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Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
Herald Democrat

Calendar

June 20—Toby Keith Foundation’s 2020 Fish Bowl fundraising bass tournament on Lake Texoma at Rooster Creek.

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.

Notes

Happy Father’s Day from the Herald Democrat Outdoors section staff …Happy anniversary to longtime Herald Democrat outdoor writer Lynn Burkhead and his wife Charissa who are celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary today…Professional bass fishing came roaring back to life last week with Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour and the Bassmaster Elite Series both resuming their COVID-19 altered tournament schedules. In central Florida, Jordan Lee continued to show why he’s the best young gun in the business, capturing the BPT Heavy Hitter tournament with 12 final day fish weighing 52-09 and the Championship Round’s biggest bass at 7-04. That equaled a cool $200,000 payday for Lee, a two-time Bassmaster Classic champion in his 20s, half for the tournament win and half for the final day’s biggest bass. On Lake Eufaula in eastern Alabama, Buddy Gross used a dramatic big bass catch on championship day to win his first Elite Series blue trophy thanks to a four-day total of 84-08, good enough for a $101,000 payday…Incidentally, Texas fishing legend Gary Klein finished ninth in the MLF BPT event last week on Florida’s Kissimmee Chain of Lakes while Lone Star State residents Clark Wendlandt and Chris Zaldain finished in 8th and 10th place at the Elite Series event on Eufaula…This week, the 2020 Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open is underway after weeks of COVID-19 delay. Pros are competing on the Arkansas River near Muskogee, Okla. – look for results in next week’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section…The FLW Pro Circuit and several dozen MLF BPT anglers will gather next week at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tenn. for the first of three “Super Tournaments” this year. The hybrid event, brought about by the COVID-19 schedule cancellations on both circuits, will be held on June 23-26… How much of a heavyweight bass event was the BPT Heavy Hitters event last week in central Florida? Pretty heavy and then some, even with very warm water and tough summertime conditions. As Bass Pro Tour analyst JT Kenney pointed out, the biggest bass of the event was Mark Rose’s 9-pound, 2-ounce largemouth…on a spinning rod. But that was far from the only big bass with six 8-pounders, 11 7-pounders, 16 6-pounders, and 45 5-pounders being caught not too far from Disney World. What’s the moral of that story? Forget the amusement park where Mickey Mouse resides – the real magic kingdom in Florida is still the state’s legendary big bass fishing!...

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 77 degrees; and the lake is 2.54’ high. TPWD says 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 sonar to mark schools along the river channel. Largemouth bass are fair fishing 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, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 84 degrees; and the lake is 1.07’ high. Largemouth bass are fair on Texas-rigged worms, crankbaits, and jigs in 4 -16’ of water. White bass are excellent in 20-40’ of water on slabs and jigging spoons fished near main lake flats and drop-offs. 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. 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 in brush piles and standing timber…At Oklahoma’s McGee Creek Reservoir near Atoka, the lake elevation is normal; the water temp is 78; and the water is a bit stained. ODWC reports that largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures fished along flats, in the main lake, over points and in coves...On the Texas Gulf Coast at Rockport, TPWD rates the overall fishing as good. According to the agency, the key to finding fish has been shallow water with thick grass in the northern areas of the region. Redfish are good using topwaters in black or white/red color. Speckled trout are good on shrimp under a popping cork and are being found around the shoreline. Flounder have been good on mullet around the piers and Rockport wall…Nearby at Port Aransas, the overall fishing is also good. TPWD says that flounder are good on live bait around rocks. Meanwhile, redfish are good on shrimp, KWiggler paddle tails while speckled trout are good on shrimp, KWiggler paddle tails, and top waters. Down the coastline at Port Mansfield, TPWD reports that red snapper is good in Texas waters in addition to the federal waters red snapper season now being open for anglers…

Tip of the Week

Hope to catch a big largemouth bass this weekend? Be on the water at the crack of dawn, find a good laydown log, a brush pile poking through the surface, a grass line, or the edge of a lily pad field and then throw a soft-bodied hollow frog. Walk it slowly back and forth towards the boat, pause it over timber or an edge in the vegetation, and wait a half-second when the water explodes before you set the hook! Sometimes, surprisingly big bass will hit a frog even on a warm summertime day!