Rayburn, T-Bend giving up good numbers of fat catfish

Rayburn, T-Bend giving up good numbers of fat catfish

Thanks to a flood of rain water heading down the Neches and Sabine rivers, fishing on Sabine Lake is going to take a direct hit, meaning slower fishing. However, a good place to find both trout and reds will be along the Gulf side of the jetties, and at the short rigs. Fishing jigs around the rigs, anywhere from a half mile to 7 miles off the Sabine jetties, has been a good way to catch some pretty good numbers of trout. When fishing the rigs you can definitely expect to catch an occasional shark, along with lots of Spanish mackerel.

The water temperature in Sabine Lake is right at 83 degrees; in the surf and around the short offshore rigs, it’s 85 degrees.

On Sam Rayburn, largemouth bass are best early and late on buzzbaits in white or white/chartreuse. Extended points are best during the heat of the day with Carolina-rigged worms. White bass are fair on minnows and pet spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows and blue/black tube jigs over brush piles. Catfish are very good on trotlines baited with live bait and cut bait in creeks and along the river channel in 12 to 25 feet of water.

At Toledo Bend, the water temperature is 85 degrees. Largemouth bass are good on pumpkinseed soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and Rat-L-Traps. Striped bass are fair on white striper jigs at the dam. White bass are good on Li’l Fishies and silver spoons. Crappie are good on minnows over baited holes 15-20 feet deep. Bream are good on night crawlers. Channel and blue catfish are best on trotlines baited with live bait and stinkbait in 30 feet of water.

TPWD online public hunt drawing system is now live

Hunters applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s drawn public hunts can now take advantage of the new online-only Public Hunt Drawing System.

The Drawn Hunts Program offers affordable hunting experiences at more than 80 areas around the state in more than two dozen different hunt categories, including eight specifically for youth only. Adult application fees for Special Permit hunts are either $3 or $10, depending on the category. Adult hunters that are selected will also need to pay an additional permit fee of $80 for regular hunts and $130 for extended hunts. Some categories require no permit fee. There are no application fees or permit fees for youth age 8 to 16 and non-hunting supervising adults on youth only hunts. There are no application or permit fees for the E-Postcard hunts or the U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer permits.

The new online-only system is currently accepting applications for 2014-15 Drawn Hunts, including Special Permit hunts, E-Postcard hunts, and U.S. Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits. For the first time, the entire process is being handled electronically — from applications, to fee payments and permit issuance. “Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands” booklets, application forms and permits will no longer be printed and mailed out. Hunt options can be browsed online by category or by area using an interactive map. A downloadable PDF of the 2014-15 Drawn Hunt Catalog is also available online.

In addition to now being able to apply for multiple hunt areas within the same hunt category, the online system will give applicants more time to apply. With no paper applications to mail in, applicants will have until midnight on the day of the deadline to apply. Applicants will also retain and continue to accrue preference points, now called loyalty points, as in the past. Points will stay with the category and be applied to each application equally. And for the first time, applicants will be able to check the status of their applications and loyalty points online at any time.

“The new system will only allow applicants to submit complete and accurate applications,” says Steve Lightfoot. “This will eliminate disqualifications. Once the submission and billing process is completed, orders cannot be canceled and fees cannot be refunded. All applicants must have a customer account. Applicants that have previously applied for a drawn hunt or purchased a hunting or fishing license should already have an account. Those who do not have an account will need to create one before applying for a drawn hunt. A unique ID number is required to create an account. Unique ID numbers can be any of the following: state driver’s license number, social security number or passport number.”

To participate applicants will need Internet access, an e-mail address, and a credit or debit card. Application deadlines start in August and wrap up in January.

For more information about the new online system and to get started in the application process, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/drawnhunts.