Fishing

Cold and wet weather put the skids to fishing on inland lakes and bays last weekend, but with a decent warming trend this week, things should pick up.

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Sabine Lake guide Jerry Norris used a Corky Fat Boy to catch this trout.
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AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued a temporary closure to saltwater fishing along parts of the Texas coast to protect resources during freezing weather conditions. The closure takes effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2 and extends through 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

In addition to killing game fish in shallow bay waters, a hard freeze can also cause surviving fish to congregate in a few deeper areas where they become sluggish and prone to capture. Those are the areas the department has temporarily closed.

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Wild hogs captured by night vision camera

Pigs make white-tailed deer look stupid. It’s a fact that deer can become fairly predictable. Where you see them one day, you’ll more than likely see them the next in the same area, especially if you’re sitting in a blind watching a feeder. On the flip side, pigs are capable of being here, there and everywhere on any given day or night.

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Buddy Oaks photo of three men holding flounder fish

Flounder are some of the wackiest fish we’ll ever catch, but more often than not, they can save the day. That was the case last week during our first good blast of cold air. A few days ago, I was talking to guide Buddy Oaks across the border at the Hackberry Rod and Gun Club. That’s about 30 minutes east of Sabine Lake. He got to talking about their great catches of flounder and sent me a photo. Three guys at the club fished jigs at the mouths of bayous to catch a box full of flounder to four pounds.

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deer are set to be moving and looking for food in this week's cold front

Our first good blast of cold air arrived this week, and that will guarantee that both hunters and fishermen will be getting the jump on game and fish across Texas.

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Allie Thorpe hunting on Running Bear Ranch near Fredericksburg

As we move into the holidays, there will be a whole lot of deer hunters heading out in hopes of filling tags and stocking up on venison. The good news is that this is about the time that lots of does and bucks begin showing up at corn feeders in the Pineywoods and the Hill Country. That makes it a lot easier to fill doe tags, and maybe get a shot at a pig or turkey. December is definitely one of the finest months to be in the hunt for deer – it’s cool and we have very few pesky mosquitoes to contend with.

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Deer photo by Robert Sloan

This past weekend was the opener of deer season across Texas and the duck season in the South Zone. It was the one weekend when hundreds of thousands of Texas hunters put on the camo, loaded their favorite gun and headed outdoors.

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Robert Sloan

The cold front that moved through Southeast Texas last weekend was a game changer that will set up some excellent deer hunting for the opener Nov. 4. Plus, it definitely moved a lot of ducks down the Central Flyway and into the coastal marshes and backwater lakes for the South Zone opener this weekend. And don’t forget about the fishing. The topwater bite on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend is going strong, and along the coast, black drum and bull reds are on a big run.

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Deer are in good shape in most regions of Texas.

Thanks to our latest cold front, all kinds of good things are happening. Plenty of ducks have started their migration down the Central Flyway, dove hunts have improved, bass fishing is excellent and best of all, we had an excellent season opener for bow hunters.

The bow season that opened last Saturday across the state was perfectly timed with cool temperatures and clearing skies in most areas of Texas. The cool air definitely had plenty of deer on the move, especially in the Hill Country.

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This southern stingray is one you definitely don’t want to step on.

Wade fishermen along the Texas coast know full well that stingrays are abundant just about anywhere you can find a salty tide. It’s not unusual to see them while wading the bays during the warm water months from about May through November. And that’s why stingray-proof wading boots and shin guards are so popular. If you get hit by the poison barb of a ray’s tail, you are toast for a least a few days, and done fishing for at least a couple of weeks.

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