Outdoors

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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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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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already come out with the 2016-17 waterfowl hunting regulations. That might sound a little premature, since we just got through last season’s duck hunts, which were not nearly as good as expected. According to the latest data from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the USFWS, the reason duck hunts were so poor in Southeast Texas and other coastal regions of the state was due to an abundance of food in north Texas and farther up in the Central Flyway.

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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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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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This is the reason so many folks in Texas spend so much time hunting deer. You n

The crazy thing about deer hunting is that you never know what to expect from one minute to the next. That’s the big draw for the well over 700,000 hunters in Texas.

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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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Give it another couple of weeks, and the famous white bass run on the Sabine and

I’ve been getting quite a few calls lately regarding the white bass run on the Sabine and Angelina rivers. Here’s the bottom line: It’s sputtering to life, and within a couple more weeks it should be prime-time fishing, providing the rivers don’t rise to flood stage.

Guide Bill Fondren says he made a run up the Angelina River a few days ago and caught about 15 white bass in three hours.

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