Fishing

The Fourth of July holiday weekend always sets the stage for a mega surge in boating here in Southeast Texas and, of course, the lakes and rivers of the Pineywoods. In fact, what makes the right side of Texas such a big draw for so many boaters are the many options. Along the coast we’ve got Sabine Lake, the Sabine jetties, Keith Lake, the surf and East Galveston Bay. In Beaumont, we’ve got the Neches River; in Lumberton, there is Village Creek; on the Texas-Louisiana border, there is the Sabine River. Farther inland is big Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.

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For the time being, the recreational red snapper season is closed in federal wat

The recreational red snapper fishing season is closed once again after a grueling nine days – most of which were too rough for many boats to go offshore. But we did get a huge break. Out of the goodness of their heart NOAA Fisheries extended the season an extra two days because of the lack of fishing opportunity we had due to Tropical Storm Colin. They are so nice, and so out of contact with the real world.

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Samurai Showdown

It was an overwhelming success in every capacity as Texas Karate Academy (TKA) held its first Samurai Showdown June 11 as more than 200 competitors from Austin to Baton Rouge filled Wesley Methodist Church in Beaumont.

TKA had 36 students compete, which resulted in 29 first-place awards, nine second-place awards and 15 third-place finishes.

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Photo by Buddy Oaks

Lots of speckled trout, reds and flounder are being caught on Sabine Lake, Keith Lake and Calcasieu on a variety of lures and live baits. The water temperature on Sabine Lake is about 79 degrees.

Some of the best action of the year for both reds and flounder is along the Louisiana shoreline of Sabine Lake. Guide Jerry Norris says he’s catching lots of flounder on Berkley Gulps in pink or white while working the mouths of bayous, and small inlets along the Louisiana shoreline.

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Robert Sloan photo

Just recently, NOAA Fisheries opted to give recreational anglers a nine-day red snapper season that left anglers along the entire Gulf Coast red in the face with frustration.

Based on the annual catch targets and accounting for the red snapper harvest in state waters outside the federal season, the federal season for the private angling component will be nine days, and the federal season for the federally permitted for-hire boats will be 46 days. The commercial red snapper season runs year-round using its privatized catch share system.

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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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