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October 2011 Lakecaster

October 2011 Lakecaster

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1 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

October 2011 Volume 21 Issue 10

Photo by Gay Norton

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 2

3 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 4 ber

A/Q Sam Rayburn Individual Series Championship

Brian Branum Wins!!
By Bill & Barbara Long

Sept 3-4, 2011 - Anglers Quest 2011 Sam Rayburn Individual Series Championship is now in the books, and the Individual Series for Sam Rayburn is complete for 2011. The event began on Friday evening with dinner & drinks at The Stump and the presentation of the special “Anglers Quest Goal Post” to the “2011 Angler of the Year”, Ricky Guy. Ricky will receive free paid entries to all A/Q Sam Rayburn Individual Series events in 2012. The Calcutta Auction followed and sold Individuals from $60 to $400 and raised $2030.00 to add to the angler’s pot. As at all Anglers Quest Championship auctions, there were American Rodsmiths rods auctioned off to raise money for the “Tournament of Champions” coming up at Lake Palestine in November. The weather was cloudy & rainy and very windy on Saturday & Sunday with low 60’s at daybreak to mid 70’s during the day. As the event got underway, the 10 qualified individuals taking off into the dim morning light from their choice of launch ramps around the lake at 6:30 am because of the lake conditions being 11.8 ft low and the high winds. The anglers were all going for the $4,640.00 purse that was the payback by Anglers Quest at this Championship event. The water at Big Sam was in good condition. In the end, the 10 teams brought in 16 limits of bass during the 2 days - 90 fish that totaled 205.25 lbs with a 2.28 average. Randy Quin from Huffman, TX ran his Champion/Mercury to mid lake creek areas and brought in 10 bass at 22.93 lbs to collect the Power Pole $250.00 gift certificate for the 1st place out of the money. Danny Cross from Lufkin, TX finished in 3rd with 10 bass that tipped the scales at 24.11 lbs and collected a total of $815.00 for his days on the water. Danny did purchase himself in the Calcutta Auction for $70.00 and received a check for $405.00 for his purchase. Elton Thomae from Hemphill fished this event and brought in 6 bass at 24.70 lbs to claim 2nd place and $800.00. Elton brought the 2nd Big Bass to the scales at 5.20 lbs to collect $200.00 for his one bite which was caught on a Zara Spook. Ricky Guy did purchase Elton in the Calcutta auction on Friday night for $220.00. Ricky received a check of $610 for Elton’s 2nd place finish. Brian Branum from Sam Rayburn, TX ran his Skeeter/Mercury to mid lake creek areas around the 147 bridge to catch his 10 bass using his American Rodsmiths rods tipped with the new Santone/ Tour Tackle GRT Jigs. Brian came to the scales with 5 bass at 13.32 lbs on day 1 and 5 more on day

„ Brian Branum had 5 bass that weighed 13.32 lbs on day 1 and 5 more on day 2 that weighed 14.65 lbs to give him the 1st place finish with a total of 27.97 lbs.

2 at 14.65 lbs to give him the 1st place finish at 27.97 lbs. One of Brian’s bass was the 1st Big Bass of the event at 5.24 lbs and he collected $300.00 for that one bite. Brian did not purchase himself in the Calcutta auction for $400.00 BUT, Tiremax’s Chris Wilkerson did and laid claim to $1015.00 for Brian’s 1st place finish. Tiremax give Brian ½ of the Calcutta money for his great fishing. Brian collected a total of $1957.50 for his day on the water….Good Job!!. “I really appreciate Ray at R1-Bass. He goes above and beyond for his customers to keep us fishing and operational out on the water.”

„ Elton Thomae weighed in a 2 day total of 6 bass that weighed 24.70 lbs to claim 2nd place. He also had the 2nd Big Bass which weighed 5.20 lbs.

„ Danny Cross won 3rd place with his two day limit of 10 bass that tipped the scales at 24.11 lbs.

5 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011 L Lakecaster ber ber 2011

„ Ricky Guy won the title “Angler of The Year” for his accomplishments this year in the Anglers Quest Rayburn Individual tournaments.

„ Top 4 places of the Anglers Quest Individual Championship

Anglers Quest 2012 Schedules are now available online at www.anglers-quest.com. The 1st events for the 2012 season will be the Saturday Series Team event on Sam Rayburn, January 7, & the Individual event on January 8, 2012. Entry and sign up can be done by mail or phone by credit card or at the Anglers Quest bus the morning of the event at The Umphrey Pavilion. For any information contact Mr. Bill at 281-852-8842. Anglers Quest wants to thank all the Anglers that have participated in any A/Q event and also extend thanks to all the A/Q staff & sponsors. All A/Q events in 2012 will be trailering events and will be conducted on Lake Houston, Lake Livingston and Sam Rayburn. Anglers Quest suggest the use of products & services from these sponsors: American Rodsmiths,

Antex Roofing, Automated Mailing Solutions, Bill Lewis Lures, Bowden Marine Sales & Service, Buster McNuttys, City of Coffee City Economic Development Corporation, Custom Built Awards, Check-It Stik, City of Jasper, TX-Chamber, El Dorado Jacks, Executive Security Integrators, Experience Lake Livingston, FishingWorld, Jasper Economic Development District # 1, Kickapoo Bait & Tackle, Lake Houston Marina, Lone Star Buffet, Power Pole, Rayburn Country Resort, Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, Santone Lures, Sign Designs Now, Super 8 Motels, Superior Paint Works Inc., T/A Lure Extractor, The Stump Restaurant & Club, Tri County Construction Co. and Vincent Turf Farm. God Bless & Good Fishing to All……

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1st Annual Benefit Breakfast for Jasper 4-H Shooting Sports great help for new complex
By Jodie Warner, Staff writer

On Monday Sept 12 Elijah’s Cafe hosted the first annual benefit breakfast for Jasper Youth Shooting Sports Association. The huge breakfast consisted of eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, gravy and hash browns. JYSSA is working in conjunction with the 4-H Gun and Bow Club to construct a full

service skeet, trap, rifle and archery range in Jasper that will serve the youth as well as the public. They served over 120 breakfasts including one to Dustin Ellermann, from the History Channel’s popular show TOP SHOT, who came to help them raise money for the building of the range. The money raised from the breakfast is going into the bank to work towards the JYSSA land/property note that is due in December. Chairman of the Jasper Youth Shooting Sports Association, BR Byerly said, “We can’t thank Robbie Lovett and Shawn Dimitry enough for opening their doors for us and donating all of this, we really rely on support like this.” Ellermann has visited JYSSA to shoot skeet with the 4-H kids and given them a demonstration from one of his favorite guns. Executive Director Michelle Byerly says, “Dustin is a great guy and the kids love getting to shoot against him.” He runs a Christian Youth Camp in Zavalla and plans on working closely with JYSSA in the future. JYSSA is a nonprofit corporation with an elected board of directors comprised of parents, licensed instructors, business men and women and citizens who’s main goal is to provide Jasper youth with a complete complex for all target shooting sports. They are buying 33 acres in Huff Creek to build the range on and participating in fundraisers in an effort to maintain insurance, pay the land/property note, run utilities, purchase skeet and trap

throwers, and 3D targets for a 3D archery range. Once they have these things in place, they will open to the public for memberships, host leagues and hold various tournaments to offset the costs of running the range in an effort to keep the facility free or low cost for the youth to utilize and enjoy.

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9 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011 L Lakecaster ber ber 2011

Allen and Collins come out on top with 19.57 lbs at the Bud Light Trail
By Jodie Warner, Staff Writer

September 10, 2011 brought a much-needed relief in temperature to the dedicated anglers of the Bud Light Trail on Rayburn. Anglers rejoiced for the 80 degree temperatures and looked more active than they have all summer. The tournament hosted 33 teams, however only 23 made it to the scales. Harold Allen and Albert Collins brought in a five fish limit that won them the tournament with 19.57 lbs. Allen and Collins said, “We were fishing drop-offs, channels, and points at six to ten feet of water. We were using E2 needle worms, E2 lizards, and a prototype bait called Sixth Sense crankbaits. Also Ouzo 10 inch worms, fluor carbon Vicious line, and Irods.” The guys then added a special thanks to Hummingbird Electronics,

„ Allen and Collins take first with their bag that weighed a nice 19.57 lbs.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

19.57 16.58 15.77 15.00 14.63 14.20 13.99 13.28 12.24 12.16

ReSultS: Harold Allen and Albert Collins Keith White and Brian Branum Michael Trpkosh and Jeff Fisher Todd Castledine and Brent Broussard Matt Reed and Scott Dean Bill Stark and David Morgan Steve Rhea and Mark Clark Ray Livingston and Bill Rogers Stan Burgay and Rickey Elliot Landon Ware and Russell Lee

„ Trpkosh and Fisher brought home third with 15.77 lbs

„ Ware and Branum took second with 16.58 lbs

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Skeeter, Yamaha and Minn Kota.” About their day they said, “it was slow, we were catching fish here and there but maybe only got about seven or eight keepers all day, we didn’t get our first bite until about 9 am.” Fishing tournament veterans Brian Branum and Keith White took home second place with 16.58 lbs for their 5 fish limit catch. Branum said, “We were fishing drop-offs with a homemade jig, a GRT Tourtackle/Santone. It was a slow morning, we caught our first big one around 10:30 and probably caught 15 fish all day, we got the biggest one at around 2:30.” Branum and White would like to thank Tackle Monkey, Santone, and R1- Bass. Michael Trpkosh and Jeff Fisher finished out the top three with 15.77 lbs. Rounding out the top six were Todd Castledine and Brent Broussard in fourth, Matt Reed and Scott Dean in fifth, and Bill Stark and David Morgan in sixth. The Bud Light Trail honored two big bass, the heaviest was brought in by Steve Rhea and Mark Clark and weighed 7.05 lbs and the second largest belonged to James Bass and Dwain Burns at 6.82 lbs. The next event in the Fall Rayburn Trail will be held on November 5 at the Umphrey Pavilion, more information is available at http://www.budlighttrail.com.

„ Rhea and Clark caught the big bass of the day, which weighed 7.05 lbs.

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By Andrew Upshaw, Tri Lakes Tackle
Wow, never in a million years did I think I would make the Classic. All the time and preparation I have put into this sport finally paid off. I have had goals all through life, some of which seemed very impossible. Making the Classic was one of those goals, but by no means was that goal alone. Throughout my life I seemed to set goals that were almost impossible to reach. I never seemed to want small things. I always wanted to be the best or the top of my game, whatever it may be. I realized at young age that this was something that I desired. I wanted to make the Bassmaster Classic, but not just make it, I want to win it. Everyone who fishes the Classic should share the same goal; to win the prestigious tournament. To solidify a career, and or to boost one, in my case it would be both. Making it was hard, winning it is harder. Now, not only am I going to be fishing against myself, but also the likes of KVD and Ike, just to name a few. These are guys that you and I have grown up watching and admiring. I have my opportunity to fish against some of the best. I will not say all of the best, but definitely a lot of them. Many people ask me if this has hit me yet. Heck yes it has. I think I have fished the Classic at least 30 times in my truck so far, and it feels like a million times in my dreams. I already have problems sleeping about it; I can’t even imagine what February will bring. One other thing I would like to bring to attention is the fact that I have so many supporters in the East Texas to South East Texas area that it is over-whelming. I thank all of you so much for your support and hope to see you at the Classic in February. I fished against so many of you for years, competed with and against, and honestly there are quite a few guys that I look up to in the area. I have not changed. I’m no different than the kid that fished 3 years ago. I’m here to better the sport of fishing and to spread the word to our younger generation. I have the rare opportunity to do it on the biggest stage of bass fishing. Someone reminded me the other day that everything in my life happens, and has happened for a reason. All the learning trials and all the great times, all for a reason. The Classic has happened for a reason. Not because I’m the best fisherman in the world, but because it’s what God wanted. He wanted me there and has continued to push me to fish even if I have tried to get away from it. I have tried many times to do other things besides fish, but yet He always brings me back to it. There has to be a reason to that, there is no doubt in my mind to that thought. It’s crazy how things tend to workout sometimes, definitely not in our control. I will not take this opportunity for granted and do everything in my power to be successful for not only my community, but my family, friends, fans, college fisherman, but most of all East Texas. Need to bring the Title back to this area. Thank you all for the support and for always having an ear for me to talk to. Y’all are all great guys at heart because you all share the passion for fishing. If y’all get the time, y’all all should visit my dad at Tri-Lakes Tackle in Lufkin Texas. If not call and order something sometime!! 936.637.7119….Thanks Again Fisherman!


