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November 2011 volume 21 Issue 11
Lakes area #1 PromotionaL magazine for over 20 years
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 2
3 • Lakecaster • November 2011
2012 Kick-Off December 3, 2011 on Sam Rayburn!
Sam Rayburn Series
@ Umphrey Pavilion
s GU R Top 3 placed $4,0A0 ANTEED! 0 2n
; 3rd $3,0
Toledo Bend Series
@ Cypress Bend
January 28, 2012 February 25, 2012 March 17, 2012 April 14, 2012 May 12, 2012
2012 Toledo Bend Series will be held out of Cypress Bend Park IF the lake level reaches 163’ or higher. Toledo Bend Series will trailer until further announcement. If this level (163’) is NOT reached prior to scheduled events, the tournaments will be held out of Twin Dikes Park on Sam Rayburn. These tournaments are totally separate from the Sam Rayburn Series.
See Announcement below
December 3, 2011 January 14, 2012 February 4, 2012 March 3, 2012 May 5, 2012
@ Umphrey Pavilion
All 3 events on Sam Rayburn
June 9, 2012 July 14, 2012 August 4, 2012
See our website for continued updates and information!
We Go‘Beyond the Outdoors’
www.BassNBucks.com (409) 727-8941
email: email@example.com • Fax: (409) 722-8945
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 4
A Time to Remember
By Patty Lenderman, Managing Editor
As we all know, the drought in our region has forced many changes in our lifestyle. In all of the people that I talk to, and there are many, I have yet
to hear a positive word about any of the effects the drought has made in our lives. So many articles and conversations have taken place on the negative aspects, all of which will be foregone in this article. When the lake first went down, there seemed to be fear. Fear of the unknown. No one had experience with the lake we’ve known at these levels. Now, although it may not be as easy as it was before to launch or navigate on either lake, in many ways we are being treated to literally brand new lakes right in our own back yard. We get to actually see and learn the terrain of the areas we’ve been fishing and only imagining in our minds what it looks like below the water surface. Not only that, we will discover all new areas to fish. Even the fish are discovering all new places to live. I recently went to go see a bridge on Toledo Bend near Holly Park Marina that is now again fully
exposed. It has not been seen since the lake was impounded 43 years ago. At normal pool level, it has been nestled seven feet below the surface. Now boaters are again traveling the creek beneath the bridge. “My father and his friend were the last to drive across that bridge,” Lisa Greer-McDaniel reminisced. “The reservoir had just been completed, and the water was rising for the first time. Water lapped on their running boards as they crossed the bridge.” Then, like many other things, it was swallowed up by the new lake, forgotten by many, never known by others, not to be seen again for nearly half a century. The funny thing is, back then people had fear too. Fear of the unknown. No one had ever lived with the area underwater. As I spoke to Lisa and watched as she remembered the birth of the new lake, and memories of her dad, I peered at the old bridge. She
continued by showing the new boat ramp that was just installed at the marina, that would be good and usable to boat traffic for several more lower feet. She showed the “old” boat ramps, obviously not usable at these now record low levels. They were adapting to the conditions as they currently are for continued enjoyment of the lake. The point is that we need to re-learn our new lakes as they are now. We should always use caution even under the best circumstances while we’re on the water, these circumstances simply force us to remember that. In the mean time, Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend are still world class fisheries, Rayburn being the largest lake totally encompassed in Texas and Toledo Bend still being the largest man made lake in the South. Instead of seeing the lake half empty, remember it is still half full. Go fishing. Go camping. Enjoy it.
5 • Lakecaster • November 2011
Johnson and Greer bring home the money on Lake Sam Rayburn
By: Jodie Warner
Aaron Johnson of Shreveport, Louisiana used the shallow water of Lake Sam Rayburn to his advantage during the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Southeast Texas Division 10 championship tournament that was held on September 24-25, 2011. Johnson managed a two day total of 34.57 lbs., he landed fourth place during the first day with a five fish limit weighing 13.64 lbs but on day two he really brought in the big guns, or is it ‘big ‘uns” with a sack totaling five fish and 20.93 lbs and in the end held a large lead and an eventual victory in the boater division of the tournament. Johnson said, “I found my fish in shallow, grassy drains… some had clear water and some had a little bit more dingy water. On day one, I caught most of my fish on topwater baits. On day two, I caught them on a Stanley Wedge spinnerbait and worked it really fast for the reaction bite. I also caught some on a jerkbait…I caught about ten bass the first day and about 30 the final day.” Johnson indeed had a terrific weekend on the water, and brought home a check for $3,753 to prove it. Todd Driscoll celebrated his birthday with a second place boater division win and $2,876 check to take home. Driscoll brought in a limit on both days of the tournament totaling 27.60 lbs for
Aaron Johnson weighed in 34.57 lbs over the course of two days to top the eld in the Boater division and take a 1st place win.
both days. On the first day he weighed in 13.73 lbs and then on Michael Greer day two he brought 13.87 lbs; a 7.72 lb big bass anchored his bag Jr. holds up his and granted him the title of big bass for the second day of the rst day’s catch that anchored tournament earning him an additional $203. a 1st place win “I drove around looking for the freshest, healthiest grass and in the Co Angler used a variety of baits,” Driscoll divulged. “My main baits were a division homemade buzzbait, a 3/8-ounce translucent spinnerbait and a wake bait. On the second day, with the strong winds, I hunkered down on a four-mile stretch that was protected from the wind. I had about seven places I fished over and over again. On the final day, I had four fish by 1 am, but didn’t catch another until 3:05 pm. I caught my big fish on my third to last cast.” Driscoll is also a state fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife in Jasper, Texas. Michael Greer Jr., of Deridder, Louisiana won the Co-Angler Division and earned $1,876 and a big bass from day one also landed him an extra $101 for 5.38 pounds. Greer had a great first day and brought 11.06 lbs to the scales, but on the second day he only could bring in 4.91 lbs which was just enough to make sure he kept his lead from the first day. All in total he landed 15.97 lbs. Greer said, “we fished shallow…I caught my big bass on a clear sexy shad Zara Spook…the rest of my fish came on a watermelon red Fluke rigged a special way. I probably caught about 15 fish each day.” Henry Trotty of Kountze, Texas brought in a total of 14.29 provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend pounds over the two days that landed him second place. Ray angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward Minyard of Sam Rayburn, Texas took third with a total of six bass path for individual angler progression. For more information at 13.68 total pounds and also brought home the title of Big Bass about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, for day two. Neil E. Ward Jr. of Brookeland, Texas landed only 1.66 The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American lbs day one, but easily caught up to the pack with a day two total Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com. of 10.63 pounds. Announcements were also made that the Angler of the Year went to Chris FiNaL staNDiNGs Nequent and Boater of the year went to Nick Lebrun. bOater resuLts: cO-aNGLer DivisiON: For more information on this tournament, call Porter 1. 34.57 lbs Aaron Johnson 1. 15.97 lbs Michael Greer Jr. Trimble, tournament manager, 2. 27.60 lbs Todd Driscoll 2. 14.29 lbs Henry Trotty at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at 3. 24.39 lbs Jake Goodrum 3. 13.68 lbs Ray Minyard (888) 203-6222. 4. 24.27 lbs Nick Lebrun 4. 12.29 lbs Neil E. Ward Jr. About American Bass Anglers: 5. 24.19 lbs Brian Branum 5. 11.93 lbs Scotty Goins The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster 6. 24.04 lbs Todd Castledine 6. 11.91 lbs Clint Lipham Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated 7. 23.90 lbs Roy Sanford 7. 11.30 lbs Thomas E. Martens competitive tour with a path the 8. 23.51 lbs Kendall Kersh 8. 10.62 lbs Russell J. Traylor world championship of bass fishing 9. 22.87 lbs Jerry L. Barnett Jr. 9. 10.59 lbs David W. Hearnsberger the Bassmaster Classic. American 10. 22.82 lbs Hau Nguyen 10. 10.50 lbs Richard Wagnon Bass Anglers commitment is to
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 6
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The Flex X features the patented “bike chain” joint system to give this lure a very realistic swimming motion. Because of its minnow shape and wide selection of colors, the Flex X is the most versatile hard plastic lure on the market. Comes equipped with corrosion resistant VMC Hooks. Specs: EG056AL, 4-1/4" – 3/4 oz, sinking • EG056BL, 4-3/4" – 1 1/8 oz, sinking
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Strike Pro continues to lead the way in lure design with the new Gil Raker. The Strike Pro Gil Raker imitates perfectly many types of small bait fish that Bass prey on. It is a lip less Multi-jointed lure with rubber fins and tail with lifelike eyes and red Gil plates. The Gil Raker can be slowly twitched, steadily retrieved or just burned right above the grass beds. The Strike Pro Gil Raker is a perfect bait imitation that swims and looks like a real bait fish, and with Strike Pros’s well known finish it will be hard for Bass to resist.The Strike Pro Gil Raker features VMC 9650BN hooks, and comes with an extra tail in it’s package. The Gil Raker comes in 8 different fish catching colors including Gizzard Shad, Blue Back Herring,and Bone Chartreuse. The Strike Pro Gil Raker will be available in early spring of 2012. Model: EG-153 Specs: 4-1/2”, 1oz
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7 • Lakecaster • November 2011
Fire safety important for hunters and outdoorsmen
unwieldy wildfires. “Roughly 90 percent of fires in Texas are started accidentally by people,” Jones said. “That means they’re preventable. And that’s just what we want people to do – prevent them.” If you’re heading outside, keep in mind the following wildfire safety tips: Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t build a fire during dry or windy conditions. Drive only on designated trails. Don’t park or idle vehicles in dry grass, which can be ignited by contact with a hot muffler. When shooting close to the ground, be sure there is no dry grass or tinder in front of your muzzle. Though rare, it’s not impossible for a shot to ignite nearby tinder. Use caution with cigarettes and matches. Use spark arresters on all power equipment. For more information, visit http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu.
