There are a number of super things happening for local outdoors folks that we look forward to all year long. There are ducks, geese, deer and the fall run of flounder. Add to those activities the schooling speckled trout in Lake Sabine, Big Lake in Louisiana and East Bay, and there is plenty of action to keep us all busy.
Most of the reports that I have received from East Texas deer hunters have been of spotty success. As we all have witnessed, there is a bumper crop of acorns this year. When the acorns are plentiful, the deer move around less. At least they do so during the daylight hours. Even with the rut going on in East Texas, the animals simply don’t move around very much.
On the other hand there, have been some good deer taken in the Llano area. Most folks were convinced that with the drought that occurred last year, there would be fewer deer. It was also surmised that the ones that survived would be in worse shape than usual. What I’ve learned by checking around is that the animals are in really good physical condition. There have also been some bucks taken in the Llano area with larger than usual antlers. It seems that the late spring and early summer rains have made for some lush vegetation, thus some healthy animals
There also seems to be a better than average number of Rio Grande turkeys this year. Many of the folks that use the day hunt offering will hesitate to take a turkey. That is understandable since in most cases there will be less deer activity after a gun or rifle fired. There is simply more meat on a deer or hog than there is on a turkey. What has been successful for me is to concentrate on a deer or feral hog and take them first. After that, a big tom turkey is on the spot. In my opinion, those big wary birds are a trophy second to none. The Rio Grandes are legal game in many of the counties to the west and south of Houston during the fall as well as the spring. Be sure to check the local regulations where you plan to hunt.
So what about the waterfowl in our area? There seems to be more and more ducks and speckled-belly geese with each cool front. They are the most numerous where there is ample water. The green-wing teal are by far the more numerous species here now, but there are plenty of gadwalls, spoonbills and pintails to help fill the bag limits. The flooded rice fields down south of Winnie are the better hunt areas. The ducks spend most of their daylight hours resting in the marshes and they enter the flooded rice at night to feed. The bluebird days that have lingered are not conducive to the best rice-field duck hunting. The first part of our local general duck seasons ends on Nov. 25. It will re-open Dec. 8.
The bluebird days have been a blessing for the folks that enjoy our inland saltwater fishing. By contacting Capt. Eddie Hernandez about lake Sabine and Capt. Jim West on East Bay, the continuing super action was evident. There are plenty of speckled trout and redfish feeding on shrimp under the seagulls. Many of the specks are just a fraction under the legal Texas length limit. There are, however, plenty of them that make the grade
There are more and more Texas anglers purchasing Louisiana fishing license and launching their boats in Louisiana. Most of the vehicles with boat trailers attached and parked at the Causeway and also the Johnson Bayou boat ramps have Texas licenses.
There has also been a strong flounder run in Lake Sabine, East Bay, Trinity Bay and Big Lake. These are some really big saddle blanket flat fish being taken. Keep in mind that during November anglers, may only keep two flounder per angler per day in Texas. Most the time there is no problem doing this.