Outdoors

Sixty specially tagged redfish will be the STAR attraction in the 23rd annual 2012 CCA Texas State of Texas Anglers’ Rodeo, according to Gina Rice, director of operations.

Over the past several days, 60 redfish ranging from 20.5 to 25.5 inches in length have been released along the Texas coast from Sabine Lake to South Padre Island.

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“I grew up a dreamin’ of bein’ a cowboy … and lovin’ the cowboy ways …”

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Once upon a time, whenever one would ask a Louisiana saltwater fisherman if the fish were biting, the answer would be about redfish. Many of those really all-year-around fishermen were not really interested in speckled trout. In fact, there was little interest in flounder. Redfish were the prey, and not only in Louisiana but also in our great state.

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For the first time in many months, we’ve gotten enough rain to bring East Texas lakes back up to normal levels, and with that in mind there should be lots of people heading to places like Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. Couple that with great fishing on Sabine Lake and East Galveston Bay, and there will likely be more boaters on the coast and on inland lakes than in the past couple of years.

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I mentioned last week that there has been a mini-flounder run in and around Lake Sabine. By mini-run, I mean that there are some good numbers of legal-size flatfish showing up in most anglers ice boxes. The folks that choose to fish in Louisiana, have launched their boats there and have a Louisiana fishing license have taken limit catches of the flukes. Keep in mind that the Texas regulations on Lake Sabine are much different than those in our neighboring state.

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It has long been said that fishing lures are made to catch fishermen. That’s pretty much true, but there are a lot of lures and angler gadgets out there that are new and useful. And right about now, when the urge to go fishing for trout and reds is peaking, is the time to check out what’s new for 2012.

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Even though it seems that fewer folks are squirrel hunters now, the season is open in most East Texas counties as of May 1. Out in the Hill Country, there is no closed season for squirrels. Hunters that enjoy still or stand hunting during the Hill Country deer season will normally see numerous fox squirrels. East Texas offers both fox squirrels and gray squirrels, depending to the type of terrain where you are hunting.

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Kayaking is the go-to adventure sport in Southeast Texas. It’s relatively cheap to get into, you don’t have to buy gas and you don’t have to pay a boat registration fee each year.

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There was once a time when most fishermen would use either live or fresh bait. The few folks that would use lures for largemouth black bass hereabouts would use a Hawaiian Wiggle, a Zara Spook or a spoon. Yes, there were a few other lures, but those mentioned were the more popular ones. The saltwater anglers were at least 98 percent live shrimp for speckled trout, mud minnows or finger mullet for flounder, and cut bait or fresh crab for redfish. Certainly offshore anglers preferred squid, cut bait or some other natural bait.

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Sabine, Calcasieu trout bite picks up

A few days ago I pulled in at the SGS Causeway bait camp and had to look twice to find a parking space. Apparently the word had gotten out about the “hot” fishing on the lower end of Sabine Lake. The first guy I ran into showed me a shot of the flounder he had caught on the lighted fishing pier at the state park across the road.

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