Outdoors Digest

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat


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 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts.


Major League Fishing's SCORETRACKER Live! leaderboard was roaring with fish catching action this past week at MLF’s Bass Pro Tour Stage Five event on Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay. In a smallmouth bass catching frenzy near Sturgeon Bay, Wis., BPT anglers caught huge amounts of smallies with the $100,000 top prize eventually earned by Justin Lucas. Lucas’ final day catch of 110-pounds, 5-ounces was enough to outlast runner-up Mark Daniels, Jr. who weighed in 102-pounds, 7-ounces…. Rounding out the Top 10 in the final BPT event of the COVID-19 shortened season were Josh Bertrand (3rd place, 86 – 14); Jordan Lee (4th, 79 – 07); Alton Jones (5th, 78 – 05); Andy Morgan (6th, 63 – 10); Mike Iaconelli (7th, 63 – 02); Cliff Pace (8th, 54 – 05); Bradley Roy (9th, 30 – 07); and Ish Monroe (10th, 28 – 04)…Fourth place finisher Jordan Lee, the 29-year old angling phenom from Alabama who won back-to-back Bassmaster Classics in 2017 and 2018, captured the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Points Championship this week in Wisconsin…After this week’s July 14-17 Elite Series event at Cayuga Lake was cancelled due to ongoing restrictions by the state of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials with B.A.S.S. announced that their two other Empire State events would continue on as scheduled. That includes the Elite Series event at St. Lawrence River from July 23-26 (with daily takeoffs and weigh-ins moved to a new location) and the Elite Series event at Lake Champlain from July 30-Aug. 2 going on as scheduled in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The announcement came about after the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and state and local officials were able to formulate a new tournament plan that includes competitors, but no fans in attendance. “We have enjoyed record-breaking fan support in New York for years,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO, in a website news release. “While fans won’t be able to attend the events on-site this year, we are thankful to everyone who is helping B.A.S.S. to safely bring the fun of competition and beauty of these fisheries into the homes of millions of fans via our live, on-the-water coverage.” Senator Patty Ritchie added that “I’m pleased the North Country will once again play host to the Bassmaster Elite Series. Given current public health concerns, it’s critical this event is executed safely. To that end, state and local officials are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the community, as well as tournament participants.” …The annual northern swing of the Elite Series had been in doubt this summer due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak across the nation. While the state’s virus numbers have trended sharply downward in recent days, New York leads the U.S. in coronavirus infection numbers along with a total death total of more than 32,000 residents… The American Sportfishing Association has announced the 2020 ICAST Best of Show award winners as the virtual event is held online this week. After examining more than 400 new products, registered media members and online voters narrowed down the voluminous list to 30 category winners. The ICAST Best of Show winner will be announced today…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 82-86 degrees; and the lake is 1.87 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. TPWD advises anglers to use sonar to mark schools along the river channel and flats. Largemouth bass are good when anglers are fishing with spoons, plastic worms and crankbaits in 10-24’ of water. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished by boathouses, marinas and brush piles in 15-25’ 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 0.12 high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on blue and dark green plastic worms, deep diving crankbaits, and Chatterbaits in 16-26’ of water near timber, points, and channel ledges. White bass are excellent in 20-40’ of water on slabs and jigging spoons near main lake flats, ledges, and drop-offs. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows fished around bridges, standing timber and brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 83-85 degrees; and the lake is 0.29 low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on blue, purple and dark green plastic worms, bladed jigs and Chatterbaits fished near deep structure, points and humps in 10-22’ of water. There is also some topwater action early. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in 18-25’ of water around brush piles and standing timber…At Oklahoma's Lake of the Arbuckle’s, elevation is normal; water temp is 84 degrees; and the water is clear. ODWC says that the summertime slowdown is starting as heat builds and slows fishing activity. Bass are hitting topwaters off points at dawn. After that, Shakyhead worms and Ned rigs seem to be working best...As the beach vacation season continues along the Texas Gulf Coast, TPWD says that at Port Aransas, Fish Pass Jetty and Horace Caldwell Pier have been great spots all around. Redfish are good on shrimp under a popping cork while soft plastics are working too. Speckled trout are good on shrimp, KWigglers ball tails, and topwaters. Black drum are good on soft plastics or crab and will most likely be in the deep water transitions or around structure and vegetation…At Corpus Christi, TPWD says that speckled trout are plentiful in the surf and best on shrimp. Bob Hall Pier is an excellent spot for redfish, trout, pompano, jacks, black drum, and flounder. If the surf is green, TPWD says to try live shrimp under a float. In stained water, use shrimp for drum and redfish. The Laguna flats is also a great area and typically very reliable to catch speckled trout…. At South Padre, TPWD says that speckled trout are plentiful near the surf on spoons, MirrOlures, topwater plugs, and soft-plastic tails. Look for clear/green water for best results. Spanish mackerel have been good using fast-moving spoons and jigs, especially when a clear, clean tide moves against the sand. Holly Beach and the jetties are great locations to fish too…

Tip of the Week

Going out onto an area lake during the height of summertime heat? Among other safety ideas to consider, drink plenty of water; apply high SPF sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin along with sun protecting lip balm; wear sunglasses, protective hats and lightweight moisture wicking clothes that protect against the sun; and watch for signs of dangerous heat exhaustion and potentially life-threatening heat stroke.