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Even though some people may not like me I still respect them. I’m still a kid, and I will always be one of the kids around the Rayburn and Toledo area. I understand that. I just want all of you to know that I am here to fish, compete, and when it’s my time, win. That’s all I want to do. I love the sport of fishing and if you love it as much as I do then I should get along with everyone. I have had the great honor of representing our area for the Classic and I will not let us down. I will do my very best to win, and won’t be satisfied if I don’t. I guess I’ll just have to keep trying to make it and keep trying to win it if I don’t.

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 14 ber

7.42 lbs wins the Oakley / Kelly Jordan Big Bass Tournament on Sam Rayburn for $10,000
By Patty Lenderman

It was day 1, third hour weigh in of a two day Big Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn. He only had this one day to fish, and it paid off. Rusty Boone won the Oakley / Kelly Jordan Big Bass event to win $10,000! Oakley has made a name for themselves globally for their world class, high tech eyewear. They expanded into clothing and other accessories. Continuing to cater to anglers, they offer Big Bass events across the nation. Each one is endorsed by a renowned Professional angler. For the first time, Oakley came to Sam Rayburn September 10-11, 2011 at Cassels Boykin Park . Five places paid each hour, then the grand prize to the biggest bass of the tournament. The weather was pristine all weekend. Cool mornings in the 50’s warming to the 90’s by days end. A steady calm breeze kept the water rippling for anglers scampering to every corner of Big Sam trying to catch a “money fish”. Big bass tournaments are played much differently than stringer events. Instead of looking for a limit of fish for your weight, you are looking for just that one big fish. Then you have to decide when to weigh it. For instance, a five pound bass may get 1st place in one hour and not even be big enough to get a check in

another hour. It is kind of like playing poker. You’ve got to know when to hold them, and know when to weigh them. Although there were many hourly winners, the grand prize winner Rusty Boone had an amazing story to tell. As manager of a golf course in Montgomery , Texas he had very limited time off. He could only fish one day of this two day event. In what has become a tradition in his family, he fished with his dad and his son in this event. “We went to an area with lily pads, and Texas rigged a weightless senko. The fish bit, and I set the hook. I knew right away it was a big one. As I was trying to get it in, it hit a stump. Then the line went limp. I just knew I had lost her.” Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Carefully picking the line back up and putting some tension on it, she was still on! They rushed in to weigh the fish, winning a $500 check for the 10-11:00 hour on Day 1. “We had to get back home that day. Had a little trouble with a flat on the way home, and got in late.” Early the next morning he got a call from tournament officials to come back to take a polygraph test. After checking with his very understanding employer, he locked down the golf course and hurried back to the weigh in. His son Daniel and his dad came as well, and

„ Rusty Boone holds the $10,000 check he won for catching the biggest bass of the two day event. Standing with him are his dad and son who fished with him, surrounded by the Army Bass Anglers along with Bass Pro Kelly Jordan. Daniel continued to fish on Day 2. The grueling wait was on until the scales finally closed at 3:00 and he was declared the $10,000 grand prize winner. There were several close contenders challenging the first place mark. His son Daniel Boone won 2nd place with 3.42 lbs the same hour Rusty weighed in, and 1st place in the 9-10:00 hour on Day 2 with 4.62 lbs Complete standings for each hour of the tournament can be found at www.OakleyBigBass.com. “We’d like to thank everyone who came out to fish with us this year and we’ll be looking forward to seeing you again. We pride ourselves in showing our participants how much we appreciate them by feeding them and introducing them to our high-tech tournament methods,” Mark Jones of Oakley Big Bass Tournaments explained. They feed the anglers dinner the night before, then lunch the first day of the tournament. At the weigh in site the Oakley hi-tech trailers are open to the public to tour the technology of the eyewear, as well as a big screen TV showing clips of their television show. Once the scales are open, anglers are sent text messages twice per hour to update them on what is going on at the site. That’s not all! Oakley also has a free app for Smart Phones and Droids that gives them live information on the weigh in and access to watch their television show online. Oakley goes across the nation with their Big Bass events, many endorsed by big name Professional Anglers such as Kevin VanDam, Jamie McMurray, Kelly Jordan – and they are headed to Lake Guntersville, Alabama for the Gerald Swindle Big Bass event next October 15-16, 2011. For more information on any Oakley event visit www.OakleyBigBass.com

„ Each of the Oakley Big Bass tournaments are endorsed by a renowned world class Bass Fishing Pro. Kelly Jordan was present for his namesake event, flanked by Tournament Directors Mark Jones and Keith Odom.

OveRAll tOp 10 BASS weigHed in: 1. 7.42 lbs Rusty Boone 2. 7.01 lbs Chad York 3. 6.92 lbs Mike Needham 4. 6.73 lbs Gary Lett 5. 6.51 lbs Dwain Burns 6. 6.18 lbs Mark Richards 7. 6.02 lbs Randy Hanna 8. 5.85 lbs Doug Lehman 9. 5.19 lbs Charlie Parker 10. 5.16 lbs Thomas Ross

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 16

Anglers Pay, Anglers Benefit
By: Todd Driscoll, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Paying taxes is unpleasant to most people. Like most items we purchase, taxes are placed on fishing-related equipment and fuel. However, unlike many other types of taxes not earmarked for specific purposes, taxes on fishing-related equipment are dedicated to funding the majority of state agency sportfish management, aquatic education, and angler access projects. This concept is commonly referred to as “user pays, user benefits”, thereby enabling anglers and boaters as indirect stewards of aquatic resources. The result is one of the largest and most successful conservation programs in the world. Originally passed by the House and Senate in 1950, the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act is a cooperative effort between the federal government, state fisheries management agencies, the sportfishing industry, anglers, and boaters. Having “Sport” in the Act title is important, because it excludes commercial fisheries from fund benefits. Excise taxes on fishing tackle/ equipment and outboard motors are paid by businesses and anglers pay taxes on motorboat/ small engine fuel. All of these taxes are deposited into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and allocated through the U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Service to state fisheries management agencies (i.e., Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) for sportfishery restoration, wetlands conservation, boat safety, aquatic education, and boating access and facility maintenance. The Act worked well into the 1980s but annual program funding ($38 million in 1985) was beginning to fall short of needs. The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and American Fisheries Society led efforts to increase funding by extending excise taxes to all fishing-related equipment and boats, motors, and trailers. In 1984, the WallopBreaux Amendment significantly increased program funding and divided the Trust Fund into Boat Safety and Sport Fish Restoration accounts. Additional amendments in 1990, 1992, 1998, and 2005 provided 1) funding for coastal wetlands and treatment facilities for boat sewage, 2) enhanced boater safety programs, and 3) 100% dedication of fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines. In 2011, annual program funding was approximately $365 million and state agencies had received more than $6.5 billion since 1950.

Eligible state agencies receive a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 5% of total program funds. Allocations to each state are based on land and water area and number of licensed anglers. For a state to receive funding, it must have legislation prohibiting fishing license fees from being diverted outside the state fishery agency. Total funding is divided between coastal and inland fisheries based on the ratio of coastal and inland anglers. Currently, a majority of funding must go to sport fish restoration and boating access (i.e., ramps, docks, bulkheads, fish cleaning stations, restrooms, and parking), with the remainder spent towards boating safety, coastal wetlands, and aquatic education. Projects are funded up to 75% from Sport Fish Restoration funds and 25% non-federal money (typically state fishing license fees). Fishing is big business in Texas. Over 2.5 million anglers spend over $3 billion annually on fishing-related items. As a result, Texas receives the annual maximum funding of 5%, and in 2011 total funding was $18,234,739. Typically, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spends 61%

of federal funding on sport fishery restoration (31% on fishery surveys and management; 30% on hatchery construction and operation). Standardized fishery surveys along with research studies provide information to maintain and enhance fishery resources through harvest regulations, stocking, and habitat improvement. Approximately 15% of funds are directed to improving boating access facilities at public waters. To obtain boat ramp funds, local entities must apply, provide the land, and 25% of total costs. Another 14% of funds support efforts to minimize habitat loss and degradation due to human population expansion and development. The remainder of the federal money is directed towards aquatic education and outreach programs. Just remember, after purchasing your next rod and reel, a spool of fishing line, a few secret fishing lures, and a full tank of boat gas, you are financially supporting and conserving your fishery resources. Feel free to contact the local Inland Fisheries office with questions regarding this article or area fisheries by phone (409-384-9572) or email (todd.driscoll@tpwd.state.tx.us). Good luck and good fishing!

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17 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 18 ber

Newberry’s crowned Champion in a come-from-behind finish at Bass N Bucks on Sam Rayburn
By Patty Lenderman

The 2011 Bass N Bucks Sam Rayburn and Summer Series has gone full circle, wrapping up the crowning of Champions September 17-18, 2011 at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. Rickey & Dicky Newberry made a big come back on day two to win the Ranger / Yamaha Grand Prize by just over 3 ounces! The weekend started with the annual Championship Banquet honoring the Anglers of the Year for both the Sam Rayburn Series and the Summer Series. Congratulations to Casey Sobczak & Jonathan Garrie as well as Jason Wells & Vic Cooper who will receive free entries into the series they earned AOY for in 2012. Mike Atchley of Cowboy Catering cooked a fine meal for the ceremony and take-off and weigh in procedures were gone over with the qualifiers. The weather was beautiful, with temps barely hitting 90 degrees. The wind was calm. The bite was tough for these experienced teams, trying to keep up with fish as they move into other territories as the lake continues to drop. Many “swimmers” were seen as teams brought in their creel to be tallied at the end of day 1. Todd Castledine and Brent Broussard led the pack with 18.23 lbs, closely followed by Jerrel Pringle and Keith Keel with 18.03 lbs. Big Bass was tied at 6.68 lbs, brought in by Dicky & Rickey Newberry, anchoring their 3rd place standing of 17.38 lbs, along with Michael & Lance Lowery also having a 6.68 kicker in their creel. It was nearly a three way split for Big Bass lead on day 1 with Doug & Mason McCain having a 6.67 kicker.

