Outdoors

Over the past several months, there has been little written about the pursuit of largemouth bass. With all three of the big lakes being extremely low on water there was a constant danger to boaters. Now that the levels have begun to rise and with the springtime and warm weather, the scenario has begun to change. Bassing will continue to get more attention for the next few months.

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A few days ago I pulled my boat up to the ramp on the Sabine Pass side of the causeway bridge and notice something a little strange. The ramp was closed. It looked like something out of a Third World country. Apparently it’s already coming unglued, and it’s not even more than a few years old. The wind was blowing about 20 mph out of the southeast so it’s basically useless to put in there anyway. The waves were crashing over the bulk head. So I did what I normally do — put in at the protected and very nice ramp on the Louisiana side of the causeway bridge.

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As most saltwater anglers already know, there is an annual flounder run that occurs usually in October and early November. What gets much less attention is the spring flounder run that is beginning about now. For a reason that is unknown to me, the springtime fish are not as large on the average as are the fall fish. I know that they do not shrink during the wintertime lull.

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It’s official – as of Tuesday, March 20, Old Man Winter is history, and spring will be upon us. But hey, who needs to wait for the official spring opener? We’re looking at a run of really fine weather for Southeast Texas, and that translates into some excellent fishing options.

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Yes, it is nearly time for the general Rio Grande Turkey season. The south zone season begins on March 17. There is a special youth-only opening March 10-11 and again May 5-6. The South Texas season remains open through April 29 in 54 counties.

The 101 counties in the north zone will open for the youth only March 24-25 and again May 19-20. The general north zone Rio Grande Turkey season will begin March 31 and run through May 13.

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Lamar University students Danny Iles of Hemphill and Justin Royal of Vidor will be fishing in the National Guard FLW College Fishing tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir on Feb. 26 for the second of four stops in the Southern Conference. Forty college teams will be competing for a top award of $5,000 and a berth in the Southern Regional Championship tournament.

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February has long been a difficult time for folks in the outdoors media. The major hunting seasons are nearly all history except the conservation goose season. There are always the exotics to go after. The fish don’t really care about the weather, but the fishermen do. There are, of course, some dedicated anglers that head out no matter what the weather happens to be, except for summer hurricanes. Even then there are those folks that will risk life and limb to catch a bull redfish in the surf.

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Being a Texas game warden is not always a walk in the park. But on the other hand, it can be downright comical on some days. The following situations are just of a few of the highlights from a day in the life of Texas game wardens.

Pineywoods hog hunters get locked out

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As the extended conservation snow goose season continues, there are only scattered reports from the fields. There seems to be some big numbers of the snows, blues, and Ross geese that are staying south of the Intracoastal Canal. There are times, depending on the weather, when some of those birds will move back north of the canal; whenever this happens, then the folks that enjoy the late season will enjoy some really great shoots. Many of the waterfowl outfitters have told me that under the circumstances, they are scheduling hunts for standby.

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It’s no secret that wild hogs are trying to take over Texas, and if you happen to be looking for a little hunting adventure on the wild side, try hog hunting at night – with a bow.

If that sounds a little crazy, you’re right on the money. The good news is that the hunting is done from elevated tree and tripod stands that offer you a little protection for close range encounters with wild pigs in the attack mode.

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