With Texas still mired in a record-breaking drought and no real relief in sight, hunters and other outdoorsmen must be especially careful when heading out to take part in their favorite pastimes. Dangerous wildfire conditions are expected through the fall and into the winter, which means a wildfire easily could be ignited by just one spark from an unattended campfire, lit cigarette, muzzle of a gun or even a hot exhaust pipe on a car left running — or parked — on the side of the road. “You should always take wildfire conditions into consideration when you’re doing anything outside that could cause a spark — especially with vegetation as critically dry as it is right now,” said Justice Jones, coordinator for the Wildland Urban Interface and Fire Prevention programs. “If you start an accidental wildfire, the camp you destroy may be your own.” Though hunting season already has kicked off, hunters aren’t the only people who should take precautions. All outdoorsmen should keep fire safety in mind as conditions remain ripe for massive,
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 8
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9 • Lakecaster • November 2011
By Andrew Upshaw, Tri Lakes Tackle
New Lakes, New OppOrtuNities
How many fishermen in the Rayburn and Toledo area fish new lakes? I honestly know most of the guys I know from the area would rather fish Rayburn and Toledo all the time. Who could blame them, right? Two of the very best bass fishing lakes in the country, who wouldn’t want to fish them all time? I agree one hundred percent. Now, however, we all get the opportunity to fish a couple of new lakes; Sam Rayburn Super-Low and Toledo Bend Super-Low. Will this water level issue ever change? Who is to know the answer to that, but should this scare you away from fishing these two places? Heck no! We all get the opportunity to learn new lakes right now and to truly be placed on an even playing field. Sam Rayburn Super-Low: How many people have gone to their best Fall Fishing areas and for the first time in a long time you actually get to see what you have been fishing all this time, 40 yards on the bank. That sure changes a lot of things, and actually in some cases, completely confuses you. I know the last time I was on the lake I got kind of confused on what I should do, then I remembered I should re-break this lake down. Now we all get the opportunity to go onto a lake where Navionics chips aren’t the primary way to find fish. Now we actually get to go out and use our electronics and find stuff the old fashioned way. Idling in circles and looking for specific pieces of structure, baitfish, and fish. I love going to new lakes and now Rayburn is a new lake. It still has a lot of fish in it, now with a little more limited cover. So what do people need to look for on Rayburn? I would look for baitfish first. Are the shad in the grass or are
low water. Toledo Bend is by far one of my favorite lakes in the they around brush piles? This time of year fish do start moving country and has so many fish over 10 pounds in it. This lake is shallow, so what cover is in shallow water? Your normal creeks that you have always caught them in may be bone dry, so time to not getting a whole lot of pressure right now, so the time to fish it and catch a fish of a lifetime is NOW! move to deeper creeks. There are plenty of deeper creeks around More than anything just be safe on the water right now, both Sam Rayburn so just look at it new; I promise you will find what lakes are really low and can be dangerous, but you can make you’re looking for. some good decisions on the water. This is the time when you Toledo Bend Super-Low: Now this is a lake you need to be should be able to go catch some monster fish and also some super careful on right now, but man are the fish biting out monster 5 fish sacks. I hope all of you have a wonderful time on there. This is another lake where you need to go learn it all over the water this month and if you see me around the lake you are again but the nice thing about Toledo is that it normally drops pretty low this time of year - however not this low. Boat lanes are more than welcome to come up and say hello. Thanks guys for all the support and for reading my articles. It means the world inaccessible; you’re safer running through the timber really. I’ve to me. heard of fish being caught from a foot of water on frogs around grass to deep crankbait fish until you’re tired of catching them. This lake is on fire, but yet, kind of unsafe at the moment. If you don’t feel comfortable running then just idle wherever you’re planning Dozer~Trackhoe on fishing. The fishing is Housepads~Dirtwork definitely worth it out there Topsoil~Fill Dirt right now. Hopefully soon Rock~Road Work they will re-cut the boat lanes Free Estimates with it this low and we will be Charles Waldrep Toledo/Sam Rayburn able to easily maneuver the lake all over again even with
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 10
O’Neal & Wuensche held on tight to win Bass Champs East Region Championship
By Patty Lenderman
Teams from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas converged on Sam Rayburn October 1-2 to lay claim on the Bass Champs East Texas Region Championship title. Over $77,000 was paid back in cash and prizes wrapping up the 2011 season. Cameras were rolling to document the event for the Bass Champs TV Show. Donnie O’Neal and Darrell Wuensche from the Central Region started out with a small lead on day 1, and kept a tight grip on it to win the Championship receiving a new Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO! Skeeter Bass Champs has four regions blanketing Texas offering huge paybacks to avid anglers. Many refer to the series as the “working man’s tournaments”. This championship season, any team who has qualified to fish the championships from any region can participate in all four championships. The weather was brisk and beautiful all weekend, with the first hints of Fall in the air. Temperatures dipped into the 40’s overnight only rising to the 80’s by days end. As with most lakes in Texas, Sam Rayburn has also suffered from the lingering sustained drought. Nearly 13 feet low, land masses The decisive moment was caught on camera as are being seen that haven’t been exposed in nearly a half a century. Even 1st place Champions Donnie O’Neal & Darrell the “local boys” are having to re-learn the new structure of the lake and Wuensche held on tight to win the event discover new fishing areas. This may have worked to the advantage of Donnie O’Neal from Pflugerville and Darrell Wuensche of Thorndale, albeit this is not their first rodeo on Sam Rayburn. They have been tournament angling on Big Sam since the mid 90’s. Day 1 – As teams began coming in to tally their first day creel, several nice chunks were seen. Glen Freeman and Jeff Rice were the first to break the 20 lb mark with their five fish limit weighing 22.94 lbs. They also took over the Big Bass lead with their 8.70 lb kicker. Several more teams brought in nice sacks in the upper teens, but their weight held the lead until Donnie O’Neal and Darrell Wuensche came in with their 24.46 lb sack. They also had a nice kicker in their bag weighing 8.02 lbs, but could not take the Showing the best three of a day 2 ve sh limit, Chris and Rusty Harvey came way up from behind at 28th place on day 1 winning 2nd place overall in the nals
Among all of the big bass brought in, this 8.86 lb’r was the biggest, caught by Bret Bellard & Nick Simon winning $500 for that catch and anchoring their 10th place overall win
11 • Lakecaster • November 2011 Lakecaster November 2011
in their bag. First weighing their biggest to contend in the Big Bass Donnie O’Neal & Darrell Wuensche 24.46 lbs race, it locked in at 8.47 lbs. They Glen Freeman & Jeff Rice 22.94 lbs were in 28th place with 13.16 lbs Brian Shook & Cody Goodman 19.35 lbs on day 1, then adding another Jonathan Garrie & Keith Morris 19.21 lbs 17.09 lbs to their total – they Charles Whited & Lee Beuershausen 18.39 lbs launched to a 2nd place finish! Louisiana anglers Bret Bellard and Nick Simon were among the last to weigh. Big Bass lead from Freeman & Rice. With changing weather patterns and fluctuating Putting their largest bass on the scales, they took over the Big Bass weight with an 8.86 lb chunk lake levels the bass seem to be just as confused as to win $500 for that single catch. Adding the rest the anglers trying to catch them. Finding – and of their limit to the scales, their two day total catching – a 20 pound sack two days in a row went to 31.70 lbs to win 10th place overall for an would be daunting at best. As the contending additional $800 check. They also won the Dodge teams began bringing in their second day catch, Ram Bonus giving them free entry into any Bass the overall standings started to shake. Several Champs tournament for the next 12 months, $200 teams were just shy of a day 2 limit. from Costa Del Mar and the WFN Bonus. Landan Ware and Russell Lee were the first Once the scales were closed, O’Neal and to break the two day 30 pound mark, adding Wuensche were officially declared Champions of 15.53 lbs to their total. Day 1 leaders O’Neal and the tournament. Excited and relieved, they told Wuensche followed, taking over the lead with a the story of the two day event. “We went to the Five 14.07 lb sack bringing the top weight to 38.53 lbs. Fingers area and threw spinnerbaits and topwater Anticipation was high as the remaining top teams lures,” O’Neal began. “I caught a five pounder were yet to weigh. on a spinnerbait, and Darrell caught another five The weigh in was nearly over, and all of the pounder on a Pop-R.” It wasn’t long before Darrell contenders from the day 1 top 5 leaderboard had had boated 18 pounds on his Pop-R, so they brought in their catch except Glen Freeman and both went to that pattern. Darrell used an H2O Jeff Rice. O’Neal and Wuensche were brought to Pop-R while Donnie used a bone colored Yellow the stage as their sack was lifted to the scales. “All Magic. “We fished shallow flats close to matted they need is about 16 pounds to take the lead,” grass beds on secondary points. We caught a lot Chad Potts informed everyone. All eyes were on of fish on topwater baits. The cadence was key. the scale as it locked in at 12.97 lbs. O’Neal and You’d have to throw it out there then wait. Pop it, Wuensche were markedly relieved as they stayed then wait again. Patience was integral, and it was on top of the pack! hard fishing that slow. You had to give a subtle It wasn’t over yet. Rusty and Chris Harvey came presentation. Once the sun got high overhead, in on the last flight and had several nice kickers