„ Bringing in the biggest sack of the two day event, Dicky & Rickey Newberry captures the two day Championship by just over 3 ounces Coming into day 2, it was still anyone’s game as the weights were fairly tight. A small front had moved in, with scattered showers that seemed to help the bite. Every cast counted as the teams fished for the top prize of a Ranger Z120 powered by Yamaha 225 hp valued at nearly $50,000. While nearly every team brought in heavier sacks on day 2, it was Philip & James Crelia who were the first of the top five to come in and establish the weight to beat. Adding 19.96 lbs to their overall weight, their two day total was 36.00 lbs. As more teams put their sacks on the scales, they kept the lead until Todd Castledine & Brent Broussard, day 1 leaders, came in with the first sack over 20 pounds seen in this two day event. Their two day total soared past the pack to 38.28 lbs. Anticipation

Day 1 Top 5 line up: 18.23 lbs 17.38 lbs Todd Castledine & Brent Broussard Dicky & Rickey Newberry 18.03 lbs 16.40 lbs Jerrel Pringle & Keith Keele Doug & Mason McCain
16.04 lbs James & Philip Crelia

„ Coming from 5th place on day 1 to win 3rd place in the final standings was the father & son team of James & Philip Crelia

„ Having led day 1, Todd Castledine & Brent Broussard brought in the first sack over 20 pounds to take over the lead again on day 2. The team ultimately won 2nd place with 38.28 lbs

19 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011 L Lakecaster ber ber 2011

was still high as the crowd waited to see the rest of the top five leaders come in. Jerrel Pringle & Keith Keele, in 2nd place on day 1, fell short bringing in 16 pounds for a 34.09 lb total. Then Dicky & Rickey Newberry brought in their sack tipping the scales to 21.11 lbs, nudging over the top mark hitting 38.49 lbs to win the Championship! “It’s been a tough weekend,” Dicky began. They targeted grass beds exclusively using a 10” V&M worm rigged Texas style both days. “The first day, we had about 14 pounds in the boat at 11:00. After that, Rickey caught our 6.68 kicker that added a few pounds to our limit. We made one last cull at the end of the day with a four pounder.” On the final day, they went back to that same spot and caught another 14 pound limit. “When the bite played out there, we moved to another grass bed. That’s where I caught one just over 7 pounds.” Continuing to cast to the last minute, at 2:45 their last cull was made. “We caught another four pounder at the end of the day, exchanging it for a two pounder. Both

„ After several 7 pounders had come across the scales on the final day, Shelby Shaw registered his 8.15 lb kicker to win Big Bass of the Championship

tOp teAMS:

1st 38.49 lbs Dicky & Rickey Newberry 2nd 38.28 lbs Todd Castledine & Brent Broussard 3rd 36.00 lbs James & Philip Crelia 4th 34.09 lbs Jerrel Pringle & Keith Keele 5th 33.62 lbs Casey Sobczak & Jonathan Garrie 6th 32.89 lbs Bill Rogers & John Walker

7th 31.88 lbs Cory Rambo & Rusty Clark 8th 30.59 lbs Clayton Boulware & Chris McCall 9th 30.52 lbs Russ Carter & Scott Bailey 10th 30.22 lbs Jason Wells & Vic Cooper ….and last in the money… 20th 26.86 lbs Landon Ware
days it was our ‘end of the day bite’ that helped push us over the top.” And just barely! The Newberry’s won the tournament by 21/100ths of a pound or just over 3 ounces. Out of 10 fish weighed in over the two day event that’s not much! Bass N Bucks awarded them the Ranger Z120 powered by Yamaha 225 hp as the Grand Prize of the Championship, valued at nearly $50,000. This makes Championship #5 for Dicky with Bass N Bucks. His first win was in 1996, having won on Richland Chambers, Livingston and Rayburn. In each of the 2011 Bass N Bucks tournaments, Cabela’s has awarded the top finishing qualified team a $250 bonus. For the Championship, Cabela’s awarded $1,000 that the Newberry’s added to their win. Brent Broussard and Todd Castledine had brought in strong sacks both days of the tournament. Overcoming mechanical problems on day 2, they still brought in over 20 lbs to add to their creel. “When our boat had problems, it forced us to stay in one spot for nearly 6 hours,” Brent recalled. Using a combination of lures including Strike Pro crank baits, Combat swim jigs and football head jigs, they hit grassy pockets in the mid lake area. “We caught a lot of fish, and was able to cull four times the first day.” On the final day, they culled five times but missed a cull that cost them. “We had an 8 pounder jump out of the net. That really hurt us.” It was in the last 30 minutes of fishing that „ Dave Concienne awarded Dicky & Rickey Newberry with the Ranger Z120 powered by Yamaha 225 hp Grand Prize for the Championship valued at nearly $50,000

„ The Newberry’s were the highest ranking qualified team to receive the Cabela’s bonus – and for the Championship it was for $1,000!

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 20 ber

they made their final cull pushing their sack over the 20 pound mark. Bass N Bucks awarded them a $4,000 check for their 2nd place finish. “As always, we want to thank God for being with us. We’d also like to give a special thanks to Randy Qualls for loaning us another Legend boat after we broke down. He was really there for us.” Additional sponsors include Strike Pro Lures, Combat Lures, Kicker Fish, Power Pole, Hydrowave, Humminbird, Sundog glasses, and Mercury. James & Philip Crelia were sitting in 5th place at the end of day 1. Bringing in an even better sack on day two, they rose up in the standings for a 3rd place overall finish with a 36.00 lb two day total. “The early bite was key for us. We missed a few big bass the first day, but managed a 6.68 lb kicker. We caught fish on several baits including a Texas rig, Zara Spook, frogs and spinnerbaits.” The final day they stuck to a Texas rigged worm for their catch. “We hit drains 3’-10’ deep that had a little grass on each side. Again, the early bite was good then there was a long lull until they started back up again around 1:00.” They anchored their limit with a 7.67 lb kicker to win 3rd place and a $2,000 check. They would like to thank Hometown Tackle in Center, TX and Legend Boats for their support. As you can see by the kickers brought in on day 2 there was a lot of shuffling in the standings for Big Bass as well. Shelby Shaw caught the biggest of them all weighing 8.15 lbs to win $700 for that single catch. “It was around 9am, and we were fishing an area that had shallow grass back in a pocket. I was using a white buzz bait, and it hit about 10’ from the boat. I think I caught it more out of self defense than anything!” he laughed. He and partner Lance Hughes ended up with a 19th place overall finish for an additional $400. 2nd thru 20th place teams received 100% payback of the side pot money collected. 21st thru 25th place were awarded sponsor products. Ben Matsubu and Bob Waltermeyer received the final products with their 26.22 lb two day weight. “We really appreciate all of you coming out and fishing with us again this year,” announced Dave Concienne, Tournament Director. “You are all very tough teams to beat, and there was no way of

„ Congratulations to the top teams: (1st) Dicky & Rickey Newberry; (2nd) Brent Broussard & Todd Castledine; (3rd) Philip & James Crelia; (Big Bass) Shelby Shaw

guessing who would come out on top in the Championship. It has been another great season and we look forward to seeing you again in 2012.” The Toledo Bend Series Championship has been postponed due to the extreme low lake levels. “We have the Championship tentatively rescheduled to the first weekend in January, but if we get some good rain between now and then, and Toledo comes up a few feet, we’ll give all of the qualifiers a call to come fish!” Stay tuned to Bass N Bucks website for latest information and news, plus complete standings for all of the events and the 2012 schedules. www.BassNBucks.com or call 409-727-8941.

Special thanks to Bass N Bucks 2011 sponsors:
Ranger • Yamaha • Cabela’s • Rat-L-Trap • V&M/Cyclone Baits • Vicious Fishing • Wulf Outdoors • Lowrance • Jasper Chamber of Commerce • ProRule • Snagproof • Fishingworld • The Stump Restaurant • Needmore Tackle • Ann’s Tackle • Toledo Town & Tackle • Fin & Feather Resort • R1 Bass • Holiday Inn Express • Premier Yamaha Boating Centers

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21 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 22

Sam Rayburn Tournament Schedule



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23 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

Fishing Forecast
October 2011 has arrived and if we haven’t had any rain then we’ll find Sam Rayburn more than, “Just a little low”, but over 12 ft low. This is a great time to explore the lake and see what the water has been hiding for years. You can walk on land that man hasn’t walked on in years. See places that fish call home and what cover Lynn Atkinson they use when the water is up. This doesn’t cell 979-220-0251 happen very often so bring you camera, a Reel Um N Guide good map, and take lots of pictures. Service, www.rayburncountry.com The weather will be cooling down and the first hints of autumn will be starting to show. If we get some rain the lake shore and the trees will begin turning beautiful colors. Don’t let this time of year slip by, get out and do some fishing. This is the time of year that the beauty of Sam Rayburn is magnified by the cool crisp air. Spend a day in the shadow of an eagle’s nest or watch one soar overhead. Come fish with mallards, cormorants, coots, pelicans and other migratory birds that call Rayburn home during the fall & winter. It isn’t something you will soon forget. Sharing it with family and friends makes the memories more special. The water level on Sam Rayburn has been low all year and has continued to fall as we haven’t had any rain to speak of. Now, with the water on the low side, even more caution needs to be used. If you’re new to the lake it’s best to hire a guide and let him show you around. They can put you on some fish and put you on a few patterns that have been working. With the water low there are lots of humps and points that are out of the water. Even the flats will start to be shallow or become completely dry. This is still one of the best times to get to fish creek channels and humps they will have grass on most of the edges. The fish will start to use them as they fatten up for the winter months. These fish will be chasing shad as they move in and that’s when things start to get exciting; they will chase topwater baits like crazy. The Stanley Ribbit is great over the pads and grassy areas and they haul in a lot of big fish year around. Have some good line on to pull these fish in. A new bait that we’ve been using a lot this year is the Strike Pro Hunchback lure. It’s handled a lot of fish around the pads and grass lines. It’s got a great wobble and a loud rattle to call the fish up out of the grass. If you haven’t got some in your box you need to get some now. The main prey will be shad and perch so look for those colors in your baits. Covering a lot of water this time of year can be done with a Stanley spinner bait and a crankbait. The hydrilla has been a little thin this year but has still been holding fish on the edges and points. The ledges and creek channels will be holding some fish and working them with the Carolina and Texas rigs will catch a few fish. There will be some big fish caught thru the fall and into the spring so fishing never comes to a stop here on Big Sam. Winter here is normally a few cold days in a week when a front pushes through. Then you get a couple of beautiful days behind the front to fish. This is when we are looking to catch some big fish as they move up. What’s the Sharelunker Program? Well it’s a program that has been in operation since 1986 and there has been more than 450 lunker bass donated. All of this is to improve the quality of the fish thru superior genetics from the Sharelunker bass that are donated. The hope is that Texas will produce the next world record largemouth bass. Entries are accepted October 1 through April 30. The program is limited to largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more and they have to be caught here in Texas. TPWD toll-free, 24-hour pager at 1-888-784-0600 or (903) 681-0550. Check the website for all the benefits of donating your lunker to the program. Sam Rayburn Reservoir Official Weigh and Holding Stations For the program is. Jackson Hill Park Marina 1705 FM 2851 Broaddus, Texas 75929 (936) 872-9266 The Crappie will be holding to the brush piles before moving to the bridges and then up the river for the winter. We’ll be following their movement up the river in hopes of filling the ice chest like we did last year. We have room for 8 anglers on the pontoon and will be glad to help you catch some of the tasty little critters. Just a few words about tackle stores in the area that have new locations. Tri Lakes Tackle has moved a little farther south to 4106 S. Hwy 69. Bass Strike Tackle has moved to downtown Zavalla on Main Street in their new building. Both of these stores would be glad to help you anyway they can. I know they have supported my fishing habit for sometime. I thank you. Well I hope this helps you out some. Good Luck and God Bless

Lake level information updated daily at www.lakecaster.com Lake level as of 9/21/11 (151.93) Normal pool level (164.40’) For lake level updates and generation schedules, call 409-384-5716.

Mid Lake & South End
Hey, folks – hope you’re out enjoying this cooler weather October brings with it. The tournament championships are pretty much over and hunting season is knocking at our door. Hunting is a good word to use for the bass bite lately. One day they are in the Bill Fondren, shallows, and you can catch them on Tejas Guide Service/ frogs, wacky worms or flukes. The next 3-S Texas Outdoors day they are out in deep water and going billjfondren@yahoo.com, after them with 10” worms rigged Texas cell (409) 381-1397 or Carolina style will garner you a few Professional Guide good ones, or pitch a jig and just bump — Licensed and it off the bottom. Insured The crappie have been biting better on minnows than on jigs. Hit your brush piles in 12’ to 15’. They aren’t staying on the piles, though. Another good place to hunt for them is creek channel bends. If you just want to go out and feel a good tug on the end of your line and catch a variety of fish, head to the river channel up by 147 bridge. Tie on a jigging spoon and just jig it straight up and down. Start out by letting it go all the way to the bottom, then give it one or two cranks to get it off the bottom some. Keep varying your depths until you find where they’re sitting. Take the kids with you. They’ll have a ball. When you’re ready to get out on the water or ready for your next trophy hunt, give us a call!

