Robert Sloan

The cool front that blew through Southeast Texas this past Saturday morning, Sept. 13, pushed a ton of teal our way and set up many excellent hunts. Some of the best were south of Winnie and in the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. But like any other September teal opener, it was all about being in the right place at the right time.

Hackberry Rod and Gun Club reported excellent hunts in the marsh.

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Monday, Sept. 1, was the Central Zone dove season opener, and as usual the success rate was all about being the right field at the right time. One of the best fields for the opener here in Southeast Texas was just west of Beaumont. That’s where a small group of hunters had an excellent shoot over a 50-acre field that had been cut last week. The doves moved in a few days before the season opener, and even though the field was soggy from recent rains, the birds wanted in.

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This past Sunday morning delivered some seriously freaky weather for August. I stepped outside at daylight and the north wind was actually cool. Later that morning, Sabine Lake guide Jerry Norris called to say that he had found calm water to the beach, and the trout were tearing up topwater Super Spook Jr.’s. It doesn’t get much better than that in August. So what did I do? Cranked up the pit and smoked two racks of ribs and a whole chicken, all without breaking a sweat.

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Heading into the July 4 weekend leads us to an array of fishing options. On the coast, your best bet is to fish the jetties with live shrimp, finger mullet or mud minnows. It’s a sure thing that there will be plenty of boats fishing the rocks, which is why live baits will rule at the Sabine jetties.

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Robert Sloan photo

A boating accident on the Angelina River that took two lives over the Memorial Day weekend was one of many boating-related fatalities over a three-day span.

“Texas game wardens investigated seven drowning deaths and another four boating-related fatalities over what proved to be one of the state’s deadliest Memorial Day weekends,” says Mike Cox with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and this is typically a time when thousands of folks across Texas take to the lakes, rivers and bays in boats, jet skis, kayaks and canoes. It’s also a weekend when game wardens will be out in numbers checking to make sure that you’ve got enough life jackets on board and that the person running the boat is not drinking and driving.

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Robert Sloan photo

One of the wackiest things I’ve ever seen a game warden do was to crawl up a tree so he could see where three young squirrel hunters were heading after a successful hunt. Those hunters were two buddies and me. We were around 12 years old at the time. We had bagged five big fox squirrels on family land in Polk County not far from Lake Livingston. We saw the game warden coming down the tree. As we stood there in complete disbelief, he asks to see our squirrels, and we pulled them out of our game bags and couldn’t have been happier.

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Robert Sloan photo

Once again, we’ve got a cold front plowing through Southeast Texas, and the high winds and cold air will slow fishing down on inland lakes and coastal bays. This is unprecedented weather for the right side of Texas. Temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s are practically unheard of the Piney Woods at this time of year. Needless to say, we’ve had a colder winter than usual, and the spring temps are way lower than normal.

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As of Sunday, March 30, the water temperature on Sabine Lake was 67 degrees. That’s still a little cool for this time of year, but it didn’t slow the numbers of trout, reds and flounder being caught along the Louisiana shoreline in 2 to 4 feet of water. It looks like we’re in for a warming trend this week. If so that could be the rise in water temperatures that’ll turn on the topwater bite for anglers looking for double-digit trout.

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Charles Shelton

The water temperature is right around the mid-50s on Sabine Lake, but that has not affected the catches of trout and reds so far this winter. In fact, regardless of how many late-winter fronts Old Man Winter sends our way, fishing in East and Southeast Texas has been pretty darned good. For example, there was a 10-pound trout caught on Sabine Lake last week.

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