Day 1 Top 5:
Championship winners Donnie O’Neal & Darrell Wuensche won the Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO Grand Prize in the Bass Champs East Texas Championship
tOp 10 OveraLL teams:
1st - 38.53 lbs 6th - 33.40 lbs Donnie O’Neal & Darrell Wuensche Landan Ware & Russell Lee 2nd - 36.72 lbs 7th - 33.24 lbs Rusty & Chris Harvey Eddie Ellisor & Todd Castledine 3rd - 36.29 lbs 8th - 32.59 lbs Jonathan Garrie & Keith Morris Stephen & Gerald Mitchell 4th - 35.60 lbs 9th - 31.77 lbs Jason Horton & Chad York Brian Shook & Cody Goodman 5th - 35.31 lbs 10th - 31.70 lbs Glen Freeman & Jeff Rice Bret Bellard & Nick Simon ….and last in the money… 18th - 26.59 lbs Harold Allen & Albert Collins
Congratulations to the top Championship Winners: (1st) Donnie O’Neal & Darrell Wuensche; (2nd) Rusty & Chris Harvey; (3rd) Jonathan Garrie & Keith Morris; (Big Bass) Bret Bellard & Nick Simon
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 12
we hit brush piles and logs in 10’ of water with Grande Bass Honcho and Yum Dinger shaky heads in watermelon red and Black Angel Jigs. The side imaging view from our Humminbird 1197 electronics really helped us pinpoint exact targets, being able to see where the structure was precisely and saved us a lot of time fishing each spot.” Seeing no reason to change tactics, they fished the exact same pattern the second day. Their 38.53 lb two day weight won the championship, and Bass Champs presented them with the Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO grand prize. They also won $200 from Sure Life for using the product in their livewell. “I’d really like to thank my parents Larry & Ruby O’Neal for all of their support they have always given,” Donnie said. “I would also like to thank my boss, Grande Bass Trophy Lures, but especially thanks to God for always being with us.” Coming way up from behind to win 2nd place overall was the East Texas team of Rusty and Chris Harvey. “We stayed in 11’ depths, close to deep water,” the team explained. “Rotten wood or brush tops was key.” Using a Series 5 Strike King crank bait, they struggled on day 1 only bringing in 13.16 lbs to put them in 28th place going into day 2. “We lost three that would have really helped the first day.” Still
using the crank bait, but also incorporating a Carolina rig, “they bit much better – more aggressively the second day, and we landed the ones that counted.” Having a two day total weight of 36.72 lbs, Bass Champs presented them with a $2,800 check for their 2nd place win. They would like to thank their sponsors, including Ranger, Yamaha, Falcon Rods, Big Bite Baits, Costa Del Mar, “and as always we want to thank God for always looking over us.” Jonathan Garrie and Keith Morris won 3rd place with their 36.29 lb total. “We used 6th Sense custom crank baits both days and caught a lot of fish this weekend.” Fishing in 10’-15’ depths, they did well catching every bass that bit. “We just didn’t get any big bites.” They came up from 4th place to win 3rd on the final day to receive a check for $2,200. “We’d like to thank everyone for fishing with us again this year,” stated Chad Potts, President/ Bass Champs. “It is you and our sponsors that make Bass Champs the biggest and most lucrative team tournament trail in Texas. We’ll look forward to seeing you again in 2012.” Check out www.BassChamps.com for 2012 season dates or call 817-439-3274 for more information.
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 14
Fish Habitat and Low Lake Levels
By Dan Ashe, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
depending on its past water level situation. It experiences drastic water level fluctuations compared to what we normally see here in wet East Texas, and as a result this lake continuously has what we call mini-new lake effects. Typically when a new lake is built it is originally left with much of the standing vegetation that was present before being flooded. This vegetation provides excellent cover that enables fish to survive and become established and it provides nutrients when it decomposes. More nutrients result in increased amounts of plankton and invertebrates that provide a good food source for shad and young fish. In the end, this equates to more abundant sport fish – yes biology 101. Providing more evidence, O.H. Ivie’s lake levels increased dramatically starting in 2004 and between 2010-2011 it produced 18 of its 23 sharelunker bass (bass 13.0 lbs or greater). On Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend we are seeing quite a bit of terrestrial vegetation along the banks, especially in protected coves. The cover is becoming well established and there is a good mixture of plants of varying hardiness and height. This should provide a good zone of cover along the banks where fish will be spawning and feeding and this cover will break down at varying rates when it is finally covered by higher lake levels. We are seeing sedges, water willows, rattlebean, and Johnson grass primarily. So, once again yes the lakes are low but I’m optimistic toward the future of fishing – it’s not all doom and gloom. As always, if you should have any questions concerning this article or have any other fishery questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or call me at 409-384-9572. Good Luck and Good Fishing!
As everyone now realizes, our area lakes are near or below historic lows due to the ongoing drought. We have been getting quite a few calls from people wanting to know how this will affect the fish populations, and it is a question that really has multiple answers. Right now (October), the situation is what it is and the fish are there. The major effects will occur in the spring and it depends on what the water levels are then. If low water conditions persist, then we may very well see limited spawning habitat and reduced cover resulting in a poor year class that will be noticed by anglers 2-3 years down the road. If lake levels come up between now and next spawning season, I think we will be set up for an excellent year class and in turn good fishing conditions for the near future. I don’t know when we’ll start catching some rain to bring lake levels back up, but I am positive that as we wait conditions are setting up that will be conducive to good fish survival when our lakes finally do come up. East Texas lakes are extremely productive fisheries mainly because of the presence of good habitat, primarily aquatic vegetation. This is usually in the form of hydrilla, pondweed, American lotus, torpedo grass, milfoil, and coontail. Vegetation provides cover for fish to seek refuge from predation especially when they are young. Fortunately, despite the low water conditions, some of our lakes still have aquatic vegetation in sufficient quantity to have a population level impact. In addition to the aquatic vegetation, terrestrial vegetation is established on the banks and will provide good quality cover in the near term and nutrients as it decomposes in the longer term. An excellent case in point of having good amounts of both aquatic vegetation and inundated terrestrial vegetation is Lake O.H. Ivie in west-central Texas. O.H. Ivie goes through bouts of being on the back burner to being on fire
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15 • Lakecaster • November 2011
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 16
by Pro Guide, Joe Joslin OUTSTANDING FISHING ON THE BEND ...plus Eagles Abound! Boaters Dealing With Levels
When a few cold fronts hit, the turnover begins. It was very evident late October as there was a brown residue and brown bubbles all over the surface of the lake which forms a dirty film on your boat/motor as well as attaching to your fishing line. During one week, all of my line/reels had a brown sheen on them showing evidence of the turnover. It is an interesting phenomenon. As far as fishing and the turnover, I always look forward to it because it means I can now fish deep water with dropshot/jigging spoon as this area now has plenty of oxygen and baitfish. ANGLERS/BOATERS ARE DEALING WITH LOW LEVELS With fishing being so good, boaters/anglers are learning to deal with low water levels by fishing closer to the boat launch and pullin’ back on the throttle. I am observing more and more anglers who simply idle instead of running on plane. Not a bad idea! However, it is amazing how much fish-filled water you can cover at 6-7 mph. I also faced a new situation last month where I needed to break-in my new 2012 Skeeter 21 FX. I chose the area near the dam and had no problems at all. I will say that this is my back yard and I know the area very well, but I think it would have worked for most anyone else as well if caution was used in the process. Be safe, God Bless, good fishing and hope to see you on the water. Until then I am catching fish and praying for rain. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com
KEEPING ANGLERS INFORMED!
