Cast and blast time in Southeast Texas

Cast and blast time in Southeast Texas

Some really good stuff is in store for both hunters and fishermen this week in East and Southeast Texas. 

First of all, we’ve got a Canadian front moving through this weekend with some pretty cold temperatures. That front will be moving plenty of ducks and geese into Southeast Texas. It’ll also jumpstart the rut in the Pineywoods. 

Fishing has been good on Sabine Lake for reds, trout and flounder under the birds. The cold temps will lower water temperatures and really crank up the action under the gulls.

The combination of duck hunting in the morning and fishing in the afternoon will set up some excellent cast-and-blast trips here on the right side of Texas.

Guide Jerry Norris says the duck hunting on Keith Lake has been good over the past several days.

“We’ve got some pretty good numbers of gray ducks and teal, along with a few pintails,” says Norris. “I expect that we’ll get a lot of birds in with this next front.”

This past weekend marked the official opening of duck season in southwest Louisiana. Guide Buddy Oaks, with Hackberry Rod and Gun, reports that they got easy limits of gray ducks, teal and pintails while hunting their marsh ponds.

“We had a lot of hunters out with plenty of birds,” says Oaks. “Our cast-and-blast trips were about as good as they could get last weekend. The flounder run is wide open on Calcasieu. And there are lots of trout under the birds on the lower end of the lake.”

Guide Colby Denbow said his duck hunts were very good in the South Zone opener this past weekend.

“We had a good mix of ducks while hunting flooded rice between Beaumont and Winnie,” says Denbow. “During our Saturday hunt, we shot mallards, pintails, gadwall and teal. It was duck hunting at its finest.”

Deer hunters up around Jasper and on up toward Tyler say the bucks are in the rut. All that action should really perk up once our next front moves through. The rut is on big time in the Hill Country, as well. If you’re a deer hunter in East or Central Texas, next week is going to be prime time to get a shot at a trophy buck.

Flounder fishing on Sabine Lake is very good. Ditto that on Calcasieu. The best catches are at the mouths of drains with soft plastics like a white/red Yum Money Minnow or red/shad Assassin.

As of last week, there were lots of small trout under the birds on Sabine Lake. But as water temps fall this weekend, it’s a sure bet that larger trout in the 17- to 20-inch class will begin feeding under the gulls.

Shocking discovery

As Bowie County game wardens arrived on the scene in response to a complaint about a truck and trailer blocking a boat ramp, they noticed a boat had just pulled in and was in the process of being loaded onto the trailer. While making contact with the operator, the wardens observed an illegal fish-shocking device onboard with wires still connected. During a subsequent search of the vessel and the truck, wardens recovered and released back into the lake two flathead catfish. They also found numerous devices used for illegal fishing, including a four-bar telephone, wires, dip nets, a drill, voltage meter and spotlight; all were seized as evidence. A meth pipe, narcotics and a pistol were also taken as evidence from the vehicle. The two subjects were booked into the Bowie County jail for fishing violations and drug charges.

Squirrel hunters with meth pipes get busted

A Harrison County game warden got a call about a suspicious man walking down the road with a shotgun. Once in the area, the warden noticed a truck parked in the woods with two men nearby. When asked, the pair said they weren’t hunting, just enjoying the weather. A shotgun barrel sticking out of the pickup’s door window suggested otherwise. As he approached the truck the warden, noticed several dead squirrels in the bed of the truck. The warden also recovered a couple of freshly used meth pipes. Multiple charges filed.

Keep safety in the crosshairs

“Texas had an all-time low number of incidents last deer season, and we want that trend to continue,” says Steve Hall, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s hunter education coordinator. “And the No. 1 safety measure a deer hunter can take is to complete a hunter education training course.”

If you were born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, and this is going to be your first deer season, keep in mind you must be able to show proof of hunter education in the field. If you are under 17, you can hunt without proof if you are accompanied by a licensed hunter 17 years or older who is either certified or exempt (born prior to Sept. 2, 1971). If you are 17 and over and have not completed the course, you can obtain a one-time deferral at a hunting license dealer if you aren’t able to get into a course or take an online-only course in time. Information about hunter education is available online or by calling (512) 389-4999.