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 24

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

59 ¤ To advertise in £ The Lakecaster just call (409) 384-3441

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25 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 26 ber

Keeping Anglers Informed
TOLEDO BEND’S FUTURE.... A Guide’s Perspective by Pro Guide, Joe Joslin

Another prime example of stocked Florida bass as angler Dr. David Brown’s entire hand easily fits into the mouth of this big largemouth bass. Photo by Joe Joslin Outdoors

As I am writing this column, the air outside is awesome with temperatures in the low 60s and the sun is shining and I just got off the lake having yet another very successful fishing trip on My Favorite Fishing Hole.....Toledo Bend. I should be on cloud nine because the fall/early winter fishing season from now through December is going to be outstanding, off the charts and almost unbelievable. So why am I not my normally optimistic, positive self on this beautiful day in the early fall? As I look down the hill on my lake house property, I see a lot more dirt/sand and a lot less water as the lake level as of this writing is 161.12 msl (mean sea level) while full pool is considered to be 172’ msl (10.9 feet low). Having said this, the lake level in the fall is generally 3-5 ft below full pool because we normally get very little rainfall August through October. That is part of the reason for some of the pessimism. There seems to be little hope that lake levels will be able to rise during the next few months and more than likely, will continue to retreat due to lack of rain, evaporation and mandatory release at the spillway to keep the water in the river below the dam. WHO DO WE BLAME? The Sabine River Authority of both Texas and Louisiana has the responsibility of overseeing/managing the lake. While I have not always agreed with the SRA on some issues and certainly have concerns from what I currently understand about new water use contracts that are being negotiated, I don’t think the SRA is the major blame for the lake being down to today’s levels. I am on the lake 4-6 days a week and have property near the dam and fish a lot on the extreme southern portions of the lake so I know when water is being released. Basically, we are in a record setting drought all over this area. They (SRA) did aggressively draw 2 feet off the lake last fall to do dam repairs and that 2 feet would have been a big help today. However, in normal winters we would have received ample rain to fill the lake back up and all would

be well. We all know that did not happen and experienced one of the driest ever winters, springs, summers and now fall. On top of no rain we also had record heat which elevated the amount of evaporation which normally occurs. Finally, in early September we received 2.5 inches of rain from T.S. Lee and it had zero impact on the level of the lake. Part of that was because the rain only fell on the southern 60% of the lake plus the land mass around the lake was so dry that it absorbed the rain and we basically had no run-off. LAKE CONDITIONS: According to reports, we only have approximately 130,000 acres of water now on the lake compared to 180,000 acres at full pool at 172’. Losing 50,00 acres is a lot of water and is more than the entire surface of famous Lake Fork that is located about an hour or so east of Dallas. On the fishing side, lower lake levels has actually improved fishing and made reading structure easier and concentrated some of the fishing area to mainly creeks, ditches and the river channel. The big negative comes in navigating the lake and such has taken its toll on angler’s boats and motors with numerous mishaps between boats and underwater obstructions. Until the past few weeks, the southern 1/4 of Toledo has been in pretty good shape when compared to the northern 1/2 of The Bend. However, as levels fell below 164 ft. the impact was felt by those of us who fish mainly the southern portions as well and now at 161’ msl we all are on high alert and extremely cautious. For those of us who must fish to make a living, finding a place to safely launch a boat is a huge challenge as over 80% of the ramps on the lake are now closed and more added to the list each week. I think I can still operate down to 159.5 but we are all in uncharted territory..... literally and figuratively. LOW LEVELS AND ECONOMIC IMPACT: It is a no brainer that the great decrease in boat traffic to and from the lake has impacted the profit level of lake area businesses. A major example is the recent cancellation of Skeeter Boats Bass Champs 2011 Championship that was scheduled at Toledo’s newly remodeled Fin and Feather Resort located in Toledo’s Housen Bay. Several other events have been moved because of the added risks of navigating the lake and lack of launching options. There is always a decrease of boat traffic in the fall but so far it is beyond anything I can remember and this is my 35th fall season to be around south Toledo. There are some reasons to be optimistic. The business owners around the lake are known for their ability to hang in there when things are tough. There are a significant number of folks who make the shores of Toledo their home and we all support each other when possible. A prime example on south Toledo is Flo’s Cafe which is located on highway #255 at the top of the hill in Toledo Village/Indian Creek. I had lunch there today and it was packed with patrons partly because the locals support the owners but also because the home cooking is outstanding. TOLEDO’S FUTURE FISHING: The fishing on the lake in 2011 has been the best in 20 years and there is no reason to think it will slow down. The very effective stocking of Florida bass by both TX and LA wildlife/fisheries/local lake organizations has been so important in getting Toledo back on the map in the eyes of anglers all over the country. This stocking program has been in place for 20 years and has been a revolution as far as keeping Toledo in the headlines with big bass photos. We also had the return of B.A.S.S. this year as The Elite Tour came here this spring and guess what? They will return in 2012 in June!! I plan to take clients out all fall and winter this year and we will somehow find a way to get our rig in/out of the lake as well as carefully navigate enough to find some hungry bass. In the mean time, hopefully my fellow business owners and I can hang on till the heavens open with an abundance of rain. We long for and pray to that end. God Bless and good fishing!! AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com

27 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

Ongoing Drought Conditions Affect Toledo Bend Operations
TOLEDO BEND PROJECT JOINT OPERATION 450 Spur 135, Burkeville, TX 75932 SRA-TX 409/565-2273 SRA-LA 337/286-5255 (Toledo Bend Reservoir) The ongoing drought conditions have taken a toll on water resources in the States of Louisiana and Texas. Drought conditions have affected operations at the Toledo Bend Reservoir operated jointly by the Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana and the Sabine River Authority of Texas (Authorities). The Authorities’ responsibility to satisfy downstream flow requirements necessary to meet major industrial water contracts from diversion canals downstream of Toledo Bend Reservoir become even more challenging as drought conditions, which began with a very dry winter and spring, have persisted through the summer. Since the latter part of April, it has been necessary for the Authorities to release water from the reservoir to meet these downstream commitments by running one hydroelectric generating unit 2 and ½ hours every other day which later changed to 3 hours every other day due to persistent drought conditions. The impact of these downstream releases on lowering Toledo Bend Reservoir levels has been minimal (approximately 1 ½ - 2 inches per month) compared to the impact evaporation has had on lake levels (calculated at 12.29 inches for the month of August). Maximum temperatures averaging 102° F since the first of August have increased the effect of evaporation on the lake levels. Current low lake levels preclude the Authorities from continuing to release water through the hydroelectric generating system leaving the spillway gates as the next water release alternative. To continue to accomplish the necessary water releases, one spillway gate is opened approximately 7 inches 24 hours per day to release a continuous flow of water downstream. The persistent drought conditions have necessitated Toledo Bend operational modifications that have never had to be made in the history of the reservoir. The Authorities will continually monitor lake levels and downstream conditions to determine any necessary adjustments that need to be made. Normal operations will resume as conditions improve. The Authorities encourage all boaters and recreational users to use good judgment and be safety conscious at all times. For any questions, please contact the offices at (337) 286-5255 (SRA-LA) or (409) 565-2273 (SRA-TX).

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 28 ber

Jackson Hill Marina Hosts Texas State Bowfishing Championship

„ The Attoyac Assassins Ryan Rushing, Blake Steptoe and Kenny Fountain with a boat load of fish including the tournaments big fish a 54.6 lb Buffalo

„ Shane Gammill and Page Cook weighing in their big 35.2 lb needle nose Gar

The Texas Bowfishing Association held its annual State Bowfishing Championship Saturday night August 27th on Sam Rayburn Lake. The Sunday morning weigh in totaled 1,275 fish mainly consisting of Buffalo, Common Carp and Gar. When all was said and done the three man team of Kevin Tidwell, Tommy Fuller and Colton Phillips won for the most fish taken with an impressive 237 fish.

The big fish for the tournament was brought in by local Broaddus residents Kenny Fountain, Blake Steptoe and Ryan Rushing the “Attoyac Assassins”. The big buffalo tipped the scales at 54.6 lbs and was among 114 fish that they brought in. Page Cook and Shane Gammill took the largest Gar for the tournament with a 35.2 lb needle nose. The tournament was sponsored by East Texas Archery,

FannMan Customs, AMS Bowfishing, Cajun Archery and Muzzy. The fish taken during the tournament were picked up by an Oklahoma turtle farmer to feed his over 60,000 farm raised turtles. Anyone who is interested in joining the growing ranks of Bowfishing are welcome to find out more by going to www.texasbowfishingassociation.com.

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Do you need to register your boat? Do you know where to go to do it? Several options are available. You can now register your boat / motor online. Go to https://apps.tpwd.state.tx.us/bora/home.seam and follow the steps on that page. If you want to pay by credit card, this is the method you should use. There are also several Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement locations you can go to. Please be advised that at this time TPWD offices are unable to accept credit cards for any boat / outboard motor transactions. The ones closest to Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend are: Lufkin – Old Texas Plaza, 4100 S. Medford Drive, Suite 204B, Lufkin TX 75901 • 936/632-1311 Beaumont – 5550-K Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, TX 77708 • 409/892-8666 Houston (North) – 350 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Suite 100, Houston TX 77060 281/931-6471 Houston (South) – 10101 Southwest Freeway, Suite 206, Houston TX 77074 713/779-8977 OR you can go to the Courthouse Annex Building in Jasper, TX. 271 East Lamar Street, #200. 409/384-3721 All Jasper Texas Parks & Wildlife – Wildlife Division offices are now at the old State Hatchery located at 289 CR 098, Jasper TX. The personnel at that office can help with a wide array of things but not boat registration. The number for the Wildlife office is 409/384-6894 if you have any questions.

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29 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 30

Toledo Bend Tournament Schedule
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31 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

Toledo Bend North End Forecast
Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service & Lake Cottages www.toledobendguide.com • gregcrafts@yahoo.com • 936.368.7151 Great news! At the time water conditions, we are still able to fish the lake. In fact, year. Locate the bait fish and you will locate the bass. Shallow of this report, Huxley Bay now is the time to take advantage of some of the best fishing flats close to deep water off the river channel are also good Marina has dredged out conditions we’ve had in years because of the low water. areas to catch schooling bass. Work the ledges and drops of their boat ramp and is in the The days are getting shorter, the water temperature is the old river channel and creeks with jigs, plastics, crank process of pouring concrete starting to fall, and the fish know it’s time to start bulking baits, tail spinners and spoons and keep a shallow diving to extend the ramp. Huxley up in preparation for the coming of winter. October is a great crank bait, Rattle Trap and top water plug handy if the bass Bay Marina is the only time to be fishing on the “Bend”. The weather is usually very start schooling. marina on the north end of the Texas side of the lake that pleasant and the vista of the lake is magnificent. On the north end of the lake, October is when the Crappie still has access to the main lake. A big “Thank You” to Bob What color should I throw? As a general rule, colors and start moving to the ledges of the old river channel. The last and Stacey who own and personally operate the marina! size of your lure depends on the light conditions, clarity of the few months we’ve been busy building our brush tops and Huxley Bay Marina is a full service operation that can water and the size of the bait fish. On clear blue bird days, I placing them along the old river channel ledges. Shiners provide you with everything you need for your fishing trip like to throw light, clear and silver colors. On overcast low light and jigs fished from 15 to 30ft of water over planted brush or stay. They offer a motel, RV park, tackle/bait supplies and days I throw darker colors, chartreuse, pumpkin, reds, greens, tops are the key to catching a boat load of Crappie. As the a great restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, open browns and black or combinations thereof. Also, the less clarity water temperature continues to drop, the Crappie will move seven days a week. I’ve been fortunate to be able to operate of the water dictates throwing darker colors. I personally try to into deeper water, 25 to 50ft, and jigs usually will be more for the past twenty years out of this marina and they have match the size of the lure to the size of the bait fish. productive. given me, my customers (whether they’ve stayed at our lake The bass will be following the bait fish and the bait fish The White Bass will be migrating to the north end of the house or at their motel) great service. will be migrating to the backs of the coves and shallow flats. lake and holding on the river channel sand bars in 15 to 25ft Even though most of the fishing tournaments that Top water plugs, buzz baits, shallow diving cranks, Rattle of water. Slab spoons and tail spinners are the ticket. Keep are normally held on the lake this time of year have been Traps, blades, soft plastics, jigs, deep diving cranks, tail a shallow diving crank bait, trap and top water plug handy postponed, cancelled or moved to other lakes because of low spinners, spoons and even grubs will be effective this time of when schooling.

