More water not always what fishermen want or need

Robert Sloan photo

My grandpa used to tell me that farming was a tough life, especially when it involved rain. He said a farmer had to pray for rain, then pray for rain to stop. I think that was pretty much the case last week with all the rain that fell on East and Southeast Texas. All that water has created havoc for fishermen on the Sabine and Angelina Rivers, not to mention the folks on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, and as of now, Sabine Lake.

Bill Fondren, a white bass guide on the Sabine and Angelina rivers and on Rayburn, says it’s so bad they’re pouring chocolate milk into Rayburn to clear it up.

“The white bass run is totally wiped out,” says Fondren. “Both the Angelina and Sabine rivers are flooded. Right before the rains came, we caught over 100 crappie on the Angelina River. The crazy thing is we’ve still got more water coming down from northeast Texas. I think Rayburn is coming up about a foot a day. It’s not up in the picnic tables at the park yet, but it will be. “

All that water is heading right to Sabine Lake, and will likely wipe out the spring trout run. In fact, it’ll just about shut down fishing on the upper end for the next few weeks. On the lower end of the lake, the deep water reef north of the causeway might still provide some good catches of trout and reds for fishermen bumping jigs along bottom. The best bite will likely be in Lighthouse Cove and at the jetties.

Bass fishing on both T-Bend and Rayburn will continue to be fair — if you can find pockets of clean water. Fondren says that catches of bass are still pretty good on Rayburn. Most are being caught up shallow on spinnerbaits.

Game warden to the rescue on Lake Limestone

A Limestone County game warden got a call about a father and son who hadn’t returned home from their fishing trip. After calling both her husband and son multiple times, the wife and her other son went to Lake Limestone to look for their missing family members. They found the dad’s truck and trailer, but his boat was nowhere to be seen. When the warden arrived on scene, he saw a light flashing sporadically in the distance, in the middle of the lake. The warden launched his patrol boat and, upon arriving at the source of the light, found a man and child sitting on top of a capsized vessel. High winds had caused the boat to take on water and capsize on top of a tree stump, which kept the boat partially above water. The father and son, who were both wearing life jackets, were OK, though they were very cold, hungry and shaken. The warden took them back to the boat ramp and their waiting family members, gave them some food and let them warm up. Fortunately, neither individual needed medical attention.

Check out state parks with new app

With fishing on the downside, one very good option is to visit one of our many state parks for a quick-hit escape. They offer a little bit of everything, including camping, hiking, biking and much more.

One very good way to check out our state parks is with the new Texas State Parks Official Guide mobile app. The app, which is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play, makes it easy for park visitors to find their perfect park based on favorite activities, campsite requirements and trail preferences from the palm of your hand.

The mobile app gives visitors access to park descriptions, locations, facility maps, and other information from anywhere. It also keeps users up-to-date on full or partial park closures caused by weather or other events, so visitors can keep their getaways happy and safe.

The new app features a search that allows users to sort through the Texas State Park system by location, by facilities and by activities and amenities offered at any of the 95 state parks. Visitors can also create a custom list of their favorite parks.

The Texas State Parks Official Guide features facilities and amenities for all parks, and in-app dialing to make reservations or contact a park. You can also find downloadable trail maps for offline use, driving directions to parks from current location and get photos and videos of parks.

For more information about the Texas State Parks Official Guide, visit

Bambi’s not a pet

A Grayson County game warden received a call from a Sherman Police Department officer about a yearling white-tailed deer he had noticed in a small pen in someone’s yard. The warden went to the scene and, with the help of a local animal control officer, captured the deer and transferred it to a permitted rehabilitator so it could eventually be released back into the wild. The warden cited the resident of the house for possessing a live deer without a permit.