Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

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

Through Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Through Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Through Jan. 31 – Oklahoma pheasant season.

Through Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Jan. 30 - Third TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Feb. 1 - Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Feb. 5 – 2022 Red River Fly Fisher’s “Red River Rendezvous” at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park.

Feb. 19 – Red River Valley Ducks Unlimited Dinner at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Feb. 26-27 – 5th annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival at the Mesquite Convention Center. For information, visit https://txflyfishingfestival.org .

Feb. 27 - Fourth TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Feb. 27 - TPWD trout stocking at Sherman’s Pebblebrook Community Park Pond.

Notes

The 2022 ShareLunker season is off and running and two 14+ pound largemouths have been pulled from O.H. Ivie Lake in recent days. TPWD says that Tyler Anderson from Austin and Wendell Ramsey, Sr. of San Angelo, landed 14.48 and 14.92 – pounders respectively during week one of the season last week at O.H. Ivie....Did you know? Last year, TPWD says that the West Texas fishery produced 12 of the 23 Legacy Lunkers during a remarkable 2021 season…The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has named Wood County rancher RC Brown as its ODWC Landowner of the Year. According to an ODWC news release, Brown has worked to steadily improve his 6,732-acre ranch since the turn of the 21st Century, but really took things up a notch in 2010. With land consisting of native grasses, forbs, and shrubs, Brown has created fire breaks and had a prescribed burn program as he seeks to find more native grasses and no eastern redcedar, things that help out bobwhite quail, lesser prairie-chickens, Rio Grande turkeys, and white-tailed deer...The 2022 SHOT Show gets underway next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nev. as the shooting, hunting, and outdoors industry gathers for the first such show since Jan. 2020. To keep up with all the new rifles, shotguns, handguns, clothing, and outdoor goods being introduced for 2022, visit Petersen’s Hunting (www.petersenshunting.com ), Game and Fish Magazine (www.gameandfishmag.com ), Guns and Ammo Magazine (www.gunsandammo.com ), and Outdoor Channel Plus (www.outdoorchannelplus.com ) next week as the show runs from Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 through Friday, Jan. 21, 2022…TPWD announced recently that a month’s long investigation that started off in run-of-the-mill fashion resulted in the breakup of an interstate theft ring involving multiple stolen watercraft and vehicles. Sergeant Jonathan Griffin, a Texas Game Warden and member of the Marine Theft Investigation Unit, facilitated the two-year investigation and is up for some investigative honors as a result. “After recovering  27 stolen vessels  and trailers, we filed charges and arrested the three suspects for theft and engaging in organized crime,” said Griffin, in a TPWD news release. “While the charges are pending, we are working  to locate and recover more stolen jet skis and boats that may have been sold using the same scheme.  It has been satisfying to be able to help get this property back to the rightful owners.” TPWD notes that the case is currently being handled by the Galveston County District Attorney’s office.

Hunting Reports

The guides at North Texas Outfitters are having to work a little harder this year, but barrels are staying hot on many morning shoots according to NTO head man Dakota Stowers. In the last week, chilly north winds have ushered in some new birds and good shoots for mixed bags of mallards, gadwalls, pintails, divers, and Canada geese have been the norm…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 56 degrees; and the lake is 1.03 feet low. John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors tells TPWD that the lake is in good health as 2022 begins in earnest and that the bait fish are abundant and the fish are good size. He says that striped bass are good on swimbaits in shallow water, for anglers hitting points and high spots. In open water, Flukes and deadsticking are landing fish right now. On windy days, cast Alabama-rigs and keep it still because the fish are less active in the cooler water temperatures right now, so they are not chasing bait much. Big fish are in the main lake with 20-pound giants being reeled in right now according to Blasingame...Trey Franklin tells TPWD that catfish are good, ranging from smaller fish to 30 to 60-pounders as anglers use gizzard shad. He says to start the day off in deeper water, transitioning to main lake flats off the river channel later on in the day. Gizzard shad are also producing stripers according to Franklin, along with swimbaits and Alabama-rigs. Stripers are suspended according to the guide in 30 to 50-feet of water off main lake points as the baitfish are holding near the points...Bill Carey of Striper Express Guide Service echoes the comments of these two Texoma guides, noting that his son Chris and other guides in his angling service are catching big stripers right now, some in the 20-pound range ... At Lake Ray Roberts, water is lightly stained; water temp is 57 degrees; and the lake is 0.81-feet below normal. White bass are good, moving quickly in 20 to 28-feet of water and hitting one-ounce silver and chartreuse slabs. Alabama-rigs are also producing in 30 to 35-feet of water. Meanwhile, the Buck Creek Area near Tioga continues to produce bigger crappie with the best action taking place on main lake brush piles in the 20- to 30-foot range. Look for the crappie to be suspended in 10 to 12-feet of water in such depths, hitting minnows in standing timber...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 56 degrees; and the lake is 6.12 feet low as work on the dam continues. Lake Fork is slow due to cold weather and the lake being very low right now due to repair work on the dam. Guides Jason Hoffman and Marc Mitchell tell TPWD that the best bite for bass is with Viper XP jigs fished around big wood along the edges creeks in 6-10 feet of water. Suspending jerkbaits in the same areas are also producing fish…There is no ODWC report from the Blue River this week, but at last report the trout fishing was good at the seasonal trout fishery near Tishomingo. Look for trout to hit small spoons, in-line spinnerbaits like a Mepp’s Rooster Tail, and PowerBait nuggets around channel seams and near rocks obstructing current. Meanwhile, fly fishermen can find success on caddis dry flies, BWO dry flies, various nymphs, and streamers fished in the same areas…Down on the upper Texas Gulf Coast, Capt. Raymond Wheatley of Tail Spotter Guide Service tells TPWD that big bull redfish are being caught at the Bolivar Jetty on the channel side as anglers fish the bottom with crab, mullet, and live and dead shrimp. On the beach side of the jetty, past the Boat Hole to a nearby wrecked boat, good numbers of speckled trout, slot redfish, and sheepshead are taking live shrimp under a popping cork…

Tip of the Week

The 2022 Archery Trade Association just completed its return to an in-person trade show in Louisville, Ky. last week. Despite virus protocols, a snowstorm in portions of the region, and a changing business climate, good numbers of exhibitors and attendees showed up at the Kentucky Exposition Center. To see all of the new bows, crossbows, arrows, broadheads, clothing, and accessories, visit Bowhunter Magazine (www.bowhunter.com), Petersen's Bowhuntng (www.bowhuntingmag.com), and Game and Fish Magazine (www.gameandfishmag.com).