Hello, Anglers. Almost ideal weather conditions are the norm in November with cool nights and mild days where you grab a jacket before running up the lake to the first fishing hole. However, when the sun comes over the eastern wooded-horizon, it is soon time to shed it and put it back in storage. Mother Nature continues her annual season-changing dance with new flocks of ducks, increased activity in wildlife as well as fall foliage colors showing up in the forest around the lake. On the Texas side of the lake much of the forest is part of the National Forest with huge, mature trees providing a feeling of almost being isolated, which is wonderful. EAGLE REPORT: Sightings of eagles on almost every trip to the lake is an added bonus that I get to enjoy. While in Mill Creek just before a recent cold-front came through, the eagles went nuts and were very active for a long period of time that included most of that morning. They were very verbal making all of their unusual sounds from their shrieking to loud clucking/chirping which is like no other sound in nature. They were also making repeated dives on fish and oftentimes there were several eagles at same time diving for fish. Eagles also like to ‘play’ with flocks of ‘coots’ which are small black (wanna-be) ducks who migrate into the area in mid October to winter and feed on hydrilla. Eagles will dive down on the flock and scare them to death. They will also, on occasion, have a coot for lunch which is why they panic when an eagle cruises over. We also saw another Golden Eagle, this one near the spillway (rare on Toledo) with sighting about 3 miles from where I spotted my first one (the one I photographed/on my website). It could be the same eagle but I do not think so because they are very protective of territory. An interesting eagle fact: Most of the time Eagles mate while in flight. FISHING REPORT: Look for my full November report (South Toledo) in another portion of this edition of Lakecaster. I will say that the fishing results of the past two months have been some of the best in recent memory and the fish population is so healthy with the fish rounded, fat and beautifully colored. LAKE TURNOVER: The annual lake turnover has occurred where the surface water of the lake is cooled and starts to sink to the bottom and pushes the bottom water to the surface allowing a mixing where even deep parts of the lake can, once again, be rich with oxygen. Deep areas of the lake have been mostly void of oxygen during summer months when the thermocline was formed. The turnover wipes out the thermocline which is an area that forms over the summer in the water column. On Toledo/Rayburn it usually is about 25 feet down from the surface and will show up on your electronics and will look like a line of clutter. In the summer, the water below the thermocline is much colder but contains little oxygen and cannot sustain aquatic life for long periods of time.
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 18
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19 • Lakecaster • November 2011
November is here with cooler weather and thoughts of Thanksgiving. The trees have been turning beautiful colors as the leaves begin to fall. Autumn is in full swing. Lots of folks will be in the woods and that means less boats will be on the water. Don’t let this time of year slip by, get out and do some fishing! Lynn Atkinson The lake should be around 14 foot low cell 979-220-0251 if everything stays like it has been going. Reel Um N Guide This low water level scares a lot of folks but Service, www.rayburncountry.com let me say this, there is lots of water still out there to fish and most of the timber is above the water now. The biggest problems are the sand bars and humps. Lake maps are drawn up with full pool and now you’re not at full pool. Some of these maps are very accurate and some are a little off. If you are running a mapping program on your GPS most units will let you change the deep setting. Most of the time my unit is set at a 12 ft break line. What I mean is there is a color change from white to blue at about 12 ft. Now most of the 12 ft is out of water, so by adjusting the unit a little deeper I can adjust it for the lower water level. Be out on the lake when you’re making these adjustments and idle up to a point or ledge, check your settings to see how close the drop is and where it gets shallow. You still have to be careful, there is never a guarantee that something won’t move or change. There is lots of deep water to run in. If you’re running in water that’s shallow, let’s say 3 ft or less remember there were houses and farms out there years ago. The foundations, concrete steps and a few dipping tanks for cows may still be out there. Try to stay out in deep water to run and stay safe. This is the best time for serious fishing and looking for a trophy Bass. This is also one of the best times to get a look at the lake and find structure that hold bass when the lake is full. There are several things you need to keep your eye on. It’s a good idea to get a couple of different maps and take a good look at the timber in the lake before you get on the water. Take a look at the humps and long points so you don’t run into any of them. The lake will have settled down and the fish will get into a pattern of chasing shad and fatting up for winter. Keep those fishin’ poles handy because this can be some of the best fishing time on the lake. There will be fewer fishermen to compete with,,,, more fish for you to catch. The fish will be moving around a lot looking for a quick meal. The Stanley Ribbit is a great way to cover the pads and pepper grass that is still hanging around out there. Using a Stanley spinner bait is another way to cover a lot of water. For the person that wants to slow down and enjoy the day, dragging a Texas or Carolina rig on the bottom will pick up some fish. If you’re lucky you may just hook into a trophy using this technique. Some very large fish are caught from fall thru spring so get out there and give it a whirl. For the folks that want to get away and enjoy the cool mornings and beautiful sunrises, now’s the time to come on down! The Crappie will start to get more active around the brush piles as fall gets here. They should start to get into the fall pattern before moving up the river and creeks as they do each year. Don’t sit at home and miss out on the fun. We have seen some fall trips fill the ice chest as the fish start to bunch up. Everyone has loved the pontoon with the shade and the changing room with the port-o-potty. It makes the trip a lot nicer for everyone. Get your fall trip booked. We can handle up to 8 anglers. Don’t forget we have Gift Certificates for the love ones that have everything for Christmas or anytime. They are good for a year so they can have time to get their trip book. All you guys that put up the fishing poles and head to the woods, now’s a great time to get the boat down to the shop and have a few things done. Check the water pumps, plugs, fuel filters, and have the lower unit flushed and refilled. Have them winterize it for you so it’s ready to go the first time you get a break. Don’t wait till you get out there, break something, need some work done and then find a long wait at the repair shop. Thanks and God Bless!
SAM RAYBURN LAKE FISHING REPORT
Lake level information updated daily at www.lakecaster.com Lake level as of 10/24/11 (151.12) Normal pool level (164.40’) For lake level updates and generation schedules, call 409-384-5716.
Mid Lake & South End
Hello cool weather and hello from Mike and Cathy at MC Outdoor Adventures. We are proud to be back with the Lakecaster helping with the fishing report. At MCOA we are an all around fishing and hunting service. Fishing not only on Sam Rayburn and the Sabine Mike & Cathy river but in Mexico and Brazil. Let us Wheatley, know what you are hunting for and we will find it from East Texas to Argentina. MC Outdoor Adventures Ladies, Mike is not the only one that is a www.MCOutdoorAdventures.com, guide we share the duties. cell (409)382-9166 On with fishing! The low water makes getting around a hazard but the fishing is very good. Bass are getting ready for their winter pattern by chasing shad along the creek channels and in the backs of coves. In 4-6 ft of water you can catch bass on wacky worms rigged Texas style in Red Bug and June Bug colors. Crankbaits are accounting for a good number of fish also. Almost anything you put in the water will work just keep moving till you find a good group of fish. Crappie are shallow in the brush from 15-18 ft of water on minnows, we are catching some good numbers. The crappie will be moving out to creeks and river channels as the water cools. Use your electronics to locate crappie along the channels. Catfish are very good along the rivers edge in about 25-30 ft. Mix up your favorite chum and have fun. One of the most fun ways to catch catfish is with noodles and right now is a great time to do this! Be careful getting around the lake and have fun in the outdoors!!
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 20
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 22
Are Bass Getting Smarter? Are Bass Getting Smarter?