Lake level information updated daily at www.lakecaster.com Lake Level – as of 9/21/11 (160.88) Normal pool level (172.00') For lake level updates and generation schedules, call 318-256-4114.

Mid Lake and South End
Darrell Lyons• DW’s Guide Service for Rayburn & Toledo 409-787-3664 • dwlguide@yahoo.com • www.toledo-bend.net/guide
BASS ~ Good. Low water levels have the fish bunched up and this is the ideal time to scout for key areas to fish when the water is back at normal levels. Start with a Super Pop R along the creek channels. Then as the day warms switch to a 1/4 oz. Talon spinner bait or a Senko in baby bass or blue hologram colors fishing in 3’ to 6’of water next to creeks. Look for schooling fish and throw a Rinky Dink or top water bait. Remember to fish all of your baits on TFO rods and spool your reels with FINS braid and spray your baits with Kick N Bass. BREAM ~ Good. Use worms and Berkley Power Maggots in 6’ to 12’ of water over brush on edge of creeks. CRAPPIE ~ Excellent. Fish are around brush in 12’to 20’ of water on shiners and 1/16 oz. watermelon/red colored Tiny Ikas. STRIPERS ~ Slow. Use your electronics to locate the bait fish along the old river in 14’ to 28’ of water. Then use live carp in these areas. Look for schooling fish during mid day. CATFISH ~ Excellent. Target 18’ to 28’ of water using Catfish Charlie and liver over baited holes. WHITE BASS ~ Good. Fish on main lake flats in 10’ to 14’ of water, using a green/white Humdinger. On calm days, look for schooling fish. There are a lot of teal on the lake, it should be a great duck season. Remember~ When it tugs on the line... SET THE HOOK!!!

South Toledo Fishing

By Pro Guide Joe Joslin, 30 Years Experience on Toledo Bend Joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com • 337-463-3838 • 409-565-1288 LAKE CONDITIONS: boat....seldom. Some of my favorite close up lures include a The lake level at press time 3/8 oz Norman Pro Pop topwater lure or a weightless Berkley is 160.8 feet and 172 ft is Jerk Shad, a 5-inch Senko and Yamamoto D Shad. The shallow grass bite has been excellent with Stanley’s full pool with one spillway gate open 6 inches and Vibra Wedge double willow spinnerbait working well when running 24 hrs. The lake is worked over or along outside edge of hydrilla. The soft plastic too low to generate. Water bite has also improved with a TX rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom temperatures continue to fall and should fall into low 70s/ Hopper and a trick worm worked in scattered grass from 6 upper 60s this month. The back of creeks are slightly off- to 14 feet is very productive. Top colors include watermelon candy, watermelon candy red, watermelon and green pumpkin. colored but the rest of the lake is clear-to-very clear. FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Fishing is outstanding!! Cooler I always dye the tail of these worms about 1/2 inch with a water temperatures have made a major impact on fishing the chartreuse worm dye pen made by either Zoom or Spike It. past few days with lots of baitfish (shad) moving to the backs They make them in several colors. I exclusively use the dye pens of drains and major creeks. There have been a lot of activity instead of the bottles of dye to prevent a spill on the boat carpet. along the edges of ditches/drains and creeks as well and the The dye is very quick drying and is permanent. If you use the weather is just amazing. We are seeing an improvement in bottles it is just a matter of time before you damage/re-design buzzbaits, topwater as well as spinnerbaits and this will get your carpet. Hundreds of bass anglers reading this column better as time goes on. Schooling activity has already been have a story of worm-dye mishaps. If I am in a situation where good-to-excellent the past few weeks but some bigger bass are the water is very stained or muddy and need more color, I will getting into the mix with lower water temps. I usually have use the bottle but use it before I get on the lake. However, the new pens can put a lot of dye on your a schooling bait I can throw a long way (usually a jigging spoon) plus another bait when the bass come up closer to the worms, especially when you dye both sides and I find it is all

I need about 95% of the time. There are times in clear water conditions when I do not want a real bright dyed color on my worms but like the more subtle approach the pen makes possible. The Carolina rig is still a fish catching tool in my boat and we continue to rig it with a medium heavy sinker and 17 lb test 100% Berkley Fluorocarbon. The best soft plastics on our Carolina rig have been Berkley Bottom Hopper, Itzabug (Stanley) and Speed Craw (Zoom). Best depths are from 10 to 25 feet on points, ridges and humps with and without grass. Deep cranking is improving and DD22s worked in depths of 12 to 20 have been my most consistent structure. CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS/WHITE BASS: The crappie bite has improved and they are moving into brush 15 to 18 feet. Yellow bass have been even more plentiful and are hitting jigging spoons and tail spinners as are white bass. Look for schools of largemouth and work a tailspinner or spoon underneath the school for yellows and whites. AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 32

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 34 ber

By Jim Binns
A few articles ago I mention the name John Hope as being one of the leaders in the industry for finding out just how a BIG bass lives and feeds. I had a number of anglers that told me they wanted to know more. Let’s go back in time to the late 1980s. Hope was a fishing guide at Houston County Lake in East Texas and became so obsessed with big bass that he began equipping them with electronic transmitters so he could monitor their daily routines. It all got started when he watched a television show where another species of animal was tracked with electronic devices. Hope made up his mind that he would do the same with largemouth bass. Between 1986 and 1994, Hope surgically implanted thumbsized electronic transmitters inside 57 donated bass that ranged from 3-pounds to more than 15 pounds. Hope used hightech, radio-telemetry tracking gear to track these bass and funded the studies entirely with money from his own pocket. The transmitters cost $150 each and he also went through three sets of tracking gear, at a cost of $3,000 each. Most of Hope’s research lakes were in Texas and included Lake Fork, Lake Murvaul, Sam Rayburn, Houston County Lake and Lake Whitney. Rumor has it that Hope once spent five-consecutive days and nights with his earphones on at Houston County Lake. He slept in the bottom of his boat in a sleeping bag, waking periodically to document the movements of the bass and came to shore once a day to eat and bathe. He tracked big bass in freezing temperatures, seriously hot weather and even during raging thunderstorms. Hope also did his tracking at Lake Amistad where he lived in a motel for a full year. Each day and night he would put on his scuba gear and trail along behind four different bass that weighed up to 11-pounds. Hope was a serious dude for sure. Not everyone liked Hopes research, especially some of the Lake Fork fishing guides. They raised such a ruckus that the TPWD created a fish-tracking permit and implemented a rule that made it illegal to have a guide license and a fish-tracking permit at the same time. So let’s get down to the basics of what Hope’s research did that can help your fishing today. The first bass that went into the study was a 10-pounder caught in March of 1986 that he named Wanda (after his wife). After a year of tracking Wanda with the electronic devices, Hope

Follow Those “Beeping” Bass
Hope never had a fish move more than 400 yards from its bedroom when it went to feed. • When Wanda went on the prowl – presumably feeding – she always headed for a nearby shoreline. The bass cruised up and down the same 100-yard stretch of bank repeatedly. Hope said Wanda was so predictable he could set his watch by her movements. • Hope learned that every fish over 7-pounds would feed predominantly at night (usually in 2-hour intervals), 12 months a year. They feed for a while and then rest for a while. Big bass can be active during midday but are less likely to feed if fishing pressure is high. • Wanda spent a high percentage of her time suspended over 20 feet of water along the edges of a creek channel. Each time Hope caught Wanda (outside of the spawn), she was actively cruising her feeding area. The bass refused to bite when she was in her resting area, suspended over deep water. When it did come time to spawn, Wanda always dumped her eggs on the same flat, year after year. • The weather didn’t appear to affect trophy bass directly, but it did affect their prey (baitfish), which is likely the main reason for any shifting in their normal routines. Fronts caused them to simply move closer to any available structure. Big bass would occasionally suspend in from 24 feet to 35-feet depths, with other bass of the same size. • Larger bass were particular about their food, preferring perch or other larger food items most of the year. • Lunker bass avoid lure splashes, anchors, boat noises and trolling motor noise. • It was obvious that “Catch and Release” worked. Hope and other anglers caught a number of these tagged bass more than once. • Sam Rayburn Reservoir also provided data that added creditability to Hope’s home-body theory. A six and 7-pounder were caught north of the State Highway 147 Bridge during a tournament. They were then taken 18 miles south to Twin Dikes Marina for weigh-in. That’s where Hope planted the transmitters and released the fish. Hope relocated his study fish a week later and all but one had made the 18-mile journey back home. They were positioned in the same areas where they were caught a week earlier. • Hope’s beeping bass also helped him firm up his “funnel

learned that the bass had a defined resting and feeding pattern. Wanda was fairly inactive during the day and would rest in about 10 to 15-feet of water. When it was feeding time Wanda would move shallow and prowl up and down a 200-yard stretch near the creek channel in a 3 to 4-foot depth. During this feeding period the fish would never stop moving and was very selective about what she ate. Wanda went into her same feeding territory until she began to feel the urge to spawn and this is when a drastic change in her pattern occurred. One day she simply went to a spawning area and stayed there until she had laid her eggs. She was later located on the nest of a small bass. Hope caught Wanda again in April and placed her overnight in a tank at the marina. During the night Wanda jumped out of the tank and into the lake. She remained in this area for about four days and then went back to her home (about a mile and a half away) and returned to her normal routine almost immediately. Hope also added a number of other lunker bass to the study such as Cathy, Debra, Missy (+15 pounds from Lake Fork), a 14-pounder from Lake Murvaul, Samatha (10 pounder from Sam Rayburn), and a Lake Fork 12-pounder named Dee Dee. Even though there were many differences in what lakes the fish lived in, home territories and feeding patterns were definitely established by all of the bass. Key Things Learned: • One of the more valuable lessons is that big bass are home bodies. Hope said once a big bass establishes a home range, it maintains that range for life. Every big bass has a specific area where it rests and a specific area where it feeds – and those places won’t be very far apart.

