Robert Sloan

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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Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, who turns 70 in July, won the Bassmaster Elite tour

Bass fishing ace Rick Clunn got his start in the tournament fishing world on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, and with his latest victory, has won 15 B.A.S.S. tournaments. At the age of 69, he’s the oldest to win a B.A.S.S. tourney. He began fishing bass tournaments in East Texas back in the early 70s and won his first B.A.S.S. tourney in 1976.

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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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This big diamondback water snake was among many spotted last week along a river

We were about the only boat on the Nueces River last Friday, March 4, and the white bass were plentiful and easy to catch. Everything seemed to be fine until I noticed something at the back of the boat. I looked over and about 3 feet of a 5-foot-long snake had slithered into the boat. Talk about a panic attack. There were two of us in a 17-foot, flat-bottomed boat, and there definitely was not any room left for a snake. I quickly whacked it with the tip of my fishing pole and it reversed direction and swam out of sight.

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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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The power of deer, like this trophy class buck in velvet, can sometimes overpowe

Although most deer hunters abide by the rules of fair chase, there are always a few outlaws that can’t play by the rules. A good example is what recently happened in East Texas.

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So far, the second split of duck season has been much better than what we had during the first few weeks of November. Good numbers of gadwall, teal and pintails are being seen by hunters in flooded fields and in the marsh and backwater estuary lakes along the coast.

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