By Jim Binns
At some point, almost all of the anglers I know feel that the bass are getting smarter. This is usually following a day when the casting was much and the catching was little. I have heard many times that the older a bass gets the more experience it has so the smarter it becomes. So does this mean we have no chance of catching these older bass? Well first of all remember that a bass has a brain the size of a small bean, and that brain deals primarily with basic functions such as swimming, digestion, reacting to the environment and such. Scientists state that bass have the ability to learn, but they doubt that it has much of a memory or the ability to reason. Bass learn to repeat behaviors that help them feed and avoid danger, and they also seem to learn from other bass. A negative experience such as narrowly being eaten by a cormorant is learned quickly and teaches a bass to avoid similar encounters. Positive experiences usually need to be repeated several times before it forms a habit. The more positive the process is the more likely the bass is to repeat the process and seemingly remember what it learned. All of us have read about a new lake where on opening day everyone caught fish. A month later the fishing got tough and anglers didn’t know why. The bass certainly didn’t leave the lake – but perhaps they got “lure shy”? Bass that are repeatedly caught on a certain type of lure or color may go through a brief period where they fear that particular bait, color or vibration, and just not hit it for awhile. There are also those that believe a hooked bass fighting a lure in its mouth may send a signal to other bass to be careful – or perhaps their blood or body excretes a solution into the water that alerts the other bass. ` Bass basically see items (such as your lure) as generalized shapes and colors. Once bass associate a fishing line, lure, vibration or color with danger they will tend to avoid that situation. Perhaps this is why certain “odd ball” colors or silent vs. rattling lures work well under certain conditions. For a bass living in a quiet cove, the unusual sound of a lure splashing down hard on the surface may put it on “red alert” because it is something that the fish does not normally hear. Likewise a bass that lives near an area where there is lots of boat traffic may become conditioned to the noise, knowing that it is not a threat, and simply ignore it. Bass strike for a number of reasons such as hunger, reflex action, protective instinct, curiosity, competition and just a plain ol’ killer attitude. The ones that are hungry are the ones that we want to meet each time we hit the water. They will hit anything that we throw at them. But the reflex action strikes may well be the ones that fill our livewell during tougher days. Reflex action strikes are like the cat pouncing on a mouse. The bass
isn’t necessarily hungry but when the bait suddenly goes bouncing by it just has to take a swipe at it. When bass are in a spawning mood the strikes you receive are based on protective instinct, or simply nailing anything that invades the nest where the spawning ritual occurs. It doesn’t necessarily matter if the bait is black, white, big or small. If it is an invader – it needs to be removed. The curiosity characteristic is one that most all of us have experienced. The topwater bait hits the surface and you see a bass suddenly come up from the bottom, take a close look at your bait, then turn and go back down to the area he resides. Oh Man!!!! That was a ten-pounder and all he did was sniff at my bait! Bummer! Feeding habits are another area where bass can learn from each other. From the time they are fry size they are trying to learn how to best fill their stomach. Single bass learn quickly that hunting alone is not nearly as productive as hunting in a group. Competition among bass begins at a very early age and is especially strong when they are “schooled” together. When a group of shad are cornered, the strike from one bass will usually ignite a strike from other fish. The entire school can quickly turn on in a feeding frenzy with bass busting the surface and hitting anything you throw at them. This is usually the time many of us get the worst “bird-nest” we have ever experienced and have to watch helplessly as the frantic feeding action occurs all around the boat. What would ever provoke a 2-pound bass to attack and try to eat something that was bigger than him? I have seen bass with catfish and shad stuck in their mouth because they just couldn’t swallow the critter. That is a killer instinct that is hard to explain. Bass probably spend more time yawning at lures than they do chasing them. Let’s face it, most anyone can catch fish if they are feeding, but it’s the angler that can con the neutral or dis-interested fish into striking that consistently puts bass in the livewell. You really see this in some of the larger pro bass tournaments where these gifted anglers seem to be able to catch bass under almost any condition. So are the bass getting smarter - or is the real issue that we anglers are just not adjusting our fishing fast enough for the conditions? I guess that is for you to decide. In the life of every bass fisherman there are days of delight and days of desperation. And all of this is based on whether or not that silly bass will take a swipe at what we are offering. Good Fishing – JB
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By Jodie Warner
23 • Lakecaster • November 2011
The Rayburn Oilman’s Classic was held on October 7 and 8, 2011. The top consisted of Donald Randall and Paul Wilson coming in with a two-day total of 31.62 lbs. The team of Herb and Troy Lutz came in second with a two-day total of 31.09 lbs. In third place were Blaine Abshire and Phlip Crelia with a total of 30.96 for both days. Bobby Hebert and Calvin Gambino took home fourth with 29.97 lbs; Johnny Jones and Ronnie Mundy took fifth with 29.70 lbs. Keith Roberts walked away with the overall big fish award with a single fish weighing in at 7.26 lbs. The tournament is a yearly event on Lake Sam Rayburn that benefits St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital. Last year they raised around $15,000 and an additional $2,040 from a raffle for a $500 gift certificate. The additional money went to a child that suffers from shaken baby syndrome that has left her blind. With as much irony and luck, Donald Randall also won the tournament last year with his 2010 partner. Next year’s tournament will be held on October 12 and 13, 2012 with registration on October 11, 2012 at Umphrey Family Pavilion from 12:00 to 7:00 PM For more information, rules, contact information and further results please visit http://rayburnoilmensclassic.org/
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 24
Preparing for the hunt to come.
By Robert Baker, TPWD
the one thing that every person wants is to make it back safe. Many people fall victim to accidents while on a hunting trip, and hopefully some preparation ahead of time can help prevent them from happening. Travel to and from the hunting grounds is a major source of accidents. Before a person gets on the road, coming or going, make sure that all loads are fully secured and the vehicle is in good working order. This sounds very simple (and it is) but is often overlooked. For trailers this includes things such as safety chains are attached, lights plugged in and working, current registration sticker, a spare tire, and loads strapped down. For vehicles a big source of problems can be ATV’s hauled in the back of a truck. Make sure that they are tied down because in an accident they could come into the passenger compartment and do major damage. Drive defensively. This sounds very obvious but applies to more than driving a car or truck on the highway. This applies to driving ATV’s and UTV’s as well. Many accidents come from people driving too fast for their ability or not paying attention. A certified training course should be taken for all younger operators and is There are no secrets to success. It is the result of recommended for all. preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Check structures for stability. Deer stands are more of a problem Colin Powell (Chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff 1989-93) then camps normally, but check the camp too. Make sure that the floor, ladder, legs, walls, and even the chair are not rotten or torn With the start of the gun season for white-tailed deer just in some fashion. I know many people that have fallen from a deer around the corner (archery season has already started), many stand because of it breaking or not functioning correctly (climbing people will be heading into the woods. They are going for many stands are bad about this). different reasons such as getting out of the house, time with File an itinerary. This is important in the event that you don’t friends, chasing that elusive trophy, or stocking the freezer, but show back up at the appropriate time. With the itinerary rescuers will know how long a person has been gone, how long they are overdue, and where to start searching. Make sure that this is filed with a person who can be trusted and “A home away from home on beautiful Toledo Bend Lake” will do something about it if *Two or three bedroom guesthouse available. *Guesthouses include living/dining room, full kitchen, the hunter does not show up. satellite TV, internet, private deck, BBQ pavilion, and fishing dock. Check your equipment. This *Call now and be our guest! includes many things such as Located at 203 Becker Lane making sure that you have Hemphill, TX
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batteries for electronics, cell phone charger, bullets, etc.. This also means things such as sighting in your rifle, testing the lantern, and sharpening the knives. It is a bad feeling getting into the field and not having the correct equipment or it doesn’t work properly. Use good hunting practices. This means paying attention to animal identification, seasons, wearing hunter orange, bag limits, and all of the other things that were learned in hunter education. Knowing your target and what is behind is of particular concern. Every year many “good hunters” are participants in shooting accidents, and some are fatal. Take care in the handling of the game. This is critical for not just the hunter but anyone that shares in the bounty. Make sure that the game is field dressed, the meat is cooled quickly, and the meat is kept cold. If these steps are not taken the meat can spoil and /or develop bad flavor. In addition make sure that the person field dressing the game uses rubber gloves, sharp cutlery, and cleans equipment and surfaces completely afterwards with soap and hot water. Pay attention. This applies to more than just what the individual hunter is doing. Just because one hunter is paying attention doesn’t mean that the next one over is. Always keep an eye out for what is happening close by. An ounce of prevention is worth more than half a pound of cure. Take a little time to prepare ahead of the trip it can keep a person or people safe on the hunt and after. This season let’s make sure that everybody comes home safe.
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25 • Lakecaster • November 2011
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 26
Toledo Bend Tournament Schedule
DATE 9 12 10 7-8 21-22 28 28 11 19 25 TOURNAMENT NOvember 2011 PAR Bass Club PAR Bass Club December 2011 GCFT Winter Classic Bass Tournament JaNuary 2012 Bass N Bucks Toledo Championship V & M/Cyclone Championship- TENTATIVE BLT Toledo Bend South Trail Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series February 2012 BLT Toledo Bend South Trail 2 Of Us Southeast Region Couples Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series march 2012 CAST Southeast Region Couples Tournament Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series apriL 2012 14 14 15 12 18-20 19 CAST Southeast Region Couples Tournament Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series 2 Of Us Southeast Region Couples may 2012 Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series McDonald’s Big Bass Splash CAST Southeast Region Couples Tournament BLT Toledo Bend South Trail FLW Everstart Series Cypress Bend Cypress Bend Fin & Feather Resort S Toledo Bend St Pk TBA Fin & Feather Resort Cypress Bend TBA S Toledo Bend St Pk TBA Cypress Bend Fin & Feather Resort Cypress Bend TBA Big Bass Marina S Toledo Bend St Pk Cypress Bend LOCATION Six Mile Six Mile TBA
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27 • Lakecaster • November 2011
Toledo Bend North End Forecast
Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service & Lake Cottages www.toledobendguide.com • email@example.com • 936.368.7151 For all the “Snow updated weekly, visit www.thelakecaster.com or toledo- shallow grass lines close to deep water will also be very Birds” that start arriving bend.com. productive. Areas to concentrate are main lake points, to the lake this time of November is one of the most productive fishing river channel shelf and ledges, the mouth of the major year, they will certainly months of the year. The Black and White bass will be creeks and coves, and creek shelf and ledges. be in for a surprise. They feeding heavy in anticipation of winter, and the Crappie The White bass have already started to gang up on might want to bring their here on the north end of the lake will be moving to the the north end sandbars. We’ve been limiting out every lawn mower to cut a path river channel ledges ganging up on natural and man day in short order. Slab spoons, tail spinners, and to their favorite fishing hole. All kidding aside, even made cover. It’s fishing time on Toledo Bend, and if you crank baits will all be productive. Watch for schooling though there is only a hand full of available ramps to like to catch fish, November is a great time to be on activity and keep a lipless crank bait and top water plug access the lake, and you should be extremely careful the water. handy. navigating the lake; the fishing this November should As the water temperature starts to drop the shad will Whether you call them Crappie, sac-au-lait, White be some of the best we’ve had in years. Fortunately, we start moving into the coves and the bass will follow. Perch or paper mouths, anglers from all over the are still able to launch at Huxley Bay Marina. Don’t Watch for schooling activity and keep a top water plug, country will be heading to the Bend to pursue our let the low water discourage your trip to Toledo Bend. spinner bait, buzz bait, trap or shallow running crank world famous fall/winter Crappie season. The fish will You might have to drive a little way to an available bait handy. For bigger fish throw a worm, jig, spoon or gang up on the ledges of the old river channel around boat launch but the great fishing will make up for tail spinner under the schooling bass. Finesse plastics natural and planted brush piles. Jigs and shiners the inconvenience. For a list of available boat ramps (Trick Worms, Flukes, and Senkos) fished along vertically fished over cover are the ticket.