35 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

point” theory. These funnel areas are where deep water runs into shallow. They are little underwater gullies and draws and creeks. On a map they will be where the contour lines are running parallel to each other, and then suddenly the intervals narrow and form a V with the point toward the shoreline. Sometimes this indicates a pocket or gut in the bank. According to Hope, big bass suspend out away from these pockets over the closest deep area. When feeding they follow this funnel into shore and start cruising back and forth around the points and down adjacent banks with a 10-foot depth edge. Almost all of the lunker bass used cruising and feeding tactics rather than

ambush. The key is to position your boat over that midlayer, and then cast parallel to the contours the fish should be traveling which keeps your bait in the prime strike zone throughout the retrieve. Hope put his theory to the test on a rainy afternoon at Houston County Lake when he announced to a room full of outdoor writers, bait manufacturers and fishing guides that he could look at a lake map and mark 10 spots where trophy bass had been caught before. Two of the guides were from Lake Murvaul; an East Texas big-bass lake Hope had never fished. One of the guides produced a Murvaul map and Hope marked 10 spots and gave the map back to the guides. Both guides

admitted they had either caught big ones off the 10 spots, or knew of someone who had. Hope produced an 81-page book, “Trackin’ Texas Trophies.” The paperback chronicles his years of bass research and gives us valuable knowledge gained through countless hours of monitoring big bass during all types of conditions. Hope’s tracking study eventually lead to a job as host of a television program dedicated to Texas fishing. The job consumed so much time that he couldn’t continue the tracking project any longer – but he sure left a lot of things for us anglers to consider. – Good Fishing - JB


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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 36 ber

Food plots now?
By Robert Baker, TPWD

It is that time of year again when people start to think about deer hunting. They start to fill feeders, rework deer stands, and among other things plant food plots. This year is very different than most with the drought conditions that are facing Southeast Texas. Food plot management should change with the conditions just like all other practices. The soil moisture is way down. At the time of this article Jasper County was at least 30 inches of rainfall behind for the year. It will take very significant amounts of rainfall in a manner that will allow the water to soak into the soil and not just runoff to remedy this situation. This means a slow soaking type of rain is needed, and not a storm that yields a lot of rain in a very short period of time. Significant means that to get the soil back to normal soil moisture it would take at least 20 inches of rain. This translates to food plots in several ways. First, a person would be just throwing money away to put seeds in the ground under extremely low soil moisture. Second, mowing wildlife openings shorter than 12 inches would most likely cause increased mortality. Third, by disking and breaking up the vegetation and roots expose the food plot to the possibility of erosion should a large rainfall event occur. Although the conditions will most likely not be good for planting there are things that can be done to maintain food plots and wildlife openings. For instance this would be a good chance to get rid of nuisance species such as Chinese tallow, sweet gum, persimmon, and others by using herbicide and/ or mechanical control methods. Stumps and other debris can be removed by mulching, windrowing, or other methods. Fencing to protect plots from pigs and livestock can be erected or repaired.
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In all years food plots should only be planted if they are going to have a reasonable chance of success. This means that soil moisture (rains) is in the correct condition, deer (or other target animals) are going to utilize this resource, and it will improve the nutrition of deer (or other target animals). If it does not do these things don’t plant it. This year food plots are not a good thing to plant, but this is not a time to forget about them all together. This is the time to conduct work that does not expose the area to increased chances for erosion or mortality of desirable plants. Good luck with the upcoming hunting season and if more information is needed contact your local biologist or visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

Area Club Updates
Many Bass Club
Fishing the night portion of the club tournament, Boyd Sanders won the Many Bass Club’s September 2011 tournament and big bass honors with a five fish limit weighing 15.56 lbs, his big bass was a 5.84 lb lunker. Boyd’s fish came from the Housen Bay area of Toledo Bend Reservoir using jigs and soft plastic. Jimmy Campbell claimed second place with a five fish limit weighing 14.77 lbs & Bill Ligon was the third place winner with a five fish limit weighing 13.24 lbs. There were a total of 63 fish caught weighing a total of 144 lbs for an average fish weight of 2.20 lbs. Toledo bend reservoir is dangerously low, visible stumps are everywhere. There are no safe boating areas! Area launches are mostly closed. Check with your marina ahead of time to ensure that you can launch your boat. Once again, please be safe!

37 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

Hawg Hunter Bass Club
109.48 98.85 98.64 93.93 92.64 92.36 92.29 91.73 82.40 76.50 The Hawg Hunter Bass Club of Lake Charles held their ninth tournament of the year on Toledo Bend on September 17th. Fishing grass edges with Carolina rigged Flukes, the team of Mike Collins and Terry Hornsby won first place with a five fish limit which weighed 13.27 lbs. Frank Little and guest, Tracy Bowling, pitched jigs in matted grass. Their best 5 fish weighed 12.21 which was good for second place. Little landed the Big Bass of the tournament, a 3.93 lber which was caught on a black and blue jig. Dean Jones placed third with a 5 fish limit weighing 11.97 lbs. which also came on jigs in heavy grass. Our next tournament will be on Toledo Bend, on the 15th of October.

Many bass Clubs Top Ten 2011 Standing
Jimmy Campbell Boyd Sanders Harvey Coward Bobby Munlin Bill Ligon Frank Davis Mike Smith Jim Campbell Richard Pesson Mike Price

Top Six anglers
Dean Jones Mike Collins Larry Byrd 96.28 92.59 73.44 Rodney Owens Stewart Hunt Jeff Latham 71.03 63.90 55.82

Boyd Sanders won tournament and big bass honors with his bag that weighed 15.56 lbs, this included a lunker that weighed 5.84 lbs.

Jimmy Campbell claimed second place with a five fish limit weighing 14.77 lbs.

Bill Ligon was the third place winner with a five fish limit weighing 13.24 lbs.

up ClOSe & peRSOnAl
Jodie Warner, Staff Writer


Jasper’s own bite of Gator Country, the Gator Pit at Catfish Cabin, held their grand opening on Saturday September 17. The event included Gary Saurage, owner and operator of Gator Country in Beaumont, with his crew and “critters” including a rather large albino Burmese python named Banana. Admission to the Gator Pit is $3 per person and a handful of food pellets is just 25 cents, just throw them in and watch the gators munch them down. Catfish Cabin will host the public on Tuesday-Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm. Donations are also accepted to aid

in the yearly charges associated with keeping alligators in captivity in Texas. Anyone can pay $10 or $20 to sponsor a plank or half plank on the pier that will allow them to sign their names and decorate it as they please. Saurage announced in August that he planned to build the facility at Catfish Cabin, and now it is ready for public viewing. The habitat features a 35’ by 60’ pond with banks for sunning, and a pier that brings the public out to the middle of the pond for viewing and feeding. There are currently six to eight alligators in the pond ranging from five to eight feet long.

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 38


Junior Angler Records
SaM raYburn
11.57 lbs 2.95 lbs 2.18 lbs 0.98 lbs 4.10 lbs 0.71 lbs --------------------3.16 lbs 52.00 lbs 2.12 lbs 1.58 lbs 0.89 lbs 192.00 lbs ----0.10 lbs 0.45 lbs ----0.40 lbs
Flathead Catfish Longnose Gar Spotted Gar

Set new record

Get a FREE

ToleDo benD
11.48 lbs -----2.24 lbs 0.82 lbs 1.50 lbs 0.85 lbs 8.75 lbs 49.84 lbs 1.25 lbs 23.87 lbs 20.0 lbs 3.03 lbs ----2.54 lbs 2.75 lbs --------0.75 lbs ----0.88 lbs 0.80 lbs 0.68 lbs Dylan Lyons No Record Dylan Lyons Dylan Lyons Gage Shepherd Kevin Johnson Gage Shepherd Heather Taber Mark Balderas Ben Rumery Caleb Anderson Jacob Bowman No Record Forrest Gothia Gage Shepherd No Record No Record Gage Shepherd No Record Gage Shepherd Carson Downey Holly Berry March 6, 2007 ----May 12, 2008 November 25, 2007 March 17, 2011 April 10, 2006 March 17, 2011 July 14, 2009 March 16, 2011 March 21, 2008 November 7, 2010 April 23, 2011 ----February 19, 2011 March 18, 2011 --------July 5, 2010 ----July 4, 2010 April 12, 2011 May 21, 2010

Largemouth Bass Palmetto Bass White Bass Yellow Bass Spotted Bass Bluegill Bowfin Smallmouth Buffalo Yellow Bullhead Common Carp Blue Catfish Channel Catfish Flathead Catfish Black Crappie White Crappie Freshwater Drum Alligator Gar Sunfish, Other Hybrid Longear Sunfish Redbreast Sunfish Redear Sunfish Warmouth
Striped Bass Bowfin Bigmouth Buffalo Black Bullhead Yellow Bullhead Grass Carp

Brandon Adams Nicholas Montano Hunter Muncrief Hunter Boren Tanner Moreno Tyler Hutchison No Record No Record No Record No Record No Record Cord Copley Blake Terry Ross Brusenhan Jordan Stoyanov Hunter Muncrief Ariel Drewery No Record Travis Ellington Hunter Muncrief No Record Blane Morrow
Golden Shiner Orangespotted Sunfish

April 23, 2005 June 21, 2007 April 20, 2008 March 13, 2011 Sept. 18, 2010 June 14, 2007 --------------------April 17, 2011 March 25, 2011 May 30, 2009 April 10, 2010 July 18, 2009 April 21, 2007 ----July 2, 2003 June 14, 2008 ----March 28, 2008
Spotted Sunfish Redear Sunfish

No Junior Angler Records on either lake for:
Redfin Pickerel Gizard Shad Blacktail Shiner

For more information contact TPWD at (512) 389-8037

39 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

U.S. Forest officials urge hunters to use caution in the woods
by Ernie Murray, Public Affairs Specialist

As gun deer hunting season begins, U.S. Forest Service officials are reminding hunters of guidelines designed to make their hunting trips to national forests and grasslands safe and enjoyable, while sustaining the health of the forests. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use on the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas is restricted, according to Patrol Captain Chris Crain. “OHV use on the National Forests is limited to designated routes, and the only such designation is the 85-mile multiple-use trail on the Sam Houston National Forest,” Crain said. “Cross-country and offroad use of motorized vehicles of any type is prohibited.” This rule stems from a 2005 directive from the chief of the Forest Service that required each national forest and grassland to designate specific roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use. The National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, after public participation through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision-making process, is now implementing the 2005 Travel Management Rule. “In the right places, and managed carefully, motor vehicles are an appropriate use of national forests. However, if not managed carefully, motorized recreation can damage both the land and the resources that visitors come to enjoy,” Crain said. “Each year millions of off-highway vehicles travel America’s national forests legally and sensibly on designated roads and trails. A small, but growing number of irresponsible OHV users are threatening the health of all national forests by driving far off-trail and damaging fragile plants, wetlands and ecosystems.” Operating a motor vehicle on National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails and in areas on National Forest System lands carries a greater responsibility than operating a vehicle in a city or other developed setting. Not only must the motor vehicle operators know and follow all applicable traffic laws, but they need to show concern for the environment as well as other forest users. The misuse of motor vehicles are subject to state traffic law, including state

requirements for licensing, registration and operation of the vehicle. Motor vehicle use, especially off-highway vehicle use, involves inherent risks that may cause property damage, serious injury and possibly death. Riders should drive cautiously and anticipate rough surfaces and features such as mud, vegetation and water crossings common to remote driving conditions. Participants voluntarily assume full responsibility for these damages, risks and dangers. Motor vehicle operators should take care at all times to protect themselves and those under their responsibility. Much of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas are remote, and medical assistance may not be readily available. Cellular phones do not work in many areas of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. Operators should take adequate food, water, first aid supplies and other equipment appropriate for the conditions and expected weather. To help visitors to the national forests and grasslands know which roads are open to vehicular traffic, the forest service has available a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) showing where motorized vehicle use is allowed on the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, by vehicle type and season of use. This will be of particular interest to hunters who use forest service roads to retrieve game. The Motorized Vehicle Use Maps are posted on the website: www.fs.fed.us/r8/texas/ and are also available at the Supervisor’s Office and Ranger Offices.

Here are some other safety precautions: • All hunters and those accompanying them must wear daylight fluorescent orange at any time when hunting, except when hunting at night or when hunting turkey or migratory birds. A minimum of 400 square inches of fluorescent orange must be visible (144 square inches on both the chest and back, and a daylight fluorescent orange cap or hat.) • All those camping or hunting in the Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine or Sam Houston National Forest or the Caddo National Grasslands must camp in designated campsites or developed recreation areas from Sept. 15 through Feb. 1. • Hunters using the wildlife management areas (WMAs) must have the $48 annual hunting permit to hunt deer, turkey, small game, waterfowl and feral hogs. Wildlife management areas in the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas include the Alabama Creek WMA in the Davy Crockett National Forest, Bannister WMA in the Angelina National Forest, Caddo WMA in the Caddo National Grassland and the Moore Plantation WMA in the Sabine National Forest. The entire Sam Houston National Forest is a wildlife management area. • According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Official Hunting Guide and the Public Hunting Lands Booklet, regulations vary in different locations. • Portable deer stands are allowed in national forests and grasslands and are limited to 72 hours in one location. To prevent damage to trees, the stands must not be nailed to trees. When hunters fail to remove their deer stands, it causes damage to forest land and creates an expensive, time-consuming cleanup. • Vehicles should not be parked near gates or in areas that would impede traffic and block roads. Hunters may also visit the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas website at www.fs.fed.usda.gov/texas and review information under the “Hunting 2011-2012” link.

