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Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
Herald Democrat

Calendar

Through Sept. 27 – Texas early teal season.

Through Sept. 27 – Oklahoma early teal season.

Through Sept. 27 – Texas early Canada goose season.

Through Oct. 31- Oklahoma dove season.

Through Nov. 12 – First split of Texas North Zone dove season.

Sept. 26 – National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Oct. 1-Jan. 15 - Oklahoma archery deer season.

Oct. 3-Nov. 6 – Texas early archery deer season.

Oct. 6 –Red River Fly Fishers monthly meeting (tentatively scheduled pending COVID-19 restrictions) from 6-8 p.m. at Baylor Scott & White Surgical Hospital Conference Room in Sherman. See www.rrff.org for information.

Oct. 20 – 45th annual Texoma Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinner.

Oct. 24-Nov. 1 - Oklahoma primitive arms / muzzleloading deer season.

Oct. 31-Feb. 28 – Texas quail season.

Notes

Happy belated birthday to Will Burkhead, youngest son of longtime Herald Democrat outdoor writer Lynn Burkhead. Will turned 22 years old yesterday and is wrapping up a forestry and wildlife management degree at Stephen F. Austin University. His dad is hoping that he’ll use that education to help locate a few good deer hunting and duck hunting places for the future…Now that the Whitesboro Ducks Unlimited fundraiser has come and gone, next up on the local quacker backer calendar is the 45th annual Ducks Unlimited Dinner. That dinner is coming up next month on Oct. 20th in Denison…Speaking of the Whitesboro DU dinner, the early word is that the crowd was big and that a big night of raffle sales and auction sales helped raise a big amount of money for the ducks … A glance at the Red River Fly Fishers website shows that the group is still hoping to have their next two regularly scheduled meetings and fly tying sessions on Oct. 6 and Nov. 3. Stay tuned to the group’s website at www.rrff.org for updates and additional details …

Hunting Reports

As September winds down, Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides have still been finding some fair wingshooting action for doves out near Waurika, Okla. Most of NTO’s dove hunting comes to an end once the first month of dove season has come and gone, primarily because the group starts shifting their attention to fall deer hunts, which begins in about another week as archery season prepares to open on both sides of the Red River…Speaking of good dove hunting action, the Sherman-based father-and-son duo of Jim Lillis and Jeff Lillis traveled west towards Burkburnett, Texas last weekend for a guided dove shoot with Phil Bellows and several other Ducks Unlimited friends. The group found some of the best wingshooting of the season, easily limiting out on birds in the area northwest of Wichita Falls. Most of the birds harvested were white-winged doves, although a few mourning doves showed up in the bag limits as well. There were even some exotic Eurasian collared doves flying by, some close enough to be taken by the Texomaland hunters. Regardless of the species of doves knocked down, most birds were dining on leftover wheat in the area …While this week featured cool and damp weather, there was no real push of cooler air and north winds to spur on one final push of blue-winged teal into the area. Still, as the season comes to an end this weekend, there should be a few birds filtering through the Texoma area, so get out and hunt if you can…This Saturday, Sept. 26 marks this year’s celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day across the country…

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temp is 79 degrees; and the lake is 1.48 low. TPWD reports that striped bass and white bass are fair on live bait in 25-35’ and topwater baits when fish are near the surface. As has been the case for a few weeks now, diving birds are marking feeding schools on the surface throughout the lake. Use your boat’s electronics to mark schools along the river channel and flats and keep in mind that schools are continually moving with the bait. Largemouth bass are fair for those fishing Texas-rigged plastic worms and diving crankbaits in 16-28’ of water with some fish moving into shallow water in the 8-12’ range. Crappie are good on minnows by boathouses, timber and brush piles in 15-25’ of water…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, the water is lightly stained; water temp is 80 degrees; and the lake is 0.01 high. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on Carolina-rigged plastic worms, deep diving crankbaits, and white spinnerbaits in 16-26’ of water near timber, rip rap, and channel edges. TPWD says that there is also an early morning and late afternoon topwater bite on points with a ledge or drop off nearby. White bass are slow in 20-40’ of water on slabs and minnows near main lake flats and drop-offs. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs tipped with minnows, both fished around standing timber near a creek channel and brush piles…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temp is 80 degrees; and the lake is 1.58 low. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on slow-moving finesse worms and jigs fished near standing flooded timber, points, and drop-offs. Crappie are slow on minnows in 18-25’ of water in brush piles and standing timber...Saltwater fishing is great right now across many portions of the Texas Gulf Coast with superb fishing in many places for bull redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. One of the real hotspots in recent days has been the Rockport vicinity where TPWD says that spoons and topwaters are still producing outstanding results. The shipping channels are still hot as well and flounder are great around local jetties and piers. Redfish and speckled trout are best on live shrimp or croaker, although some action is also occurring on spoons and topwater baits…

Tip of the Week

With area waters beginning to slowly start their fall cool down, bass fishing should pick up over the next several weeks as local largemouths start chasing shad in an effort to prepare for winter. As the fall deepens, look for bass to start pushing bait into the back of creeks, getting shallower as the water temperatures continue to tumble. Show up with a quick moving shad colored bait as the fall fishing starts heating up and you just might find some of the best fishing action of the year between now and Thanksgiving.