Sunny days bring great outdoor options to Southeast Texas

Sunny days bring great outdoor options to Southeast Texas

We’re smack dab in the middle of winter here in Southeast Texas, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s time to hibernate. Fact is this is one of the best times of year to take advantage of the many outdoor opportunities on the menu.

Topping the list is fishing. Take your pick — white bass, crappie, catfish, speckled trout or redfish.

The white bass run should really kick into gear within the next several days. A friend of mine fished the Guadalupe River this past Sunday, Feb. 8, and caught 23 crappie and 46 white bass. That’s one heck of a day of fishing. Most were caught on live shiners fished under floats in 5 to 8 feet of water.

The white bass run on the Sabine River is looking better every day. Most of the whites being caught there are small, but their numbers are increasing. It’ll be another couple of weeks before the big females move upstream in numbers.

Catfishing on Toledo Bend is excellent for both blue and channel cats. Most are being caught on fresh, cut perch on trotlines. The best places to fish are on humps in 8 to 12 feet of water.

Bass fishing on both Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn has been good on warm and sunny days. The best bite has been in the creeks on crankbaits and soft plastics. The Trap bite on Rayburn is picking up. This is the time of year when crawfish colored Rat-L-Traps rule on Rayburn.

Along the coast, the big news is that scattered big trout are being caught by anglers willing to put in some long hours on the water. The most dependable bite is on Baffin Bay, according to guide Dwayne Lowrey. That’s where they are sticking some pretty big specks with slow sinking, mullet-imitation plugs. On Sabine Lake, the area from Coffee Ground Cove and south toward Johnson’s Bayou has been good for numbers of slot reds, along with a few 4 to 7 pound trout, according to guide Jerry Norris.

If fishing is on your list of fun things to do outdoors, consider getting a little exercise on the hiking and biking trails at one of our many state parks. Village Creek has some excellent trails and is a quick hit from Beaumont.

“Hundreds of miles of dirt, caliche, crushed granite and paved bike trails wind and climb through Texas state parks, offering safe and scenic rides for everyone, no matter their skill level,” says Stephanie Salinas with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “February marks an ideal time to pack up your bike and hit the trails, whether that means joining a scheduled ride, tackling an ambitious biking event or simply taking a self-guided two-wheeled journey with family and friends.”

This is also a great time of year to go camping. There are not many mosquitoes, the air is cool and fresh, and an evening by a campfire is absolutely incredible. You can check out all of the state parks at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.