Teal season opener was better than expected

Kenny Vaughan reports that his crew, consisting of Faith, Grace, Kennedy and Sno

Last Saturday’s teal season opener was about the best many hunters had seen in years. Based on field reports that I’ve heard, lots of teal began showing up about a week prior to the opener on flooded crawfish ponds and rice fields west of Beaumont and on over toward Winnie.

Kenney Vaughan and his kids hunted on a flooded field near China for the opener, and they had plenty of birds coming to the decoys.

The cool fronts that came through Texas last weekend moved quite a few teal down the Central Flyway; that, in turn, set up some outstanding hunts here in Southeast Texas. The teal season continues through Sept. 27.

Dove hunters taking advantage of the Central Zone dove season opener on Sept. 1 needed waders to get into fields around Beaumont and Winnie. I don’t know how much rain we got on the Tuesday opener, but it was enough to just about shut down dove hunts for a couple of days. The South Zone opener is Sept. 18.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I headed south to Port Mansfield and did two days of a cast-and-blast adventure. We caught trout and reds in the morning, then headed south of Harlingen to open up the Special White-Winged dove hunts Sept. 5. For two days going we had easy limits of doves while hunting over sunflower fields.

Our first cool fronts moved through Southeast Texas last weekend. They not only moved ducks and doves our way, but also set up some excellent fishing under the birds on Sabine Lake and East Galveston Bay. And as water temperatures begin to fall, the flounder run will kick into gear.

I got a short video from Sabine Lake guide Colby Denbow a few days ago of a school of redfish churning up the water just west of the Sabine jetties.

“We were catching trout and reds in the surf, and all of a sudden the water just started boiling with big reds,” says Denbow. “We couldn’t drop a lure in the water without hooking up.”

Denbow says he’s starting to catch good numbers of flounder along the Louisiana shoreline. He’s fishing jigs at the mouths of bayous on falling tides.

Tagged redfish caught as CCA STAR comes to a close

With less than 72 hours remaining before the close of the 2015 CCA Texas STAR Tournament, Corpus Christi resident Joe Contreras, who was entered in the STAR, caught the fifth tagged redfish of the tourney and won a truck, boat, motor and trailer package, according to Gina Rice, director of operations for the STAR tournament.

Cantreras made plans to go fishing after work with a friend Friday, Sept. 4. The friend didn’t make it and Contreras was about to go back home, then decided to go check out the tide for bait. The finger mullet were in close, so he caught some and went wade fishing. After two hours of catching several ladyfish, Contreras was down to one last mullet. He made one more cast, looked up and realized his cork was gone and soon found that his catch was a tagged red.

“At the close of the tournament on Labor Day, a total of 10 tagged redfish had been caught, but only five were confirmed winners,” says Rice. “Each angler will get a 2015 Ford F-150 ‘Texas Edition’ XLT SuperCab, 23-foot Haynie Big Foot boat rigged with a Mercury 150L Pro XS OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer at the STAR awards ceremony on Oct. 9.”


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.