Sports

Wed
08
Jul

When to run and when to stay put

When to run and when to stay put

We watched as the sun rose out of the Louisiana marsh like a huge ball of fire. There were no clouds anywhere in the sky this past Friday morning so nothing was obstructing our view. It is amazing how fast the sun seems to move when you view it against the horizon. We were sitting on a small shell reef just north of the Causeway Bridge, which separates Texas from Louisiana, facing east across the marsh. As cool as the sunrise was, it didn’t take long before it was uncomfortable to look at it so our focus came back on the task at hand; catching speckled trout, red fish and flounder. As yet, we did not have one of either in the boat. There were small bait fish moving through and across the reef on the outgoing tide but there were no gamefish to disturb their movement. Whenever I pull up on a reef that is small enough to almost cast across it, I expect to get a fish to grab on to my lure within ten or so casts.

Wed
01
Jul

Game Warden Field Notes

Bare Necessities

While patrolling near Lake Sam Rayburn, a Sabine County game warden noticed a naked man running across the road from the water into a makeshift tent. The man soon emerged wearing an oversized pair of pants. The warden then contacted dispatch, who advised that the subject was wanted on three felony warrants out of Sabine County. The man’s actions and demeanor led the warden to ask a female subject with the man for consent to search their vehicle but was denied. A canine officer was called and upon arriving to the scene quickly alerted to the presence of narcotics. Meth, along with the man’s wallet, was located inside a pair of pants in a bookbag found in the bed of the truck. He was arrested and taken to Sabine County Jail. The case is pending.

Having a Baaaad Day

Wed
01
Jul

The end of Rollover Pass

The end of Rollover Pass

After a protracted legal battle that dragged on for several years it is finally over. Rollover Fish Pass has been filled in with sand. It is pointless to go over what transpired along the way because the death of one of the best bank fishing destinations on the upper Texas coast is finished. The folks that made their living from anglers that came to fish Rollover will have to make their way somewhere else. All the many anglers that came year-round will have to move on to other destinations. I had heard that the pass was filled in but I had not been down on the Bolivar Peninsula for several months due to the Wuhoo Flu pandemic. My wife suggested that we drive down and look at what had been done and go out to eat at one of our favorite seafood restaurants. It is not hard to talk me into fried shrimp even if I have to pay the tab so this past Sunday, we made the trip. It was easy enough to imagine what the pass would look like filled in so that was pretty much as expected.

Wed
24
Jun

Don't be a one trick pony

Don't be a one trick pony
Don't be a one trick pony

Bill Watkins

For about four weeks, speckled trout were bunched up in Light House Cove. Almost everyone who fished on that reef caught trout. All one had to do was figure out where to be on what tide and the fish would finally swim by. Boats were far back into the middle of the cove in the shallow areas and still others anchored up right on top of the reef and some tried to anchor on the drop-off into the ship channel and still others crisscrossed the reef with their trolling motors. At first there were just a few boats, then when the word came out on Facebook and text and crowds soon came. The fish were there from mid-May through mid-June before they moved again.

Wed
17
Jun

The end of my time in the Sabine River bottom

The end of my time in the Sabine River bottom

For me, it began when I was very young, somewhere around the age of twelve. For those that have read my column for several years you have read the stories about my crazy uncles and my dad and how I followed them into the woods in search of fish and game. How we seined fish and bait from the old oxbow lakes in the Sabine River bottoms. How we ran trot lines and set hooks in the sloughs and creeks and the river as well. As I grew up the river became a large part of my life. In the fall and winter, we hunted the seasons. Squirrel season came first then deer, wood duck and hogs. My uncle Silas and uncle Henry taught me how to trap bobcat, coon, otter, and fox. In those early years I learned how to feed cattle, chicken, and hogs. I learned how to milk a cow, make clabber, churn butter, and pasteurize milk. I helped tend a garden both in Belgrade Texas and at my home in Beaumont.

Wed
10
Jun

Bass fishing with floating plastic frogs

Bass fishing with floating plastic frogs

It was gray, overcast morning on Big Sam but the wind was completely calm and there were no waves on the main lake. As we launched the boat, I noticed the faint smell of willows in the air mixed with the smell of fresh water. “Sweet water”, I said aloud though I was really just talking to myself. My friend Randy Hicks answered quietly, “Yeah”, and that was all that was said. There is a difference between the smell of salt water and fresh water and those of us that love both know the difference. There were no waves as we crossed from the west side of the main lake over to the east side near the Five Fingers area. There was a lot of torpedo grass and underwater aquatic vegetation (lily pads and hydrilla) in those creeks and that was what we wanted to target with our floating frog lures. As we entered Five Fingers my son William, pointed to one of the many main lake points in the area and said, “I fished that one yesterday and there is under water hydrilla there”.

Wed
10
Jun

Game Warden Field Notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s law enforcement reports.

Hook, Line, and Sinker

While patrolling Lake Lewisville, two Denton County game wardens responded to a call of an assault to find that a bank fisherman had flung his lure towards a boat, hooking a female occupant in her right hand. As the woman pulled the hook loose, she lost her phone. Charges are pending.

Float On

Wed
03
Jun

Wrestling with a big alligator gar

Wrestling with a big alligator gar
Wrestling with a big alligator gar

A number of graduates of Vidor High School Class of 2020 followed tradition and tossed their tasseled graduation caps in the air as the recessional was playing at the conclusion of the VHS Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony at Pirate Stadium last Friday night. Photo Courtesy of vidorisd.org

We had had a good morning. My two guests and I had already caught twenty fourteen to eighteen-inch speckled trout but the action had gone flat with the change from low tide to high. In tidal waters there are fishing spots that are good on an incoming tide and others that are good on an outgoing tide and a few that are good on either. Where we had caught our morning, fish was not good on an incoming tide so it was time for a change. About a half mile north up the Sabine Pass Ship Channel lies an underwater reef, the end of which faces the incoming tidal current. I knew there should be a few trout hanging on the end of that reef so we headed that way. Upon arrival I set up the boat in six feet of water and anchored within casting distance of the reef which was three feet deep. As the incoming tidal current pushed bait up the slope onto the reef from the surrounding deeper water, game fish should be facing the current in front of or on top of the reef picking them off.

Wed
03
Jun

Game Warden Field Notes

Guided by Gobbledygook

Wed
27
May

Game Warden Field Notes

Right Place, Right Time

A Hardin County game warden was patrolling Village Creek by boat when he came across a woman in distress at just the right time. Two ladies had been paddling in two separate canoes when one of the women flipped over in deep water with a strong current and couldn’t get loose from the trees or get her belongings out of the canoe. The warden gave her his life jacket and instructed her to swim away from the canoe and move downstream to a sandbar. He then grabbed the canoe and pulled it in his patrol boat and met both ladies downstream at the sandbar to make sure they were ok. He retrieved the lifejacket that she lost and gave it back to her and they were on their way again.

Losing all my Cool

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