Simms Fishing Products will be the title sponsor next May 19-22 when the Bassmaster Elite Series stops in Quitman, Texas at Lake Fork.  “We are proud to partner with Simms on what is sure to be an exciting tournament on legendary big-bass fishery Lake Fork,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. chairman and CEO, in a news release about the Simms Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork. “We all know spring weather can be unpredictable, so a great apparel brand made for any condition like Simms will be perfect for the enthusiastic fans and anglers joining us at the Simms Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork."…Three former Elite Series competitors will be among 13 new competitors in the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series next year as Jacob Powroznik of Virginia and Mike Iaconneli of New Jersey return to the circuit from Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour over the last few years. Also joining Pow-Pow and Ike next year will be former Elite Series competitor David Williams of North Carolina. All three anglers qualified for the 2022 Elite Series through top finishes in B.A.S.S. Open competition...Fort Worth's Chris Zaldain, one of the stars on the Bassmaster Elite Series right now, and veteran redfish tournament pro Ryan Rickard, combined a couple of weeks ago to win the Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter at Port Aransas, Texas. The pair of anglers, who held off runners-up Derek Hudnall and Ron Hueston, weighed six redfish over the event’s three-day run, reds that tipped the scales at 43-04. For their winning efforts on the Middle Texas Coast, Zaldain and Rickard took home a $50,000 check…

Hunting Reports

It’s been a week of big buck action for Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides out near Waurika, Okla. A couple of bucks headed for the Cy Curtis Awards program fell on the Oklahoma side of the Red River during the Sooner State’s first few days of rifle season while a very wide buck in North Texas appears to be easily a Texas Big Game Awards candidate…Duck action was sporadic in the Texomaland area as the mild fall weather continues… Stowers and his NTO guides had some good shoots in Southern Oklahoma with gadwalls, wigeon, pintails, mallards, shovelers, and ringnecks making up most of the successful bag limits…There was also so good Canada goose action on at least one of the NTO hunts…The Ducks Unlimited app reports some fair shooting in a couple of spots here in North Texas and southern Oklahoma with a few hunters indicating that the numbers are slowly increasing as the migration builds…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 60 degrees; and the lake is 1.46 feet low. John Blasingame, guide with Adventure Texoma Outdoors, tells TPWD that striped bass are good over most of the lake. Limits have been coming with slabs, Alabama-rigs, and swimbaits in 1-10-feet of water. One key is to follow the action of gulls and herons to find active fish feeding on shad… At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, water is lightly stained; water temp is near 60 degrees; and the lake is 0.48-feet below normal. TPWD says that crappie are good on main lake brush piles in 20-30 feet of water. Anglers are catching most of their slabs on minnows, with the bigger fish coming from the Buck Creek area, especially in the standing timber around 20 feet deep as anglers suspend their minnows in the 10 to 12-foot depth zone… At Lake Fork, the water is lightly stained; water temps are 62-64 degrees; and the lake is 2.63 feet low. Guides Marc Mitchell and Jason Hoffman tell TPWD that largemouth bass are fair right now, biting on Chatterbaits in 1-3-feet of water in the back of coves. Anglers should also try Shakey Heads and Texas-rigs, which are both good when Lake Fork Baby Ring Fries are used in submerged timber in 1-3 feet of water. Suspending jerkbaits are also good around wood in 5-7 feet of water. Fork’s wintertime crappie bite is starting to go well in the creek channels and suspended regions in 15-20 feet of water when anglers are using minnows and jigs. Finally, catfish are excellent on self-baited holes in 20-35 feet of water…If you’re heading south to the Upper Texas Gulf Coast for the Thanksgiving holiday, at East Galveston Bay, Captain David Dillman of Galveston Bay Charter Fishing says that the jetties are still producing decent numbers of bull redfish and black drum…At Freeport, TPWD says that redfish are schooling and feeding up like crazy. Reports from anglers are that there are redfish anywhere from 26-32 inches hitting Gulp Shrimp under a popping cork, especially around bird action on the Middle Texas Coast… And finally, saltwater fishing continues to be excellent at Baffin Bay, where guide Gilbert Barrera of Baffin Bay Hunting and Fishing says that lots of anglers are, bringing home limits of redfish, trout, and black drum on almost every trip. There are tons of blue crabs in the area, lots of baitfish, and shrimp in the bay, keeping the fish hungry and interested…

Tip of the Week

As the rut winds down here in Texomaland, look for bucks to be on their feet as they cruise through the woods looking for the last does coming into estrous this fall. A good deer hunting tactic right now is some brief bursts of antler rattling, which is highly effective as the rut starts to wane. Whether you're using real antlers, synthetic antlers, or a rattling bag, hit them together in short 10 to 20-second bursts. Don't go on too terribly long since the peak of the rut is past, but make some loud noise and simulate a good, brief, and intense buck fight as November starts to wind down. When you do, you might be surprised when Mr. Big comes calling!