Fishing

Bruce Butler of Amarillo caught Toyota ShareLunker 565 from Lake Alan Henry on A

It’s been a tough few weeks for fishermen on Sabine Lake in the hunt for reds and trout. The water has been muddy enough to walk on, but the good news is that it’s finally beginning to clear up a little bit.

Guide Colby Denbow with Sabine Lake Lodge has been catching reds and trout on the lower end of the lake. He’s also catching a few flounder in the pass.

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Robert Sloan photos

Last weekend Rayburn Country, just north of Jasper, was at its very finest with plenty of sunshine, morning temperatures in the upper 40s and afternoon highs in the 70s. For many folks, it was a prime opportunity for a round of golf. For others it was a perfect day for bass and crappie fishing on big Sam Rayburn Lake.

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Port Arthur City Manager Brian McDougal knew when he took the job a year ago it wouldn’t be simple to revitalize a storm-damaged Port Arthur and make it a popular tourist destination, but he did not know about the public corruption he would have to help stamp out during the rebuilding process.

But he says he’s still up to the challenge and sees a bright future for his city.

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Buddy Oaks photo

Rayburn is good for bass and crappie. On Toledo Bend, catches of catfish on trotlines and jug lines are very good. The bass fishing there has been improving with fish up to six pounds being caught on jigs and Carolina rigged worms fished along shorelines in 3 to 5 feet of water.

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Robert Sloan photo

My grandpa used to tell me that farming was a tough life, especially when it involved rain. He said a farmer had to pray for rain, then pray for rain to stop. I think that was pretty much the case last week with all the rain that fell on East and Southeast Texas. All that water has created havoc for fishermen on the Sabine and Angelina Rivers, not to mention the folks on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, and as of now, Sabine Lake.

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For the first time in over 80 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a 90-day dove season in Texas for 2016-17. That means we’ll be getting an additional 20 days of hunting during the fall, plus we’ll get to keep 15 doves per day. Also, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is recommending a later opener for duck hunting, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone. This is all part of the statewide hunting proclamation for Migratory Game Birds that is up for public comment.

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If ever there was a time that is drop dead perfect for chasing big trout, this is it. Afternoon highs in the upper ’70s with overnight lows in the mid-50s will set up warming tides on shallow flats that will definitely have wall-hog trout on the move and feeding on mullet.

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The white bass run is getting stronger by the day on the Sabine and Angelina rivers with the falling water level and the clarity just about right, according to guide Bill Fondren. The boat ramps that were underwater last week are in the process of being cleaned up and by the middle of this week should be ready to use.

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Whitetail deer

We finally got a decent cool front through Texas this past weekend, and hopefully that will jumpstart fishing and hunting prospects in East and Southeast Texas. The summer-like weather we’ve had up until this past Sunday has definitely put a damper on bow hunting for deer. And it’s also made building deer blinds for the Nov. 7 gun season opener on deer a hot and sweaty job.

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Lots of trout are being caught on the lower end of Sabine Lake.

There is no way you can complain about the weather here in Southeast Texas over the past week or so. The last weekend in August, a north wind set the stage for some excellent fishing in the surf from the Sabine jetties to the Galveston jetties.

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