Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Calendar

July 17 - Future Bass Team Trail Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call Joe Copeland at (580) 504-7320 or visit www.futurebasstrails.com.

July 20-23 – ICAST Fishing Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

July 23-24 – Texas Ducks Unlimited State Convention in Corpus Christi.

July 25 - JC Outdoors Spring Teams Division Championship on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call (214) 773-5451 or visit www.jcoutdoors.com .

Aug. 7 - Future Bass Team Trail Tournament on Lake Texoma out of Alberta Creek Resort & Marina. For information, call Joe Copeland at (580) 504-7320 or visit www.futurebasstrails.com .

Aug. 26 – Whitesboro Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Ranch 82.

Aug. 28 – Celina Ducks Unlimited Dinner at Rock Creek Ranch in McKinney.

Notes

As summer pushes on, the first dates for fall Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinners have been announced for the Texomaland area. First up will be the area’s first such dinner this year on the night before the 123rd Battle of the Ax football game between Denison and Sherman. That’s when the Whitesboro DU group hosts its annual fundraiser a few weeks earlier than in previous years. Instead of a mid-September date for Whitesboro DU, this year, the group will hold its 2021 dinner on Thursday, Aug. 26 at Ranch 82 beginning at 6 p.m…Two nights later, it’s time for the Celina Chapter of Ducks Unlimited to host its annual dinner. But instead of being held in the land of the Bobcats, this year’s Celina DU dinner will take place on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Rock Creek Ranch in McKinney…While there aren’t any September DU dinners currently slated for the local area, the calendar gets busy again in October when the Bryan County DU chapter hosts the Durant-area dinner at the Magnolia Ballroom of the Choctaw Casino complex. That dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, incidentally…Finally, it will then be time for the area’s marquee DU fundraising event, the 46th annual Texoma Ducks Unlimited dinner. Scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 19, the local quacker backer fundraising tradition will be held once again in Denison at the Mayor Arena of Loy Lake Park….For info on these fundraising dinners and anything else related to DU, visit the organization’s website at www.ducks.org ….Speaking of Ducks Unlimited, the group’s Texas State DU Convention is scheduled for July 23-24 at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel. For information, visit www.ducks.org … This year, thanks to team registrations and sponsorships during the monthlong Great Texas Bird Classic, TPWD has announced that the 191-team tournament made it possible for the GTBC to award $44,000 in conservation grants projects, habitat acquisition, and habitat enhancement across the Lone Star State. A TPWD news release also indicates that total brings the cumulative contributions made during the quarter century the event has been staged to more than $1 million and counting...

Fishing Reports

At Lake Texoma, water is lightly stained; water temps are 80-83 degrees; and the lake is flooded and 5.95-feet high. TPWD reports that striped bass are good on live bait, topwaters, and swimbaits fished in the river channels and main tributaries. White bass are good on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are fair for those fishing Brush Hogs, Shakyhead jigs, crankbaits, and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are fair on minnows fished near boat houses, timber, near a channel, and over brush piles. Catfish are good on earthworms, punch bait, and live bait…On the Oklahoma side of Texoma, ODWC reports that striper fishing has been very good over the past week with the topwater bite being good. Anglers are catching alot of 20-inch plus stripers on topwater lures, as well as live shad. Crappie anglers are finding some success with hair-jigs, jigs, minnows and PowerBait fished along brushy structure, docks, and standing timber. Blue cats are being caught on rod-and-reel setups in 15- to 25-feet of water... At Lake Ray Roberts, site of last month's 51st Bassmaster Classic won by Hank Cherry, water remains lightly stained; water temp is 87 degrees; and the lake is 2.42 feet high. TPWD reports that largemouth bass are fair on drop shot rigs, Flukes, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and flipping jigs fished near vegetation, along rip rap areas, and near drop-offs. White bass are fair in water depths of 12- to 40-feet for those using slabs and live bait near main lake points, on flats, and along the river channel. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around timber, bridge columns, and in brush piles...At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 86-90 degrees; and the lake is 0.17 feet low. TPWD says that largemouth bass are good on topwaters and hollow-bodied frogs (fished early or late in the day), Carolina-rigged plastic worms, crankbaits, and football jigs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles, near bridges, and around timber... At the Blue River near Tishomingo, the river elevation is normal, water temp is 75, and the water is stained. ODWC reports that largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters fished along stream channels, rocks, shallow zones and the shoreline...At Lake of the Arbuckles near Sulphur, the lake elevation is above normal, water temps are in the 80s, and the water is clear. ODWC says that largemouth bass are slow on crankbaits, topwaters and Shakyhead worms fished along main lake area...As the summer vacation season continues along the Texas Gulf Coast, fishing is reported as good at West Galveston Bay with TPWD indicating that deep water zones and submerged structures are the key element to success right now for redfish and speckled trout. Look for those species near the reefs and other structures located around the ship channel...At East Matagorda Bay, TPWD says to watch for baitfish activity along the surface as a clue for where to fish. Redfish and flounder are good at the Oyster Farm and at Three Mile Reef for those using Bass Assassins or live bait. The shallow shoreline south of the reef can also be good for those who are gigging flounder. Look for speckled trout and redfish where the reef drops off into deeper water too...At Port Aransas, TPWD says to look for redfish activity under popping corks near the jetty and pier...And at South Padre Island, TPWD says that speckled trout are reasonably plentiful near the surf on spoons, MirrOlures, topwater plugs, and soft-plastic tails, which all work best in the clear/green water. Holly Beach and the jetties are also great locations to fish for redfish or black drum for those using live shrimp...

Tip of the Week

Looking for a good public hunt this fall? Well, you're in luck since the annual Texas Parks and Wildlife Department drawn hunts program is underway for 2021-22. The first application deadlines are coming up on Aug. 1 and deadlines for various hunts continue into November on the 1st and 15th of each month. That includes the deadline for Hagerman NWR archery deer hunts this fall, which have an application deadline of Sept. 1, 2021. For information or to apply, visit TPWD's Drawn Hunts page at https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/public_hunt_drawing . For e-mail answers to questions about the Drawn Hunts program, contact hunt@tpwd.texas.gov . And for phone information about the hunts, call (512) 389-4505 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.