TOLEDO BEND LAKE FISHING REPORT
Lake level information updated daily at www.lakecaster.com Lake Level – as of 10/24/11 (160.04) 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 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.toledo-bend.net/guide
BASS ~ Good. Start the morning with a Black buzz bait along creek channels where there is grass or timber. As the day warms switch to a Norman Lures Deep Little N crank bait in yearling bass or threadfin shad colors - fish in 6’ to 12’of water next to creeks. There are some fish coming out of the backs of creeks on Chatter Baits and Senkos in watermelon gold color. Remember to spray all your baits with Kick N Bass. BREAM ~ Slow. There are some fish coming on worms and Berkley Power Maggots in 16’ to 22’ of water over brush and on the edge of creeks. CRAPPIE ~ Excellent. Fish are around brush in 18 to 25’ of water on shiners and 1/16 oz. watermelon colored Tiny Ikas. CATFISH ~ Excellent. Fish in 18’ to 28’ of water using Catfish Charlie and liver over baited holes. WHITE BASS ~ Good. You can find them along the river channel in 10’ to 28’ of water on a black/white Humdinger. The lake is low but the fish are concentrated and they are biting so “TAKE A KID FISHING AND 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 Perfect weather, great light-weighted soft plastics, Texas and Carolina rigs, water temps and plenty top water, shaky head and wacky rigs so the angler has of submerged vegetation lots of bass-catching tools. On Stanley ‘s spinnerbaits are three factors that we love the new colored-blade series and really like will make fishing this 3/8 oz with new #300 and 321 colors with skirts/blades month ‘off the chart’ coordinated. They really have a super look in the water on my favorite fishing and bass love them. We are working these pretty fast hole. September and October have already produced with pauses on Abu Garcia’s Revo STX with 7:1:1 fast outstanding results as many anglers found ways to gears. 17 lb test Berkley Big Game line is what I am work around the low water levels and found a place using mostly on these spinnerbaits with a medium to launch, took necessary precautions while navigating action 7’ Abu Garcia Veritas rod which is a lot of rod the lake and were rewarded with outstanding fishing for the buck. Our best producing top water baits have been and not a lot of fishing pressure. Personally, our guide service has had heavy bookings all year long with the Norman’s Pro Pops, Pop R’s, Chug Bug and Yellow low water conditions and the last two months have Magic which we have been working over and around been very busy as well. Bass are in the creeks, drains the edge of hydrilla and pepper grass. On our Texas & and keying on primary and secondary points with Carolina rigs we are going with Berkley Havoc’s Bottom grass as well as main lake humps and ridges. There are Hopper, Power Worms, Itsabug, Trick Worm and Speed so many ridges/humps with hydrilla that you can never Craws. On shaky heads and wackys we are using Yamamoto Senkos, Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper, fish them all and most of them are loaded with fish. November’s hot lures include Stanley’s Vibra-Wedge Berkley Wacky Crawlers and Trick worms. Most bass are spinnerbaits, DD22s (deep cranking), weightless and coming from 4 to 22’. However, we are also catching
bass on jigging spoon and drop shot on tough days in depths of 18 to 40 ft. CRAPPIE/WHITE AND YELLOW BASS: Crappie fishing continues to be good as reports from lake crappie guides (Covington, Garcia, Perrodin) all say they are catching medium-to-large white perch on shiners from brush ranging from 15 to 28 feet with 18-22’ some of the best depths. My Toledo neighbor, Richard Guillory, is also catching quality crappie on live shiners in brush from 15 to 25 feet. The white and yellow bass are migrating up all major feeder creeks. Look for them in the bends of creeks as well as on major points in the creeks. I like a jigging spoon fished vertically as well as a tailspinner such as Norman ‘s Knock Off or Mann’s Little George. 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 email@example.com . and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 28
Toledo Bend Reservoir
Sabine River Authority of Texas
Go to www.TheLakecaster.com for weekly open boat launch location updates
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Center T S
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29 • Lakecaster • November 2011
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 30
JODIE WARNER, Staff Writer
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Association has one question: Are you in or are you out? They will be holding a Texas Hold ‘Em Benefit for the Blue Santa Christmas Program at the VFW Hall in Jasper on November 19 and anyone is welcome to attend, but only 100 tickets to play in the tournament will be sold, so get them while there available. The tickets to compete cost just a $100 donation and the tournament will begin at 1 pm that day until around 5:30 pm where the top five will play for top spot prizes. Each contestant will receive $3,000 in play money to use during the tournament. After the tournament there will be a buffet style dinner, live music (country and Cajun zydeco) for everyone to dance to. Those not necessarily interested in playing cards, but like to shake it out on the floor in the VFW hall tradition can purchase tickets of $40 per couple or $25 for an individual. All money raised during the evening will be put back into Jasper County for purchases and distribution of the gifts for the Blue Santa Christmas Program. The whole event is being put together and hosted by two Jasper
County 911 Dispatchers: Kayla Key and Sarah Barthol who are spending every free moment away from their station behind the tinted plate glass gathering donations and sponsors for this cause. The explained, “The Blue Santa Program gives destitute families a way to have a Christmas. The money goes to providing for these families what they can’t provide the kids themselves like jackets and shoes, and also a few toys.” Key said, “I hope this can become an annual thing, this is the first year and we are trying to get it off the ground.” Both women are combing from one end of the county to the other to garner support and donations in order to put on the event. The explain, “we know how difficult it is for people right now, but this is all going for a good cause and really, what else can you go out and do that only costs $40 for a couple?” Their conclusion is partially correct, with rising costs just a night out for dinner for two is around $40 itself; at least at this event the couple gets dinner, good entertainment, and a lot of dancing. Both ladies claim, “it’s kind of like we are inviting people out to party for a cause.” Door prizes will be given away throughout the evening for all attendees. Prizes for the poker tournament are as follows:
grand prize- Good Ole Boys Fishing Trip and Rod and Reel (reel donated by Bob Sealy at Sealy Outdoors,) second- rifle, third- big screen television, fourth-weekend stay at a Rayburn Villa with a round of Golf compliments of the new Rayburn Country Club, and fifth prize is a weekend stay at Lapaz Bed and Breakfast nestled on the Angelina River. Tickets can be obtained from either Key or Barthol by calling the sheriff’s office 409-384-5417 or at all the sub courthouses within the county.
DW’s GUIDE SERVICE
TOLEDO BEND • SAM RAYBURN
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Area Club Updates
hawg hunter Of Lake charles bass club
Mike Collins and Terry Hornsby won our October tournament, which was held on Toledo Bend. Collins and Hornsby’s best 5 fish weighed 20.47 lbs. Collins landed the tournament’s big bass, which weighed 6.18 lbs. Having to contend with an early morning fog delay had little effect on the winning team, as they reported having their tournament limit within the first hour of the tournament. Their fish were caught on Carolina rigged flukes. Dean Jones and Jeff Latham targeted deep grass with jigs to weigh in their 5 fish that weighed 16.53 Top Six Standings lbs. which was good enough to put them in second Mike Collins 103.00 place. Dean Jones 100.48 Scott Gray and Terry Waite took 3rd place with their Larry Byrd 73.44 5 fish limit that weighed 13.70 lbs. Their catch came by using crank baits around grass edges. Rodney Owen 71.03 Our next tournament will on Sam Rayburn on Stewart Hunt 63.90 November 12, 2011. For more information, you can Jeff Latham 60.22 contact Jeff Latham at (337) 302-4374.
Underwater Stump Removal Service
Mark Johnson, President Call 706-255-6131
31 • Lakecaster • November 2011
We stock Costa Del Mar with 580 lenses
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Many Bass Club
Paul Hammontree claimed his second 2011 Many Bass Clubs tournament win at our October tournament with a five Top Ten 2011 Standing fish limit weighing 16.50 lbs. Hammontree’s fish came from the back of Housen Bay using a spinner bait and Jimmy Campbell 127.90 soft plastic. Jimmy Campbell won second place with a Boyd Sanders 114.43 five fish limit weighing 16.42 lbs & Jim Campbell was Jim Campbell 110.10 the third place winner with a five fish limit weighing Harvey Coward 109.49 16.37 lbs. Boyd Sanders won the big bass honors with a Bobby Munlin 105.14 6.80 lb lunker. Frank Davis 103.07 There was a total of 72 fish caught that weighed a total Bill Ligon 99.37 of 174 lbs for an average fish weight of 2.40 lbs. Mike Smith 94.29 Carolyn Pesson won the Lady Angler side of the Richard Pesson 92.06 Many Bass Club’s October tournament with Ruth Mike Price 87.96 Braud finishing in second place. Twice a year, April and October, the club extends an invitation to the Lady Anglers and guest to compete in our event. Tina Moran won the 2011 Lady Angler of the Year title.
