Big trout take mullet baits on Lake Calcasieu

Big trout like this one are still being caught on Lake Calcasieu with mullet imi

The fantastic trophy trout fishing that was being kept very quiet on Sabine Lake came to a sudden halt about a week ago when we got a tidal wave of rain and runoff. All that rain water coming down the Sabine River put the skids to a “hot” trout bite, and definitely didn’t do white bass fishermen any favors, either.

Here’s the good news: If you’re dead set on catching a wall-class trout, you might want to head over to Lake Calcasieu. That’s where a number of quality trout are being caught, according to Capt. Buddy Oaks with the Hackberry Rod and Gun Club. They had trout to 29 inches over the past several days. Most were caught on slow-sinking, mullet-imitation plugs. One of the most popular lures for big trout on Calcasieu right now is the Bomber Mullet in either a silver flash/pink/chartreuse or a black/chartreuse. Most of the heavier trout are coming from flats on the far lower end of the lake in 3 to 5 feet of water. The key is to find mullet.

White bass and crappie

Guide Bill Fondren reports that the white bass run was washed out with 10-1/2 inches of rain.

“There are houses, trees, cows and hogs floating down the Sabine River right now,” says Fondren. “All that debris makes running the river a little too dangerous for me.”

Here’s the really good news: Crappie are spawning on Rayburn right now. Fondren says that for the next week or so, fishing for big crappie – and lots of them – won’t get any better. The way to catch them is with jigs or live shiners fished up in the bushes in 3 to 4 feet of water.

TPWD to close 11 East Texas counties for spring turkey hunts

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has voted to close spring eastern turkey hunting in 11 East Texas counties effective next year, while restructuring the season in two other counties.

Hunting season for eastern turkeys will be closed in 2016 in Angelina, Brazoria, Camp, Fort Bend, Franklin, Harrison, Hopkins, Morris, Titus, Trinity and Wood counties and on National Forest lands in Jasper County.

“While closed, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologists will evaluate the prospects for future eastern turkey restoration compatibility and restocking efforts,” says TPWD’s Steve Lightfoot. “The department’s goal is to reopen hunting should the eastern turkey populations in the affected counties become capable of sustaining harvest.”

TPWD is also restructuring the existing spring turkey hunting season in Wharton and Matagorda counties. The new regulations, which take effect for the 2016 season, will continue to allow for a 30-day spring-only, one-gobbler season and eliminate mandatory harvest reporting.

Top 10 boat names

Big and small, power or sail, there are many different kinds of boats and so many different kinds of boat owners. But the one thing they seem to agree on is how boating makes them feel, at least if you’re looking at a boat’s name on the transom. “Serenity” is the No. 1 boat name for the second year in a row with the release of the 2015 list of Top Ten Boat Names from Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS). It is also the name’s 10 appearance on the popular list of boat names issued annually since 1992 by the recreational boat advocacy, service and safety group.

“Calm, peaceful and untroubled is what boating is all about for so many boaters,” said BoatUS spokesman Scott Croft.

The BoatUS 2015 list of Top Ten Boat Names:

1. Serenity

2. Seas the Day

3. Andiamo (Italian for “let’s go”)

4. Aquaholic

5. Second Wind

6. Island Time

7. Happy Ours

8. Journey

9. Serendipity

10. Relentless

Croft says boaters frequently come to BoatUS to get ideas for a name by taking a peek at the Association’s online list of over 8,000 boat names, then use the free and easy layout program to “start playing around with a boat name to get an idea of what it will look like, picking letter styles and colors.” Boaters can then choose to either order online or if they want some more creative help, may use the BoatUS Premium Boat Graphics service that offers the talents of a professional designer. An online photo gallery can also help boaters narrow down a choice.

“Picking a boat name can be harder than naming one’s own child,” said Croft, who has had to name several of his boats through the years. “Boat names can reflect your lifestyle, your relationship to loved ones or what you do for a living. And that’s only the beginning.”


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.