It’s never too late to hunt pigs

Ron Jaap used a custom-built AR15 to take down this pig last weekend. The season

One of the great things about living in Texas is that there is always something to hunt or catch on any given day. For bow and gun hunters, taking a pig is one surefire way to add a little excitement to an otherwise boring summer.

There are more pigs than you can shake a stick at in Texas. We’ve got a ton of them here in East and Southeast Texas. In fact, while fishing on Sabine Lake recently, I saw three huge pigs feeding along the shoreline on the south end of the lake. A few years ago, a friend of mine made a helicopter hunt and whacked 37 pigs in one day on a marsh not far from Sabine.

One of the best tactics for taking pigs during the simmering summer months is to hunt them at night. That’s one reason why night vision gear is so popular. A friend of mine is obsessed with pig hunting at night and has spent well over $20,000 on night vision gear. That’s a lot of bling, but not quite as bad as buying a boat – another big boy toy. Once you get set up with night vision equipment you can hunt till you drop. I’ve spent many nights stalking pigs and can guarantee you it’s an absolute hoot.

Another option is to scout out areas where pigs are feeding, toss out some corn and set up to shoot them from a makeshift blind at dawn and dusk. This is a very good excuse for a weekend pass at the deer lease.

Sabine reds and trout are excellent on live shrimp

Guide Jerry Norris reports that Sabine Lake is still holding lots of fresh water from recent rains, but the fishing is better than you might think.

“All that fresh water has pushed a lot of trout and reds to the lower end of the lake,” says Norris. “Birds are working on the end of the lake near the causeway bridge, but they are mostly over small trout, mixed in with a few reds.”

In the stained water on the lower end of Sabine, live shrimp are best. You can either free-line them or fish them under floats.

Norris says good numbers of flounder are being caught along the Louisiana shoreline on soft plastics and live mud minnows. He’s doing best by fishing the bayous feeding into the lake on falling tides.

Game wardens investigate July 4 boating deaths

Texas Game Wardens are investigating several incidents from the July 4 holiday weekend, including multiple fatalities.

Monday, July 6, game wardens recovered the fourth victim from a canoeing accident on Houston County Lake. Three victims were recovered late Sunday afternoon and the incident remains under investigation.

Also Monday night, game wardens led by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Dive Team recovered a victim who had driven into Richland Chambers Lake.

A 41-year-old Marble Falls man was arrested by game wardens late Saturday and booked into the Burnet County Jail on intoxication assault charges after the boat he was allegedly operating collided with a Marble Falls Police Department marine safety patrol vessel on Lake Marble Falls. A Marble Falls police captain onboard the patrol vessel was seriously injured.

Other incidents encountered by game wardens during the holiday weekend included nine boating accidents, two stolen boats, nine search and rescue events, and multiple felony arrests. While on patrol through the July 4 holiday weekend, game wardens contacted over 47,000 boaters. A total of 63 arrests were made for boating while intoxicated.

Texas A&M wins fishing national championship

On a tough final day, Josh Bensema and Matthew McArdle of Texas A&M University needed only two bass weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces to claim the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship held this past weekend on Lake DuBay out of Stevens Point, Wisconson.

The Aggies overcame a 6-ounce deficit on Saturday morning, July 11, to surpass the second-round leaders out of Nicholls State University — and take home the biggest prize in college bass fishing.

“When we caught a keeper bass right away, we were very confident,” said Bensema. “To go almost the rest of the day with no fish was tough.”

In fact, the pair’s only other bass was caught with only minutes of fishing time remaining.

“Catching a smallmouth with five minutes to go was important. Matt looked at me and said ‘I think you just caught the winning fish.’ It turns out I did,” Bensema said.

Over the course of the national championship, Bensema and McArdle caught eight bass for a three-day total of 18-4. The majority of their fish came on a topwater frog, although a jig accounted for some keepers as well. Bass were biting best for the A&M anglers in the morning hours.