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Carolyn Pesson won 1st place Lady Angler with Ruth Braud coming in 2nd place.
Paul Hammontree claimed his second 2011 tournament win at our October tournament with a five fish limit weighing 16.50 lbs.
& Hwy 63 (Last Stop for Beer, Tackle & Fuel before Toledo Bend)
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Jimmy Campbell won second place with a five fish limit weighing 16.42 lbs
Boyd Sanders won the big bass honors with a 6.80 lb lunker.
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 32
Simple Math: The Toledo Bend Plunge
By Patty Lenderman
In the beginning of this historic drought, those that utilize Toledo Bend for its recreational aspects moaned as their comfort zone evaporated. As levels continued to drop, those that depend on it for their livelihood tightened their belts. Now, as conditions are worse than they have been since the lake was impounded, everyone involved is to or past the point of desperation. As of 10/24/11, Toledo Bend is at 160.03 mean sea level (msl). Normal pool is 172.00 msl, putting the lake twelve feet below normal pool. Former boat lanes are now dry land, coves have turned into pastures. Lake access is difficult at best, impossible at most boat ramps. Looking at the figures provided to The Lakecaster by SRA officials, for them the math is simple: SRA LA income figures compared to prior fiscal year: Total Revenue down 34% for fiscal year ending June 2011 Power Sales Revenue down 85% for fiscal year ending June 2011 Parksite revenue down 1% thru June 2011 Parksite revenue down 37% for July – September 2011 compared to same months in 2010. A study was done in 2000 to determine the total economic value of recreational boating and fishing on Toledo Bend. At that time the value of that industry was determined to be $38,000,000 annually. Utilizing that figure to determine the income deficit in 2011 for the area, based on an ongoing economic survey being done
through a conglomerate effort by the Sabine Parish, LA Chamber of Commerce, Sabine Parish Tourism, and Sabine County, TX Chamber of Commerce, the findings are already severe. According to the economic survey reports received so far, the loss in overall revenue for the area is $17,294,000 or 45.51%. And it is getting worse an anticipated projection 62% decrease in lodging accommodations “Initially we felt that only the immediate area around Toledo Bend was mainly affected,” explained Linda Curtis-Sparks of the Sabine Parish Tourism. “Once the tournaments began to cancel their events, then the campers cancelled reservations and fishermen quit coming, the widespread impact was felt much further out in both states.” “Our customers have stopped coming because they are afraid of running their boats on the lake and tearing up their equipment running into stumps, old bridges, ridges just under the surface,” many business owners expressed at the meeting held at the Sabine River Authority Louisiana office on October 20, 2011. There were about 70 business owners and other concerned citizens of both Texas and Louisiana at the meeting, along with a dozen or more SRA officials in attendance. Presentations were made to the SRA board members with the problems the business owners are facing, pleas were made for help and possible solutions were proposed in power point presentations. The SRA is no stranger to the negative economic effects the low
lake level has made. Their main source of income is the power generators at the dam which haven’t been in operation at all since the water level reached 163’, and from level 168’ to 163’ were only in operation as they met their minimum downstream flow requirements. “It has been two years since we’ve had ‘normal’ power operations” cited an SRA official. They do not anticipate being able to generate power in 2012. That leaves only water sales and leaseback funds to support SRA operations. According to calculations, that leaves an annual operational deficit of $2,369,505. Nevertheless, the community and the community leaders were desperately asking for the SRA to help fix the problem. Two items were the main focus of the requests: (1) Dredge out several boat launch locations to make or keep them usable. (2) Cut stumps in the main boat lanes to make navigation safe. Gloria Thompson of the Sabine Parish Chamber, LA was asked by the SRA to research and find out what the cost and projects requested would entail. “I didn’t really know where to start, so began by getting bids from various contractors with equipment that could cut the stumps in the boat lanes. We were given prices for cutting 100-150 stumps per day by these contractors, but getting an end figure was impossible. There are anywhere from 1.2 to 3 million stumps just in the proposed lane areas to be cut.” More feasible answers had to be found. They contacted a local welding company for ideas, direction and advice. After doing
33 • Lakecaster • November 2011
Linda Curtis-Sparks of Sabine Parish, LA Tourism shows the SRA Board Members the anticipated 62% drop in overall revenue if nothing is done to circumvent the problem of low lake levels
All seats were lled, leaving standing room only as members of the community attended the meeting at the SRA-LA of ce to plea for help
extensive research, a company in Canada was found that had some dealings in engineering equipment to work in underwater conditions similar to the Toledo Bend situation. In years past, the SRA had owned and operated a stump cutting barge, but due to the design the SRA spent more money and time in repairs than in actual operation. Utilizing the information concerning what the problems with the previous barge were, taking into consideration what task
laid ahead, schematics for a customized stump cutting barge was invented. Initial cost for the equipment was figured at $560,000 and proposed to the SRA-LA Board Members. Making no promises, the SRA Board replied: “We will take this information and look into the feasibility of making it happen.” The long range drought forecast looks bleak, according to National Weather forecasters. 2012 is currently predicted to be as
bad or worse for rainfall totals than in 2011. While the proposals laid out in the meeting were but possible solutions, and possibly only temporary if the lake does continue to drop, “To do nothing would be devastating” the community members agreed. “We need rain – and lots of it to effectively fix the problem. In the mean time, we have to figure out how to operate with what we have and make it work.”
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 34
Area Club Updates
409 Bass Club
The 409 Bass Club held their 8th event of the 2011 season on Lake Sam Rayburn on September 21st and 24th. With Sam Rayburn approaching historic low levels, boat navigation is a dangerous challenge. Weather conditions consisted of cool mornings, light winds, and sunny skies. Later in the day temperatures warmed to the low 90’s, with water temperatures near 80 degrees. The fish catching on big Sam was rather tough and most anglers had difficulty finding a consistent pattern. A variety of tactics were used, including Texas rigged soft plastics, crankbaits, and top water. Anglers reported fish being caught anywhere from 6 inches of water all the way to 25ft deep. The fish seem to be real scattered resembling a post spawn type of pattern. There were 20 anglers that brought 26 fish to the scales weighing 49 lbs, yielding 1.90 lb average per fish. The husband and wife team, Buddy and Sharon Ellis weighed in 7.08 lbs to take first place. Their sack was anchored by a good 3.16 lb largemouth that took home big Top Six Standings bass honors. 2nd place went to Ryan Lohr and Bruce Chapman with 5.36 lbs and 5.18 lbs Steven Desormeaux 58.11 was good enough to give Eric Van Horn and Doug Smith 53.85 Billy Blackman a 3rd place finish. The 9th event of the 2011 season will be Cecil Mathews 49.81 held October 12th and 15th on Lake Sam Marcus Van Horn 49.72 Rayburn out of San Augustine Park. The 409 Eric Van Horn 49.48 Bass Club would like to thank Daley’s Hunt and Fish, Filter Resources, Bass Kandi, R1-Bass and Allie Smith 47.49 Ace Image Wear for their continuing support.
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The 409 Bass Club held their 9th event of the 2011 season on Lake Sam Rayburn on October 12th and 15th. 20 anglers fished blue bird skies, light winds, and water temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. The fishing on Big Sam was pretty tough giving the conditions of post cold front and high pressure. The fish seem to be scattered with some anglers having their success deep and shallow. Most anglers reported catching fish on top water, wacky worms, Carolina rigs, and football jigs. There were 48 fish brought to the scales weighing 92lbs, yielding a 1.91lb average per fish. Aj Aucoin and Elbert Shamblee weighed in 10.97lbs to take first place. George and Hunter Aucoin finished second with 9.88lbs, and 9.87lbs was enough to give Ryan Lohr and Bruce Chapman a 3rd place finish. Big Bass went to Hunter Gothia weighing 4.83lbs. Congratulations to our winners. The 409 Bass Club would like to thank Daley’s Hunt and Fish, Filter Resources, Simon Outfitters, Ace Image Wear and R1 Bass for their continuing support. The last tournament of the year will be held November 9th and 12th on Lake Sam Rayburn out of San Augustine Park.
“We Buy Scrap Gold Jewelry & Silver”
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With Gold prices this high, broken jewelry or old forgotten pieces of jewelry add up very quickly. Don’t assume your broken items aren’t worth enough to bother with.
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Top Six Standings
Steven Desormeaux Doug smith Cecil Mathews Marcus Van Horn Eric Van Horn Hunter Gothia 64.32 61.92 57.25 56.02 54.28 50.8
Hunter Gothia won Big Bass honors with 4.83 lbs.