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OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 40

Rayburn Country is Reborn

With an infusion of $10 million dollars into the Rayburn Country Club facilities, the first phase of the “re-invention of Rayburn Country” is almost complete. General Manager Paul Calame and William Cole Clubs/Resorts Vice President Justin Shulse unveiled the revamped Rayburn Country Club last week to the public and its existing membership. “Rayburn Country has changed and it has become a place where you want to come and stay and bring your family and enjoy a nice environment,” Calame said. “It’s a short jog from Jasper and we just want people to realize what we have out here and realize that they are welcome out here also.” “It is important for everyone to know that this place was built for everybody,” Shulse said. “The public is welcome and we encourage the public to come and use the facilities to watch football games, Sunday brunch, banquets or just a place to get away with your family for the weekend. “This facility was built for the public and the members as well,”

Shulse said. “It’s a meeting place for the whole area for 200 miles on out.” The renovations include three million dollars that was spent on the golf course by the partnership known as Rayburn Country Redevelopment. Calame admitted the driving force behind the renovations “are to reinvigorate the real estate sales.” “There are a ton of lots out here that have gone unsold for many years,” Calame said. “The thought is to fix up the golf course, the hotel and the new clubhouse and make it a place where people want to come and stay and live. “Obviously, the lake is the major reason people come up here but this is now another big reason to come up here,” Calame said. “William Cole has been working hard in acquiring lots and they want to market those lots to bring more people to this area whether it is in weekend homes or full-time homes. If you like fishing or golf, this is a great place to be.”

Shulse said the group has some wooded lots, golf course lots, and a few water-access lots available. Shulse pointed out that there are more than 200 lots currently available in Rayburn Country. “What happened was that some people gave up on Rayburn Country because they were here for a while and not getting things approved,” Shulse said. “That is why someone else’s mess becomes someone else’s opportunity.” Shulse said lake-side and golf-side lots are now available at a quarter of the price that they are worth. “With Jasper and its healthcare professionals just 15 minutes up the road, that will play a great role with retirees looking for a place to call home,” Calame said. But Shulse said Rayburn Country is also looking to reinvent itself as a community as well. “We have to get that snowball re-rolling and get some young families in here to get a community feel back in here,” Shulse said. “That will spur job and education crowth and this spurs a

41 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

community to reinvest in each other.” In its initial stages of the phase one renovation, the revamping of the golf course was all that was planned. But once the work began on repairing the clubhouse, it was determined that more work needed to be done. “The initial scope of work was to come in and work on 18 holes and put some paint on the walls of the clubhouse,” Shulse said. “We actually had a real nice product planned. It wasn’t until we started to tear it down that we started to find safety issues that were not going to be make it feasible to continue with it. “The investment groups wanted a first-class deal and wanted to put up something that they would be proud of for the next 100 years,” Shulse said. “The old clubhouse would have done fine but it wouldn’t have had this effect.” For those who have not visited the Rayburn Country Club as of yet, you are missing out on a true treat. The club sparkles with a design that is very modern and yet retains a country-home feel.

“I think they had a vision on what they wanted to do out here and followed it,” Calame said. “We just took their plans and we tweaked it to suit golf and banquets,” Shulse said. “We do this for a living and you always get to a place where you devalue and engineer things and we never got to that place here.” And during the construction phase of the country club, the bar

area changed from granite counter top to a stylish mesquite bar top. Calame said the feedback from the golf course renovation has been “excellent.” “We are getting great reviews from golfers all across the state,” Calame said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with how the golf course turned out and the amount of play that we are getting is showing that.”



Hunters can avoid costly citations by adhering the following checklist

With the beginning of hunting season just around the corner, Texas • Carry a ball-point pen; fill out ranch and county name on back of deer and turkey tags, and don’t forget the deer log on the back Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens would like to remind of the license. hunters to have fun, be safe and BE LEGAL. • Carry a state driver’s license or state personal identification Here is check list hunters should follow before heading to the certificate if you are 17 years of age or older. field: • Check for legal means and methods in the county you are • Fill out a Wildlife Resource Document to accompany any wildlife hunting. resource, or part of a deer or turkey that you give to someone • Carry your current hunting license as this may have your hunter else. education number listed below your name and address. • Keep all game animals and game birds in an edible condition. • Clearly identify your target before pulling the trigger. • Carry a sharp knife; cut out the date (month and day) of kill on deer • As an additional safety precaution, always point the muzzle in a and turkey tags and immediately after kill, attach appropriate tag safe direction, and keep your finger off the trigger until ready to to the deer or turkey. fire.

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 42 ber

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25 $ 50 wORdS 7

Sun: 7:09am - 7:03pm Moon: 11:54am - 10:23pm


AM 1:11 - 3:11 PM 1:41- 3:41 Sun: 7:10am - 7:01pm Moon: 12:55pm - 11:22pm

Sun: 7:10am - 7:00pm Moon: 1:49pm - none Sun: 7:11am - 6:59pm Moon: 2:36pm - 12:23am Sun: 7:12am - 6:58pm Moon: 3:17pm - 1:23am Sun: 7:12am - 6:56pm Moon: 3:53pm - 2:22am Sun: 7:13am - 6:55pm Moon: 4:25pm - 3:18am






Sun: 7:13am - 6:54pm Moon: 4:56pm - 4:13am


AM 2:16 - 4:16 PM 2:46 - 4:46 Sun: 7:14am - 6:53pm Moon: 5:25pm - 5:07am

AM 3:21 - 5:21 PM 3:46 - 5:36

AM 4:16 - 6:16 PM 4:41 - 6:41

AM 5:06 - 7:06 PM 5:31 - 7:31

AM 5:51 - 7:51 PM 6:11 - 8:11

AM 6:31 - 8:31 PM 6:51 - 8:51

AM 7:11 - 9:11 PM 7:31 - 9:31

Sun: 7:15am - 6:52pm Moon: 5:55pm - 6:00am Sun: 7:15am - 6:50pm Moon: 6:26pm - 6:53am Sun: 7:16am - 6:49pm Moon: 6:59pm - 7:46am Sun: 7:17am - 6:48pm Moon: 7:35pm - 8:40am

full moon
AM 9:06 - 11:06 PM 9:26 - 11:26 AM 9:41 - 11:41 PM 10:06 - 12:06 AM 10:31 - 12:31 PM 10:56 - 12:56




Sun: 7:17am - 6:47pm Moon: 8:15pm - 9:34am


Sun: 7:18am - 6:46pm Moon: 8:59pm - 10:28am


coLumbuS daY
AM 7:51 - 9:51 PM 8:11 - 10:11 Sun: 7:19am - 6:45pm Moon: 9:47pm - 11:21am AM 8:26 - 10:26 PM 8:46 - 10:46

AM ----PM 11:21 - 1:21 Sun: 7:22am - 6:40pm Moon: 12:36am - 2:24pm

AM 11:46 - 1:46 PM 12:16 - 2:16

Sun: 7:19am - 6:44pm Moon: 10:40pm - 12:11pm Sun: 7:20am - 6:42pm Moon: 11:37pm - 12:58pm Sun: 7:21am - 6:41pm Moon: none - 1:43pm





Sun: 7:22am - 6:39pm Moon: 1:38am - 3:02pm


Sun: 7:23am - 6:38pm Moon: 2:41am - 3:40pm


AM 12:41 - 2:41 PM 1:06 - 3:06 Sun: 7:24am - 6:37pm Moon: 3:46am - 4:17pm

AM 1:36 - 3:36 PM 2:01 - 4:01

AM 2:31 - 4:31 PM 2:56 - 4:56

AM 3:26 - 5:26 PM 3:51 - 5:51

AM 4:21 - 6:21 PM 4:46 - 6:46 Sun: 7:26am - 6:34pm Moon: 7:12am - 6:22pm

AM 5:06 - 7:06 PM 5:31 - 7:31

AM 5:51 - 7:51 PM 6:16 - 8:16

Sun: 7:24am - 6:36pm Moon: 4:53am - 4:56pm Sun: 7:25am - 6:35pm Moon: 6:01am - 5:37pm



new Moon

Sun: 7:27am - 6:33pm Moon: 8:23am - 7:12pm


Sun: 7:27am - 6:32pm Moon: 9:33am - 8:07pm


Sun: 7:28am - 6:31pm Moon: 10:39am - 9:08pm


AM 6:36 - 8:36 PM 7:01 - 9:01 Sun: 7:29am - 6:30pm Moon: 11:38am - 10:10pm

AM 7:26 - 9:26 PM 7:51 - 9:51

AM 8:16 - 10:16 PM 8:41 - 10:41

AM 9:06 - 11:06 PM 9:36 - 11:36

AM 10:06 - 12:06 PM 10:41 - 12:41

AM ------PM 11:16 - 1:16

AM 11:51 - 1:51 PM 12:21 - 2:21

Sun: 7:30am - 6:30pm Moon: 12:30pm - 11:13pm


AM 12:56 - 2:56 PM 1:26 - 3:26 AM 1:56 - 3:56 PM 2:26 - 4:26

= Best Fishing days
AM/PM = Best Fishing Times

“Bittersweet October. the mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.” - Carol Bishop Hipps
43 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 44

How low can you go?
By Dan Wallach, Dwallach@BeaumontEnterprise.com


Rattlesnake Island isn’t usually the kind of place you could walk

The island in Sam Rayburn Reservoir, however, might be due for a temporary name change — to Rattlesnake Peninsula — unless East Texas gets some steady rain over the next several months. That’s unlikely for both, said Keith Cook, acting lake manager of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With Rayburn at 152 feet — 12 feet below full — and dropping, autumn and winter rain is needed to replenish the lake that serves as the bulk of the Southeast Texas water supply for cities, industry and agriculture. It’s also needed to make power. Evaporation takes more water out of Rayburn than the flow necessary for power generation, said R. Scott Lynn, the Army Corps of Engineers’ power plant superintendent for the two units at Rayburn and Dam B. The two plants combined can generate 50 megawatts of electricity. Now, just one is running for five hours a day. That 25 megawatts can supply about 20,000 homes, Lynn said. When the lake is full, at 164.4 feet, both units can run 24 hours a day, helping to meet peak demand. “The lower the lake is, the less we will generate,” he said. “We still need to generate now, but we have to look ahead to next year, too.” If the lake level gets to 149 feet, it might mean it’s too low to allow water releases for power generation. Problem is, it’s never been that low before. In the drought of 1996, Rayburn dropped to 150 feet, but that was before there was a permanent saltwater barrier on the Neches River. Temporary barriers were installed to protect Beaumont’s fresh water intakes upriver. The permanent barrier protects Rayburn’s supply because less is needed to keep the salt water pushed downriver. Cook noted that six months after the lake level had dropped to 150 feet in 1996, heavy rain had replenished the lake to full. The last time it was full was in April 2010, he said.

