Outdoors

It has long been said that fishing lures are made to catch fishermen. That’s pretty much true, but there are a lot of lures and angler gadgets out there that are new and useful. And right about now, when the urge to go fishing for trout and reds is peaking, is the time to check out what’s new for 2012.

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Even though it seems that fewer folks are squirrel hunters now, the season is open in most East Texas counties as of May 1. Out in the Hill Country, there is no closed season for squirrels. Hunters that enjoy still or stand hunting during the Hill Country deer season will normally see numerous fox squirrels. East Texas offers both fox squirrels and gray squirrels, depending to the type of terrain where you are hunting.

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Kayaking is the go-to adventure sport in Southeast Texas. It’s relatively cheap to get into, you don’t have to buy gas and you don’t have to pay a boat registration fee each year.

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There was once a time when most fishermen would use either live or fresh bait. The few folks that would use lures for largemouth black bass hereabouts would use a Hawaiian Wiggle, a Zara Spook or a spoon. Yes, there were a few other lures, but those mentioned were the more popular ones. The saltwater anglers were at least 98 percent live shrimp for speckled trout, mud minnows or finger mullet for flounder, and cut bait or fresh crab for redfish. Certainly offshore anglers preferred squid, cut bait or some other natural bait.

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Sabine, Calcasieu trout bite picks up

A few days ago I pulled in at the SGS Causeway bait camp and had to look twice to find a parking space. Apparently the word had gotten out about the “hot” fishing on the lower end of Sabine Lake. The first guy I ran into showed me a shot of the flounder he had caught on the lighted fishing pier at the state park across the road.

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The blue and channel catfish have been big news around our area and on the big lakes. Whenever the water began to rise following the mega rains, the old whiskered catfish started a feeding frenzy, so to speak.

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April is ranked as one of the best months to go after trophy largemouth bass. Right about now, they are up shallow to spawn and easier to catch than at any other time of year. A good example about what I’m talking about can be found on Houston County Lake. Anglers there are catching bass to 9 pounds on worms and lizards in 4 to 5 feet of water. The water temperature on the lake is between 66 and 70 degrees.

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One of the greatest things about duck hunting and fishing on the middle Texas coast during the winter months is that you stand a very good chance of getting up close to one of the world’s most treasured birds – a whooping crane.

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I’ll begin with some information that will likely not be a surprise to many hunters, but it could be to the general public. At least it could be a surprise to those that are members of the anti-hunting crowd. These statistics have been compiled by several groups including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report comes from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the International Hunters Education Association Hunter Incident Clearinghouse.

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Over the past several months, there has been little written about the pursuit of largemouth bass. With all three of the big lakes being extremely low on water there was a constant danger to boaters. Now that the levels have begun to rise and with the springtime and warm weather, the scenario has begun to change. Bassing will continue to get more attention for the next few months.

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