Outdoors

The white bass spawning run on the Sabine River above Toledo Bend is as good as it’s been in years. The river is running with plenty of water and giving up lots of big whites that are hitting 1/4-ounce Road Runner spinners like there ain’t no tomorrow.

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Red snapper

The National Marine Fisheries Service is once again tampering with red snapper regulations for recreational anglers, and it’s not sitting very well with both fishermen and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This month, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, part of the NMFS, voted to recommend an emergency rule that could shorten the recreational red snapper fishing season in federal waters off the Texas coast to as little as 11 days from the planned 27 day season.

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Should you have been doing any boating in our inland waterways, you will notice what appear to be new buoys along the shallows. That’s more than likely not the case. Now is the time when trophy speckled trout chasers are out in full force. Most of the more experienced anglers who plan to be wading will wear easily visible warm gear on their upper bodies. This is to make them more visual to any other boaters that are also going fishing. This practice should be at the forefront for all anglers who are into the wading thing when they are after the big females specks.

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Think you don’t like beards? Well, think again. The bearded iris is truly a thing of beauty. This is an eye-catching addition to any garden. Their leaves are like swords and the flowers are oh-so-showy.

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This past weekend, professional and college-level bass anglers on Toledo Bend made it clear that this East Texas lake is still one of the best in Texas. They caught bass — big bass and lots of them. Could it be global warming in February? Or maybe it’s just that Toledo Bend is and has been a great bass fishing lake for decades. Whatever the explanation, one thing is certain – bass on big T-Bend are definitely not in a winter cold-water stupor.

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For whatever reason over the years, most of the local outdoor writers including present company have spent little ink about East and Trinity bays. Both of those waterways have nearly direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Both Rollover Pass and the Galveston Ship Channel serve as access points for saltwater fish to move in and out of the bays with little effort. Add to that, there are numerous shell reefs in both bays as well as the north and south jetties as stopover points for the fish.

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Before

Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth was honored with an historic visit from Nancy Bechtol of the Smithsonian to the gardens of the Phelan Mansion last week.

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A Valentine’s Day surprise came a little early for Falcon Lake angler Isaac Denson. Feb. 7, he was fishing in about 3 feet of water when he got the bite of a lifetime, one that turned out to be the heaviest bass he’s ever caught – she weighed 13.4 pounds and measured 26.5 inches in length.

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With all of the local music and sports talent from our area comes some national outdoors recognition. The History channel’s “Swamp People” has now added two local men to their team. The new season of the highly popular, nationally aired program about people that follow traditional means in order to work outdoors begins on Feb. 14. It will be shown each Thursday at 8 p.m.

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This time of year, we are all looking for some greenery to add to our vases for a little cheer in the house. Why go buy greenery when you probably have some in your own yard. How about using the classic greenery of asparagus fern?

The asparagus fern is the voluminous greenery we’ve all seen gracing large urns and pots in the South. If you don’t want to bring in the whole garden pot, just clip some because this fern will reward a good haircut with even more abundant growth.

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