Damaged boats On a walk from the Twin Dikes boat ramp on the high and dry land linking it to Rattlesnake Island, Cook pointed out exposed sand bars and other “islands” that have risen from the lake surface. “We’ve heard of lots of damaged lower units,” he said, referring to a boat propeller’s protective casing. Boaters might be hitting underwater obstacles they normally wouldn’t because they were much deeper when the lake was higher. Johnny Walker, a Rayburn Country resident, pulled up slowly to the boat ramp, which itself seemed to extend out a lot farther than it once did. “It’s not bad,” he said. “As long as you’ve got enough water.” Walker, 59, has 23 years of experience in navigating Rayburn. He said GPS, the satellite-based global positioning system, helps him find his way and so does his knowledge of where stumps and sandbars are. “People who think they know what they’re doing are the ones sitting there waiting for someone to come by and tow them back in,” he said. Walker said he doesn’t know of any fishing tournaments scheduled for Rayburn that have been cancelled. “People from other lakes are coming here to fish,” he said. Most ramps are open, said Sammy Read, lead engineering technician with the Army Corps of Engineers at Rayburn. He said the Lower Neches Valley Authority recently lent its “long stick” track hoe to help clean silt off the boat ramps at Twin Dikes, the public ramp, Rayburn Park and Hanks Creek. “We haven’t seen it this low in 15 years,” he said. How low is it? The lake’s surface has shrunk by 31 percent because of the recent drought, from 114,500 surface acres to about 78,000 acres. “In an average year, we’ll get down (in lake level) in November or December, and then the rain begins and we’ll climb back up,” Cook said. “Last year, we didn’t have any heavy rain in the winter and the spring.”

Rain at the lakes is not what is so much needed, however. The more important rainfall for the lake falls around the Marshall and Tyler areas, around Interstate 20, where the runoff flows into the Angelina River, the Attoyac River along the east side of Nacogdoches County or Ayish Bayou and numerous creeks and streams. “That’s better for us than the south end of the lake,” Cook said. At the moment, the average inflow from rivers and streams to Rayburn’s north is about 10 percent of what it’s been for the last 30 years, Cook said. Coupled with perhaps 50 percent of the average annual rainfall over the last 30 years, the tap that feeds Rayburn is a trickle. The 2-inch rainfall that recently moistened Southeast Texas slowed down the sun’s evaporation of the lake by three days, he said.

Current Lake Records
Species Wt. Bass, Largemouth 16.80 Bass, Palmetto 11.58 Bass, Spotted 5.50 Bass, White 4.75 Bass, Yellow 1.24 Bluegill 0.75 Bowfin 10.13 Buffalo, Bigmouth 65.00 Buffalo, Smallmouth 84.00 Bullhead, Black 1.46 Bullhead, Yellow 2.51 Carp, Common 27.00 Carp, Grass 84.00 Catfish, Blue 83.50 Catfish, Channel 12.32 Catfish, Flathead 84.06 Crappie, Black 2.15 Crappie, White 2.94 Drum, Freshwater 6.20 Gar, Alligator 244.50 Gar, Longnose 41.00 Pickerel, Redfin 0.55 Shad, Gizzard 0.24 Shiner, Blacktail 0.04 Shiner, Golden 0.07 Sunfish, Longear 0.30 Sunfish, Orangespotted .01 Sunfish, Other Hybrid 0.34 Sunfish, Redbreast 0.57 Sunfish, Redear 0.60 Sunfish, Spotted 0.06 Warmouth 0.40 all-Tackle records for Toledo bend Species Wt. Bass, Largemouth 15.32 Bass, Palmetto 15.81 Bass, Spotted 3.40 Bass, Striped 33.22 Bass, White 4.40 Bass, White x Yellow 0.22 Bass, Yellow 1.66 Bluegill 0.86 Bowfin 19.00 Buffalo, Bigmouth 75.00 Buffalo, Smallmouth 84.76 Bullhead, Yellow 1.25 Carp, Common 32.00 Carp, Grass 53.50 Catfish, Blue 84.00 Catfish, Channel 7.94 Catfish, Flathead 97.50 Crappie, Black 4.00 Crappie, White 3.44 Drum, Freshwater 31.50 Gar, Alligator 181.00 Gar, Spotted 8.00 Pickerel, Redfin 0.66 Sunfish, Longear 0.33 Sunfish, Other Hybrid 0.75 Sunfish, Redbreast 0.88 Sunfish, Redear 0.80 Warmouth 1.09 Junior angler records for Sam rayburn Species Wt. Bass, Largemouth 11.57 Bass, Palmetto 2.95 Bass, Spotted 4.10 Bass, White 2.18 Bass, Yellow 0.98 Bluegill 0.71 Catfish, Channel 3.16 Catfish, Flathead 52.00 Crappie, Black 2.12 Crappie, White 1.58 Drum, Freshwater 0.89 Gar, Alligator 192.00 Sunfish, Longear 0.10 Sunfish, Redbreast 0.45 Warmouth 0.40

45 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

all-tackle records for Sam rayburn

Date 7-03-00 5-25-87 2-07-09 2-08-80 6-19-10 5-17-01 6-24-09 4-30-07 1-03-75 8-07-85 9-09-06 3-16-11 3-04-11 8-02-06 4-13-07 4-25-09 5-24-91 12-05-02 2-21-11 3-03-95 7-27-09 4-11-04 2-10-09 6-05-02 7-05-10 6-04-10 9-05-08 4-14-95 Date 4-23-05 6-21-07 9-18-10 4-20-08 3-13-11 6-14-07 4-17-11 3-25-11 5-30-09 4-10-10 7-18-09 4-21-07 7-02-03 6-14-08 3-28-08

Angler Eric Weems Johnny Pritchett Larry Upshaw James Kent Jr. Lisle Brook Billy Autery Carl Gantt Robert Kinberger George E. Lord Joe Walker Miles McDaniel Mark Balderas Justin Hunt Tontie Pennock Thomas Allcorn Clint Walker Otis L. Pleasant Hazel Bolton Claude Gilcrease, Jr Freddie Keel Michael Hughes Larry McDowell Jr. Bill Ritzell Kenneth Thyssen Gage Shepherd Gage Shepherd Robert Prejean William Tawney Angler Brandon Adams Nicholas Montano Tanner Moreno Hunter Muncrief Hunter Boren Tyler Hutchison Cord Copley Blake Terry Ross Brusenhan Jordan Stoyanov Hunter Muncrief Ariel Drewery Travis Ellington Hunter Muncrief Blane Morrow

Method Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Fly Rod Rod & Reel\ Rod & Reel Trotline Trotline Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Trotline Rod & Reel Trotline Cane Pole Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Float Line Rod & Reel Fly Rod Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Method Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel

certified Scale Locations

Date 5-31-97 4-06-05 2-14-87 7-17-10 4-19-07 4-28-08 10-23-95 8-02-05 8-17-05 2-17-07 5-27-97 4-18-04 5-08-08 1-15-01 6-13-05 3-17-03 5-01-07 3-28-95 3-24-07 8-04-05 6-01-02 4-06-09 6-02-06 5-07-06 5-07-06 6-04-02 6-05-06 6-17-06 4-10-05 3-05-06 6-09-07 3-28-08

Angler Tommy Shelton John Olive Curt E. Smith Marc Shaw Randall Bradfield Robert Biskamp Sr. Lewis Byers Keith Riehn Kevin LaForge Randall Bradfield Willis Francis Jr. Jim Welborn Scott Henslee Michael Crochet Gary Ritnour Donald Latham Ricky Ethridge Paul Burleson Randall Bradfield Keith Riehn Robbie Woods Douglas Wright Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Kenneth Thyssen Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Randall Bradfield Blane Morrow

Method Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Pole & Line Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Trotline Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Trotline Trotline Trotline Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Fly Rod Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel

Junior angler records for Toledo bend Species Wt. Date Bass, Largemouth 11.48 3-06-07 Bass, Spotted 1.50 3-17-11 Bass, White 2.24 5-12-08 Bass, Yellow 0.82 11-25-07 Bluegill 0.85 4-10-06 Bowfin 8.75 3-17-11 Buffalo, Smallmouth 49.84 7-14-09 Bullhead, Yellow 1.25 3-16-11 Carp, Common 23.87 3-21-08 Catfish, Blue 20.00 11-07-10 Catfish, Channel 3.03 4-23-11 Crappie, Black 2.54 2-19-11 Crappie, White 2.75 3-18-11 Sunfish, Other Hybrid 0.75 7-05-10 Sunfish, Redbreast 0.88 7-04-10 Sunfish, Redear 0.80 4-12-11 Warmouth 0.68 5-21-10

Records are kept and provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife in a newly formed cooperative relationship with Louisiana Parks & Wildlife. These records may change over the next several months as this cooperative effort evolves. The Lakecaster will strive to keep the most updated information available in each publication. Jackson Hill Park Marina American Angler Powell Park Shirley Creek Sam Rayburn Marina Piney Point Store Tx Parks & Wildlife Brookeland/Sam Rayburn KOA Lowe’s Creek Park Mid Lake Kampground Holly Park Pendleton Harbor Marina Pleasure Bend Store Toledo Tackle Fin & Feather Resort Bass Haven Resort Pirates Cove Huxley Bay Marina Newell’s Fishing World Newell’s (night) 936-872-9266 936-872-3451 409-584-2624 936-854-2233 409-698-2696 409-698-2309 409-384-9572 409-698-3422 409-787-2600 409-625-4611 409-625-4424 409-625-4912 409-579-2203 318-256-5613 409-579-2056 318-286-9239 318-565-4467 936-368-2494 409-625-4928 936-332-4399

Angler Dylan Lyons Gage Shepherd Dylan Lyons Dylan Lyons Kevin Johnson Gage Shepherd Heather Taylor Mark Balderas Ben Rumery Caleb Anderson Jacob Bowman Forrest Gothia Gage Shepherd Gage Shepherd Gage Shepherd Carson Downey Holly Berry

Method Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Bow & Arrow Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel Rod & Reel




30 Years Experience Fishing Toledo Bend




l um N Guide Servic ee
Come join me for a fun and enjoyable fishing trip on legendary Lake Sam Rayburn for Bass or Crappie. Checkout the latest in Sonar Technology with New Lowrance HDS 10 & New StructureScan Or The Humminbird 997 with Side Imaging Take The Bass Class on The Water Lynn Atkinson (979) 220-0251 www.rayburncounty.com srayburn@rayburncountry.com


Dozer~Trackhoe Housepads~Dirtwork Topsoil~Fill Dirt Rock~Road Work
Free Estimates Toledo/Sam Rayburn



Charles Waldrep

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 46 ber


Congratulations to little “Catfish” Knoche for catching his very first bass! Could be the future Bassmaster champion someday…..

Who needs all those fancy rods & reels? Amanda Darby noticed this big catfish near the shoreline on Sam Rayburn and just walked out and picked it up! The big cat weighed around 40 lbs. Amanda is a member of Boy Scouts Crew #3545

Tiger Scout Austin McGallion of Pack #181 caught this nice 4# bass as his troop was looking forward to a fish fry

hunting season is here! Send your hunting pictures to plenderman@thelakecaster.com!

Pleasure Bend General Store
Corner of FM 3315 and Pleasure Bend Road

Furnished Cabins and Motel Units w/Kitchens Two Bedroom Trailer • Full Camper Hook-ups Rental Boats and Motors • Bait • Tackle Ice • Grocery Supplies


On Beautiful Toledo Bend! FISHING • BOATING • CAMPING

Daily Lunch Specials Dine In or Out Call in Orders Welcome

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza


o Ext All Toppings N

ra Charges

Deli-Lunch specials, Plumbing and Hardware, Gas, Groceries, Live Bait, Beer, Fishing Tackle & More
We Now Have Certified Scales! Scott & Sharon Tangman 113 Pleasure Bend Road Fairmount, TX 75948


Web site: turtlebeach.sabinenet.com • E-mail: turtlebeach@cp-tel.net

(318) 256-5595

Your Hosts Harry & Elaine Branch

3017 TURTLE BEACH ROAD • MANY, LA 71449 3 Miles South on Hwy 191 from Intersection of 191 & Hwy 6

47 • Lakecaster • OctOber 2011

BEAUMONT 4230 College St. 409-840-4111 JASPER 4200 N. Wheeler St. 409-383-1900

CORPUS CHRISTI 7601 SPID 877-322-1721 ARANSAS PASS 105 W. Moore Ave. 877-311-0570

HOUSTON • 15150 N. I-45 • 281-443-2885

Ask about our financing!

www.dawsonmarine.com • www.premier-yamaha.com • www.ronniesmarine.com

OctOber 2011 • Lakecaster • 48

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