Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
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.


Col. Chad Jones has been selected as the new law enforcement director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. According to a TPWD news release, Jones became a game warden in 2004 and has held duty stations in Brazos and Trinity Counties. He has also served as a Team Lead for the Forensic Accident and Reconstruction Team, a Lieutenant at the Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, a Captain in Uvalde and a Major in both Corpus Christi and in the Pineywoods region of East Texas. He succeeds Col. Grahame Jones, who recently retired.…TPWD’s Corpus Christi Inland Fisheries Management Team, with assistance from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, has built and deployed 92 fish habitat structures this year within Coleto Creek Reservoir. The artificial structures serve as a refuge for all types of prey in areas where habitat was previously limited… Public Land Hunter, a magazine dedicated to the millions of hunters who frequently pursue game on public lands across the U.S., is now on sale. Published by Outdoor Sportsman Group, Public Land Hunter ($8, includes shipping) is a publication that seeks to blend proven tactics, gear reports, where-to-hunt info, and local information as readers get ready for a fall of hunting on public lands near where they live. According to a news release, the publication can be purchased at https://www.osgnewsstand.com/product/public-2020... ... TPWD says that the private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. Anglers may continue to harvest up to 4 red snapper per day with a 15-inch minimum length limit from Texas state waters...The next TPW Commission Meeting is scheduled virtually for Aug. 26-27. To comment on proposed regulations, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment ...

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 84-87 degrees; and the lake is 1.05 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 and flats. Largemouth bass are good when fishing jigs, Texas-rigged plastic worms, and crankbaits in 8-24’ 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 temps is 85 degrees; and the lake is 0.29 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on green plastic worms, diving crankbaits, and jigs fished in 16-26’ of water near timber, points, and channel ledges. White bass are good 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 85-89 degrees; and the lake is 0.77 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are good on blue fleck, purple and dark green plastic worms, diving crankbaits, bladed jigs and Chatterbaits fished near deep structure, points and humps in 14-28’ of water. Some topwater action is happening early with topwater plugs and buzzbaits. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in 18-25’ of water around brush piles and standing timber…At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, water temp is 79 and the water is clear. ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are good on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters fished around brushy structure and rocks…As the summer vacation season continues along the Texas Gulf Coast, some spots are picking up the pieces after the passage of 90 mph Hurricane Hanna last weekend near Port Mansfield…At Port Aransas, following the passage of Hanna to the south, redfish are good on shrimp under a popping cork, spoons, or paddle tail plastics. Speckled trout are fair on shrimp and topwaters. Black drum are fair on soft plastics or crab and will most likely be in the deep water transitions or around structure. The jetties may still be closed due to the hurricane’s passage...At North Padre Island and Corpus Christi, speckled trout are fair to good along the shoreline and are best on shrimp under a popping cork. Bob Hall Pier is closed due to hurricane damage. If the surf is green in color, try live shrimp under a float. The Laguna flats are a reliable area to catch speckled trout and redfish on live bait or soft plastics…At Port Mansfield, which was raked by the southern eyewall of Hanna as it made landfall north of town, water is higher than normal. Reports are that water will be about 2-feet deeper in the areas anglers were fishing before the storm, so shoreline fishing is a good bet. Topwater should be ok now that some of the floating grass have been blown out by Hanna’s storm surge and winds. Try soft plastics in KWiggler ball-tail and willow-tail baits…Offshore should be good when anglers can get out…At South Padre Island, some snook were caught by Capt. Eric Glass earlier in the week. No report on tarpon yet at the SPI jetties. Speckled trout are good on live and artificial baits. Use a popping cork with shrimp along with color changes. The redfish bite has been better in the afternoon…

Tip of the Week

As August arrives on the calendar this weekend, the march towards fall hunting seasons will accelerate too. That includes the first application deadlines for TPWD drawn hunts around the state this fall. The first application deadline for drawn hunts is tomorrow, Saturday, August 1 for hunters wanting to apply for hunts for Alligator, Alligator Management, Private Land Dove, Private Lands Pronghorn, Pronghorn, and Youth Only Alligator. To apply for 2020-21 TPWD drawn hunts, pleas visit the website at https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing/deadlines.phtml .