Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
Herald Democrat


June 6 – Free Fishing Day in Texas.

June 6-7 – Free Fishing Weekend in Oklahoma.

July 7 - Red River Fly Fishers monthly meeting CANCELLED.

August 4 - Red River Fly Fishers monthly meeting CANCELLED.

Sept. 1-Nov. 12 – First split of Texas North Zone Dove Season.

Sept. 12-27 – Texas early teal season.

Oct. 1-Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 3-Nov. 6 – Texas early archery season.

Oct. 24-Nov. 1 - Oklahoma primitive arms/muzzleloading deer season.

Oct. 31-Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Nov. 7-8 – Texas North Zone youth-only duck season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – Texas North Zone general whitetail deer season.

Nov. 7-Jan. 3 – General whitetail deer season in Grayson County with means and methods of harvest restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Nov. 14-29 –First split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Nov. 14-Feb. 15 - Oklahoma quail season.

Nov. 21-Dec. 6 - Oklahoma deer gun season.

Dec. 5 - Jan. 31 –Second split of the Texas North Zone duck season.

Dec. 18-Dec. 27 - Oklahoma holiday antlerless deer season.

Dec. 18-Jan. 3 – Second split of Texas North Zone Dove Season.

March 19-21, 2021 – 51st Bassmasters Classic on Lake Ray Roberts.


As Texas cautiously reopens, it was reported in the Outdoors Digest last week that the Red River Fly Fishers would resume their monthly meeting and fly tying sessions on Tuesday, June 2, of this week. That meeting was cancelled, however due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. A statement by the club at www.RRFF.org says: “Due to COVID-19 Social Distancing recommendations we are cancelling our meetings through August 2020. We hope to resume our meetings in September. A number of events previously listed on our calendar have been cancelled. Please check with the organizer before attending to make sure they are still happening.”…As Texas continues to move forward from the COVID-19 lockdown, TPWD notes that its law enforcement offices across the state, as well as the license and registration office at the agency’s Austin headquarters, are now open to customers by appointment only. Social distancing, face coverings and other public health measures will be mandatory for all customers at such TPWD locations…As the agency continues to move forward with reopening steps, TPWD notes that it will continue to track the evolving health situation, consult with local and state officials, and make adjustments as necessary...TPWD reminds statewide anglers that the first Saturday in June each year is designated as Free Fishing Day in the state of Texas. This year, that date is tomorrow, Saturday, June 6, 2020. On that day, Texans can fish on any public waterbody in the state without a fishing license…Meanwhile, this weekend marks the Free Fishing Weekend north of the Red River in Oklahoma. The free fishing celebration runs June 6-7 in the Sooner State…Did you know? Oklahoma was the first state in the U.S. to offer free fishing days. That practice started nearly 40 years ago and has spread to dozens of other states across the country…Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour returns to action this weekend in the Sunshine State of Florida and only big largemouths need to apply. That’s because BPT anglers will be fishing in the HEAVY HITTERS event on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes near Orlando. The event, where anglers are rewarded for catching each rounds heaviest single bass, runs from June 7-12. Look for live MLF NOW! streaming coverage throughout the initial rounds, the semi-final rounds, and the Championship Day. Coverage can be found at www.majorleaguefishing.com and is scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. (EDT) each day. Takeout coverage is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) each day…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 77 degrees; and the lake is 2.25’ high. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live bait and topwater baits fished when stripers are near the surface. Diving birds are marking feeding schools of stripers throughout the lake on the surface. When not fishing for surface feeding stripers, use your boat’s electronics to mark schools along the river channel. Largemouth bass are good when fishing soft plastic creatures, Shakyhead worms, swimbaits, and crankbaits in 6-18’ of water. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs by boathouses, marinas and brush piles in 12-25’ of water…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmasters Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 79 degrees; and the lake is 1.91’ high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on Texas-rigged worms, crankbaits, and jigs fished in 4 -16’. White bass are excellent in 20-40’ on slabs and jigging spoons. Main lake humps and drop-offs are holding good numbers of these fish. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows fished around bridges, standing timber and brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 81-85 degrees; and the lake is 0.17’ high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, topwaters and crankbaits fished near roadbeds, submerged structure, and points in 8-12’ of water. There is still some action with hollow bodied plastic frogs in shallow grass and over lily pads. Crappie are excellent on jigs and minnows in 12-20’ in brush piles…Veteran Lake Fork guide Randy Oldfield led a couple of clients to an early summertime giant last Friday when a 13.5-lb. bucketmouth bass came aboard the boat on a Santone flipping jig. The huge bass measured 26 ¾ inches long and 21 6/8 inches in girth…At Lake Murray near Ardmore, ODWC says that the lake elevation is above normal, water temp is 73 degrees, and the water is stained. Smallmouth bass are fair on jigs and swimbait style minnows fished along flats, the main lake, riprap and in coves…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, ODWC says that the river elevation is normal, water temp is 68 degrees, and the river is slightly stained. Leftover rainbow trout are slow on in-line spinnerbaits, PowerBait, and spoons fished along the channels. Fly anglers are finding success on midges and nymphs. Smallmouth and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, Flukes, and spinnerbaits fished along the main river channel, near the shoreline and in shallow, calm areas…As the summertime fishing heats up along the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD says fishing is good at a variety of spots…At Port O'Connor, the Hump is producing excellent fishing for good numbers of speckled trout and redfish on Down South Lures and red/white and black spoons. Flounder are good at the jetties on shrimp and minnows…At Port Aransas, flounder are good on live mullet around the marsh. Redfish, which are often in schools, are good on KWigglers paddle tail lures. Speckled trout are good on shrimp…At Port Mansfield, fishing has been excellent with redfish and trout in the sand potholes in 2 to 3 ft of water on topwaters, live shrimp under a popping cork and KWiggler paddle tail baits in the dirty jalapeño color. Offshore, red snapper are good in Texas waters and the season for red snapper is now open in Federal waters…At Port Isabel, TPWD notes that the lower Laguna Madre holds some big speckled trout at this time of year. Look for them in the shallow water where the grass is thick – shrimp is producing solid action. Meanwhile, redfish will be found in 2-feet of water and are best on live baits. Tackle busting Jack crevalle are also good on live mullet…

Tip of the Week

As the summer fishing season continues to heat up on Lake Texoma, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reports that striped bass are excellent on grubs, live shad and Sassy Shad fished along lake flats, in the main lake and its river channels. Striper fishing is even said to be red hot right now according to ODWC, with some anglers using live shad having some of the best results. Anglers using artificial baits are also doing well in the early mornings and late evenings. For conventional tackle and fly fishermen, look for working birds on windblown points – find them and there should be some hungry stripers nearby.