Keep an eye out for the parks department’s drawing booklet

As we open the month of July, keep in mind that the booklets for lottery hunts are about due. I contacted the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin and was told the Special Drawing and Regular Permit Hunting Opportunities booklets would be in Austin either the last week of June or the first week of July. If you entered the drawings last year, a book will be sent to you. Otherwise they should be available at the local TPWD on Eastex Freeway in Beaumont.

At one point in time these hunts, were much more affordable than they are now, but they are still less costly than some of the private-land hunts. That is the case if your application is one of those selected. I’ve been on several of these hunts at various locations over the years and they, in most cases, were handled really professionally. The folks who run the hunts are cordial and they expect each hunter to abide strictly by the rules and regulations. Should you not have a place already located for hunting, this might be the answer to that. The booklet offers many kinds of hunts for a large variety of game and with various hunting equipment such as guns or archery.

I’d recommend contacting the TPWD locally by telephone after the first week in July or contacting the TPWD in Austin to request a booklet by mail. Some of the hunt applications have early deadlines, so don’t delay getting the booklet.

Since I’m on the subject of books and such, there is an author of a new publication that may lead both novice and experienced speckled anglers to greater success. His name is Daren Guernsey and yes, he is a local writer that has been a top-notch fishing guide both inland and offshore. Daren’s first book is titled “Turning Tides.”

I’ve made it a point over the years to read a good number of how-to books about saltwater fishing. Some of them would contain some helpful hints about how to catch fish in a general sense. There would mostly be lots of fillers used in order to make the book have more pages. That is not the case in “Turning Tides.” Captain Guernsey has gotten directly to his point in each paragraph of instructions.

Folks that are more experienced in the pursuit of speckled trout will likely learn some of Guernsey’s guide experiences, but could also be reminded of situations that have been forgotten over time.

One of the first things mentioned is water quality. Is super salty or super fresh water an indication as to the possible presence of speckled trout? How about water clarity? Do either of those have an effect on the fish? Water temperature is also deeply discussed in Guernsey’s book.

Then there is the effect of tidal flows on the fish. Where to go for the more consistent success during various tides is included. There is even in-depth discussion about times of slack or no tidal flows. Are the deeper or more shallow water areas the places to be in during each situation? Knowing whether the fish will be in the same places no matter the time of year is deeply discussed from a professional guide’s point of view.

So where do we begin the fishing day on days with clouds or no clouds? How about a day that starts out one way and then the weather changes? Do sudden squalls or barometer changes have great effects on the fish’s feeding patterns?

Many of the dedicated speckled trout anglers will have special equipment for their sport. Rods, reels, line, lures, and even natural or live bait require some knowledge of how to and when to use what. Guernsey covers this, and one would surmise that even a freshwater angler can use their equipment for speckled trout most of the time. There are even some tips that the author has learned over his long experience that will likely be a help to all of us.

This book, which I understand will be the initial one in a series, will certainly be a great asset if catching speckled trout is your goal. Its size makes it convenient to take along in a tackle box as a reference. The captain indicates that the book is written as a help tool. There is nothing outside of nature itself that can make the fish bite. This book will, however, put the odds highly in your favor. By the way, there are some recipes for preparing speckled trout in the book if you follow the book’s directions.

I do recommend Guernsey’s new book. Captain Daren Guernsey may be contacted at