Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
Herald Democrat


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.


Professional bass fishing is back on the water this week with two different tournaments showcasing anglers who are aiming for big bass and tournament riches. At Alabama’s historic Lake Eufaula, Bill Lowen defied conventional summertime wisdom of targeting bass offshore, instead opting to go shallow. His decision has paid off so far as Lowen grabbed the Day One lead of the DEWALT Bassmaster Elite Series event thanks to a five bass limit that weighed 23-pounds, 4-ounces. After Wednesday’s first round, Fort Worth’s Chris Zaldain (22-02) and Leander’s Clark Wendlandt (22-00) were both in the Top 5 and within striking distance of grabbing the B.A.S.S. win. To see the live streaming action, visit www.bassmaster.com …Meanwhile, at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes near Orlando, Florida, big bass were being caught regularly by the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pros. As of press time on Thursday, Mark Rose had the Knockout Round lead with Texas angling veterans Gary Klein and Kelly Jordon very much in the hunt to make today’s Championship Round. To see the live streaming action, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com …News reports indicate that the U.S. Coast Guard has released its 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics Report. As is often the case, there is both good news and bad news contained in that report. On the good news side, the report indicates that there were 613 boating fatalities nationwide in 2019, a 3.2 decrease from 2018. On the bad news side of the ledger, the total number of accidents was up slightly with 4,168 accidents in 2019 as compared to 4,145 in 2018. Also trending in the wrong direction was the number of non-fatal injured victims with 2,559 such victims in 2019 as compared to 2,511 in 2018…Alcohol continues to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents according to the report. In 2019, alcohol accounted for more than 100 deaths, or 23-percent of the fatalities…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 77 degrees; and the lake is 2.54’ high. TPWD says that striped bass and white bass are excellent on live bait and topwater baits when fish are near the surface. Diving birds are marking feeding schools on the surface throughout the lake. Use electronics to mark schools along the river channel. Largemouth bass are fair fishing soft plastic creatures, Shakyhead worms, jigs, swimbaits, and crankbaits in 6-18’ of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs by boathouses, marinas and brush piles in 12-25’ of water…At Lake Ray Roberts, sight of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 84 degrees; and the lake is 1.07’ high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on Texas-rigged plastic worms, crankbaits, and jigs fished in 4 -16’ of water. White bass are excellent in 20-40’ of water on slabs and jigging spoons. Main lake flats and drop-offs are holding good concentrations of these fish. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows around bridges, standing timber and brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 85 degrees; and the lake is 0.07’ high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on soft plastic creature baits, bladed jigs, and crankbaits fished near drop-offs, brush, grass lines, and points in 8-12’ of water. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in 12-20’ of water near brush piles and standing timber…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, most trout fishing has ended for the season as water temps have warmed and remaining trout have been caught. ODWC says that largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, flukes and lipless baits fished around brushy structure in the river, creek channels leading in the stream, rocks and shoreline areas. Bluegill, green and redear sunfish are good on crickets, in-line spinnerbaits, small lures and worms fished around brushy structure and shoreline areas…At Lake Murray near Ardmore, lake elevation is above normal; water temp is 78 degree; and the water is clear. ODWC says that largemouth and smallmouth bass are slow on crankbaits, jigs and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, creek channels, the discharge area, points, rocks and in coves…On the Texas Gulf Coast, at West Matagorda Bay, TPWD says that wade fishing has been the best method as of late for fishing success and beating the early summer heat. Sand and grassy shorelines along this side of the bay have held scattered catches of speckled trout on topwaters and soft plastics…At Rockport, TPWD says that the key to finding fish has been shallow water with thick grass in the northern areas. Redfish are good using topwaters in black or white/red color. Speckled trout are good on shrimp under a popping cork and are around the shoreline. Flounder have been good on mullet around the piers and Rockport wall. At South Padre, cooler periods in the morning and late afternoons are best. TPWD says that mullet and shrimp imitating lures have been successful in natural colors. Speckled trout have been showing up in big numbers and are best in deeper water transitions and are good on soft plastics. Mother Lagoon has shown large numbers of trout as well. Redfish are still around in sand pockets but are becoming tougher to pattern.…

Tip of the Week

Looking for the main ingredient of a summertime fish fry? According to ODWC game warden Trey Hale, the crappie fishing is pretty good right now on Lake Texoma right now, particularly around brushy structure and docks. If you can find a brush pile near a dock in 20-feet of water, you should be in business as crappie are biting well in the morning hours on jigs and minnows fished in such areas. Get out early, keep what you can use, and don’t forget to have plenty of tartar sauce handy on the dinner table!