Crappie, bass, trout and reds are in the news

Robert Sloan photo

Fishing on Sabine Lake is nothing but one big guessing game these days. The fish that are on one day have lockjaw the next. Right now it’s tough to pin down birds holding over trout and reds, and if you do, most of the specks feeding under the birds are “cigar” sized.

But all that is going to change as cool fronts continue to move through. As the surface water temperature cools, lots of shad and shrimp will begin moving into Sabine Lake from the surrounding estuary areas. Once that begins, big-time numbers of trout and reds will be feeding under the birds. Typically October is THE month to work the birds on Sabine Lake and East Galveston Bay.

The teal season closes Sunday, Sept. 28. So far the numbers of teal migrating through Southeast Texas has been a little less than fantastic. Bobby Vaughn reports that their hunts west of Beaumont are the worst he’s ever seen. His group of hunters were averaging about three birds per hunt halfway through the season. That’s when I was getting reports that big time numbers of teal were all over the place on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.

Meanwhile, teal hunts on the middle Texas coast are better than anybody has ever seen. Guide Dwayne Lowrey is running hunts on crawfish ponds out of Port O’Connor and has had limits every day of the season. I made a hunt with him and three other guys last week and we racked up 30 birds in one hour. It was an excellent hunt, and the birds came in over the decoys in big groups.

On Sam Rayburn, guide Bill Fondren says catches of bass and crappie are excellent.

“I fished three days last week and caught just over 300 crappie,” says Fondren. “We’re catching them over brush in 14 to 18 feet of water with tube jigs and white Stanley Wedge Tails.”

Fondren says bass fishing is very good over grass on the lower end of the lake in 12 to 14 feet of water. Spinnerbaits are good, along with flukes, Baby Brush Hogs and Stanley Top Toads.

Yeti coolers for sale - cheap

One of the most stolen items from trucks and boats are expensive Yeti coolers. Just recently game wardens caught a Yeti thief.

A game warden received a call with information about two Yeti coolers for sale on Craigslist. The warden and a DPS Criminal Investigation Division officer reviewed the listing and found the coolers pictured to be consistent with the description of two stolen coolers. The next day, the two officers contacted the seller, posing as possible buyers, and made arrangements to meet. When the officers inspected the coolers, they found the exact markings matching the missing property. When interviewed, the seller quickly admitted to taking the coolers and gave the location of the remaining stolen property. A total of six Yetis were recovered with an estimated value of $3,000. The individual was handed over to Willacy County investigators for processing.

Take a kid hunting

Hunting is an American tradition often passed down from generation to generation. A recent survey by reveals that passing that heritage along to younger people is still alive and well with nearly 46 percent of surveyed sportsmen having taken at least one child hunting in the past year. The common perception that those children are almost always a son or daughter, however, may not be completely accurate.

Traditionally, it is thought boys and girls most often learn to hunt from a parent, and in 59 percent of the reported cases, that is absolutely true. But sportsmen aren’t just teaching their kids how to track a buck, shoot a duck or call in a turkey; they’re introducing the outdoors to other relatives and friends as well. After a son or daughter, the next highest response was taking an unrelated young person, with 27 percent of respondents reporting they had taken a girl or boy hunting with them that was not related to them, 20 percent took a nephew or niece and 17 percent took a grandchild. Nearly 4 percent took a child as part of an organized activity such as through scouting or as part of a church group event.

“Sportsmen have long sought to share their love for the outdoors with the people in their lives, particularly young people, and when it comes to hunting, introducing kids to the outdoors isn’t limited to just immediate family members,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at