Outdoors Digest

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat


July 7 - Red River Fly Fishers monthly meeting CANCELLED.

August 4 - Red River Fly Fishers monthly meeting CANCELLED.

Sept. 1 – Application deadline for Hagerman NWR deer hunts (at TPWD’s Drawn Hunts web page).

Sept. 1-Nov. 12 – First split of Texas North Zone dove season.

Sept. 1-Oct. 31- Oklahoma dove season.

Sept. 12-21 – Oklahoma special resident Canada goose season.

Sept. 12-27 – Texas early teal season.

Sept. 12-27 – Oklahoma early teal season.

Sept. 12-27 – Texas early Canada goose season.

Sept. 19 – Whitesboro Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinner at Ranch 82. For information, contact Whitesboro DU chairman Doug Rodgers at (903) 814-5826.

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. 14-29 – First split of Oklahoma Zone 2 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. 5-Jan. 31 – Second split of Oklahoma Zone 2 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.


From the Herald Democrat outdoors staff, have a safe and happy Independence Day celebration -- enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!… Last Sunday, June 28, 2020, Edmond, Okla. angler James Lukehart and his wife Caitlin took a guided fishing trip to Keystone Lake near Tulsa. Fishing with guide Jeremiah Mefford, who sat the Oklahoma paddlefish state record in late May, Lukehart snagged an apparent new world record paddlefish weighing 146.7-pounds. The 70.5-inch long fish looks to topple the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame's current world record mark of 144-pounds set in Kansas in 2004…Bowfisherman Hunter Blasingame took a 240-pound alligator gar on an unnamed water body in South Texas on June 21. As big as the 7.5-foot long fish was, it falls well short of the Texas bowfishing record for the species. That benchmark belongs to Marty McClellan, who took a 290-pounder from the Trinity River on July 8, 2001…To see stories and photos of these two giant prehistoric looking fish, visit www.gameandfishmag.com... Each summer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists band thousands of mourning and white-winged doves across the state in an effort to keep tabs on population trends. According to a TPWD news release, information from hunter-reported dove bands gives the agency estimates of harvest and survival rates, data that is used with other survey information (like the Harvest Information Program) to help manage the small game birds each year. "Doves are the most popular game bird in the country, and Texas leads the nation in overall harvest and hunter numbers, so it’s critical that we understand how harvest affects dove populations,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, TPWD’s webless migratory game bird program leader. “Much of the information we use to manage these species comes from hunters, so I urge all hunters to report any bands they find and be as responsive and accurate as they can when responding to any harvest surveys or HIP questions during their license purchasing process.”…The Texas North Zone dove season opens up on Sept. 1 with the first split running until Nov. 12. The second North Zone dove season split runs from Dec. 18 until Jan. 3…As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on health and the economy, the National Wild Turkey Federation announced last week that it was seeking to say upwards of $5 million dollars in cost-cutting measures. That includes laying off 50 staff workers including several here in Texas…Major League Fishing pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee took a limit of five bass last Saturday weighing 21-pounds, 6-ounces to claim the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Tennessee’s Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler, the No. 1 ranked pro bass angler in the BassFan.com rankings, captured his 10th major career win with a four-day total of 93-12, good enough for the $125,000 top prize. In his career, the Indiana native captured the FLW Forest Wood Cup in 2012, became the first angler to win two Bassmaster Elite Series events, and now has won two MLF Bass Pro Tour events in the two-year history of the Bass Pro Tour (the 2019 Stage Seven event on Table Rock Lake and the 2020 Stage One event on Lake Eufaula). The sport’s best angler these days, Wheeler has now won more than $2.1 million dollars over the course of his career…According to the FLW Pro Circuit, Wheeler topped his closest competitor, Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, by 11 pounds, 13 ounces to earn the win in the event that featured a field of 204 anglers competing from both the FLW and MLF tours…Inshore anglers will meet up at Port Lavaca next week from July 11-12 for the first of two regular season events in the Texas Division of the 2020 IFA Redfish Tour and the 2020 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 81-86 degrees; and the lake is 2.89 high. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are good 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 Shakyhead worms, swimbaits, and crankbaits in 10-24’ 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 Bassmaster Classic, water is lightly stained; water temp is 81 degrees; and the lake is 1.25 high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, diving crankbaits, and jigs in 12-24’ of water near timber, drop-offs, and rip-rap. White bass are excellent in 20-40’ of water on slabs and jigging spoons. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows around bridges, standing timber and brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 83-85 degrees; and the lake is 0.39 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on blue plastic worms, bladed jigs and crankbaits near drop-offs, windy points, grass lines, and humps in 8-22’. Topwater plugs and hollow bodied plastic frogs are productive early in grass patches and lily pads. Crappie are excellent on jigs and minnows in 18-25’ of water in brush piles and standing timber…At Lake Murray near Ardmore, ODWC says that the lake elevation is above normal; water temp is 80 degrees; and the lake is clear. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fair on crankbaits, Flukes, jigs, lipless crankbaits and soft plastic baits fished around brushy structure, docks, points, rocks and shallow zones…On the Texas Gulf Coast, at Port O'Connor, TPWD says that stable winds are providing excellent fishing opportunities with strong numbers of speckled trout over the mid-bay structure. Back Lakes airboat fishing for solid sized redfish has also been excellent. Wade fishermen have had some great trips taking substantial trout numbers and redfish near the shoreline as well…At Rockport, redfish are good using topwaters in black or white/red color in the bay. Trout are good on shrimp under a popping cork and are found around the shoreline. Flounder are good on mullet around the piers and the Rockport wall…At Port Aransas, redfish are good on shrimp under a popping cork, which will stimulate fish activity. Speckled trout are good on shrimp, KWigglers ball tail lures, and topwaters…

Tip of the Week

It doesn’t seem possible, but the start of fall hunting seasons across Texas is now less than 60-days away! That means that it won’t be long before autumn Ducks Unlimited dinners will start popping up on the calendar, as long as COVID-19 health restrictions allow for that possibility. Assuming that’s the case, the Whitesboro Chapter of Ducks Unlimited has gotten its 2020 date on the calendar with a planned Sept. 19th event at Ranch 82. For information, contact Whitesboro DU chairman Doug Rodgers at (903) 814-5826.