Robert Sloan's archive

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with crab traps for years. I love to use them to catch big blue crabs and the occasional stone crab on Sabine Lake and Keith Lake. Conversely, I hate to have to get out of the boat and untangle a mangled derelict crab trap that’s been wound up on the prop of my outboard.

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The warming trend we’ve had the past couple of days has set the stage for some fun outdoors that includes fishing, paddling and, of course, hiking.

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The cold weather of late has not exactly set the stage for fishing of any kind, but the pursuit of big bass on East Texas lakes is always on the top burner about this time of year. I was talking to bass fishing pro Lonnie Stanley a few days ago and he said that Sam Rayburn is in great shape thanks to recent rains.

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Southeast Texas is not without plenty of hiking trails, and three of the best places to check out while we’ve still got cool winter weather include the Big Thicket just north of Beaumont, Village Creek State Park in Lumberton and Martin Dies Jr. State Park near Jasper.

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Big bass will be more active on warm and sunny days in January. Bass pro Lonnie

January is not the most pleasant month to be out on East Texas lakes casting for bass, but hey, it could always be worse, like, uh … February.

But on the bright side of things, this is a month that a lot of anglers begin their hunt for lunker bass on East Texas lakes, specifically Fork and Sam Rayburn.

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