524 S. Wheeler • Jasper
Beside Crossroads Music in the Greentree Plaza
Hours – M - F • 10am - 6pm
Sun: 7:31am - 6:29pm Moon: 1:14pm - none
Sun: 7:31am - 6:28pm Moon: 1:53pm - 12:14am
Sun: 7:32am - 6:27pm Moon: 2:27pm - 1:12am
Sun: 7:33am - 6:26pm Moon: 2:58pm - 2:08am
Sun: 7:34am - 6:25pm Moon: 3:28pm - 3:03am
AM 2:56 - 4:56 PM 3:26 - 5:26 Sun: 6:35am - 5:25pm Moon: 2:58pm - 2:56am
AM 3:51 - 5:51 PM 4:16 - 6:16
AM 4:36 - 6:36 PM 4:56 - 6:56
AM 5:16 - 7:16 PM 5:41 - 7:41
AM 5:56 - 7:56 PM 6:16 - 8:16
Sun: 6:35am - 5:24pm Moon: 3:28pm - 3:48am Sun: 6:36am - 5:23pm Moon: 4:00pm - 4:41am Sun: 6:37am - 5:22pm Moon: 4:35pm - 5:35am Sun: 6:38am - 5:22pm Moon: 5:14pm - 6:29am Sun: 6:39am - 5:21pm Moon: 5:57pm - 7:23am
Sun: 6:40am - 5:21pm Moon: 6:44pm - 8:16am
DAYLIGHT SAvING TIME ENDS
AM 6:31 - 8:31 PM 6:51 - 8:51 Sun: 6:40am - 5:20pm Moon: 7:36pm - 9:08am AM 7:11 - 9:11 PM 7:31 - 9:31 AM 7:46 - 9:46 PM 8:11 - 10:11 AM 8:31 - 10:31 PM 8:51 - 10:51 AM 9:31 - 11:31 PM 9:36 - 11:36
AM 10:01 - 12:01 PM 10:26 - 12:26 AM 10:56 - 12:56 PM -----
Sun: 6:41am - 5:19pm Moon: 8:31pm - 9:56am Sun: 6:42am - 5:19pm Moon: 9:29pm - 10:41am Sun: 6:43am - 5:18pm Moon: 10:29pm - 11:22am Sun: 6:44am - 5:18pm Moon: 11:30pm - 12:01pm
Sun: 6:45am - 5:17pm Moon: none - 12:37pm
Sun: 6:46am - 5:17pm Moon: 12:32am - 1:13pm
AM 11:21 - 1:21 PM 11:51 - 1:51 Sun: 6:46am - 5:17pm Moon: 1:36am - 1:50pm
AM 12:16 - 2:16 PM 12:46 - 2:46
AM 1:16 - 3:16 PM 1:41 - 3:41
AM 2:06 - 4:06 PM 2:31 - 4:31
AM 3:01 - 5:01 PM 3:26 - 5:26
AM 3:56 - 5:56 PM 4:16 - 6:16 Sun: 6:50am - 5:15pm Moon: 6:08am - 4:49pm
AM 4:41 - 6:41 PM 5:01 - 7:01
Sun: 6:47am - 5:16pm Moon: 2:41am - 2:28pm Sun: 6:48am - 5:16pm Moon: 3:49am - 3:10pm Sun: 6:49am - 5:15pm Moon: 4:58am - 3:56pm
Sun: 6:51am - 5:15pm Moon: 7:17am - 5:47pm
Sun: 6:51am - 5:15pm Moon: 8:20am - 6:50pm
AM 5:16 - 7:16 PM 5:51 - 7:51 Sun: 6:52am - 5:14pm Moon: 9:17am - 7:55pm
AM 6:11 - 8:11 PM 6:36 - 8:36
AM 7:01 - 9:01 PM 7:26 - 9:26
AM 7:51 - 9:51 PM 8:21 - 10:21
AM 8:46 - 10:46 PM 9:26 - 11:26 Sun: 6:55am - 5:14pm Moon: 11:25am - 10:59pm
AM 9:51 - 11:51 PM 10:16 - 12:16
AM 10:51 - 12:51 PM -----
Sun: 6:53am - 5:14pm Moon: 10:06am - 8:59pm Sun: 6:54am - 5:14pm Moon: 10:48am - 10:00pm
= best Fishing Days
AM 11:31 - 1:31 PM 11:56 - 1:56 AM 12:31 - 2:31 PM 1:01 - 3:01 AM 1:36 - 3:36 PM 1:56 - 3:56 AM 2:26 - 4:26 PM 2:46 - 4:46
AM/PM = Best Fishing Times
Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks. I’ve got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. -Irving Berlin
35 • Lakecaster • November 2011
November 2011 • Lakecaster • 36
ND THE LAKES U ARO CLASSIFIEDS
LAKE GETAWAY – New 1-bedroom in Westood, Sam Rayburn. One block to boat ramp & swimming area. Covered parking, Satellite TV. Completely furnished. No pets and no smoking in house. Call 409-384-7645 or 409-489-2065 (Jan-12) THE FISH CAMP @ MILL CREEK, SAM RAYBURN LAKE – LOCATED NEXT TO PARK. Older, but nice. Sleeps 6-8. Covered parking for 1 boat with electricity. Dish TV, fully furnished. Rate $80 per night. 409-698-2199 or 936-275-7879 (Feb-12)
FOR SALE BY OWNER – Huxley Bay Marina, 13200 FM 2694, Shelbyville TX 75973. Sale includes business and property. Restaurant, boat slips, RV park & motel. Serious inquiries only please. Call (936) 368-2752 and leave message. (Nov-11) LAKE HOUSE FOR SALE – Toledo Bend area, Texas. 2 BD, 2 Bath, Sunroom, 2 carports - on lake. For details call and leave message 409-565-4257. (Dec – 11) COTTAGE FOR RENT – Sleeps 2, covered parking. Gated & locked. Direct TV, Kitchen w/all appliances, 15 minutes from Rayburn on Hwy 96. $80 nightly Loaded-Ready to go! (409)382-0185 or (409)771-1981 (Apr-12)
DOUBLEHEART Rv PARK AT LAKE SAM RAYBURN near Sandy Creek Park. Free WIFI. Pull thru sites with level pads. Showers, propane, laundry & club room. 409-489-1515 w w w. d o u b l e h e a r t r v p a r k . c o m (Dec-11) ARMOR EXTERIORS – 6” Seamless Gutters, 20 colors available, Vinyl Siding, Sof tt and Fascia Board repairs. 936-572-0876. (Dec-11)
BOAT FOR SALE – Pro-Gator Near New Condition 7+ hours on Hobbs meter. For details call and leave message 409-565-4257. (Dec – 11)
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702 S. Wheeler, Jasper, TX 75951 409-384-3441
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THE LAKECASTER is published once monthly and is distributed throughout Lakes Sam Rayburn / Toledo Bend and surrounding areas, including Shreveport, Bossier City, Center, Dallas, Huxley, Shelbyville, Bronson, Milam, Hemphill, Burkeville, Leesville, Many, Zwolle, Converse, Lufkin, Newton, Kirbyville, Buna, Jasper, Woodville, Beaumont, Orange, Bridge City, Lake Charles, LaMarque, Houston and Humble. THE LAKECASTER is also distributed at Boat, Sport and Trade Shows. The opinions expressed by the writers are theirs and theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent the view of THE LAKECASTER.
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37 • Lakecaster • November 2011
Wild Game Recipes
Courtesy of texashuntworks.com
Deer Jerky: 2 lbs. venison, 2 oz. liquid smoke, 3/4 c. Worcestershire sauce, 3/4 c. soy sauce, 1 tsp. seasoning salt, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. pepper, Tabasco sauce to taste Trim off all fat from meat. Slice meat into 1/4 inch thick slices. Mix liquid smoke, Worcestershire, soy sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and Tabasco in large bowl. Marinate meat in bowl overnight. Drain liquid from meat. Place meat in dehydrator or oven at 125 to 140 degrees for 10 to 12 hours. When meat is finished it should snap when bent Cold Weather Venison: 4 venison round steaks, approximately 2 lbs., 3/4 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. turmeric, 1/8 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 c. margarine, 1 medium onion, 2 c. tomato sauce, 1/2 c. water, 2 tomatoes, diced, 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. celery seed Cut venison into manageable pieces; halves or quarters works best. In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, turmeric, paprika, and pepper. Pound the meat with a meat tenderizer. Cover the meat with the flour mixture and massage in. Slice the onion into rings. In a large skillet melt the margarine. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté until the onion becomes tender. Remove the onion from the skillet and set aside. Add the meat to the skillet and cook until brown on both sides. In a medium bowl combine any remaining flour mixture, tomato sauce, water, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, basil, parsley, and celery. Lay the onions on top of the meat and pour the tomato mixture into the
skillet. Cover and simmer until meat is tender; approximately 1 hour. Venison Soup: 1 lb. venison, cubed, 1 (46 oz.) can vegetable cocktail juice (V-8), 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, chopped, 2 medium red onions, chopped, 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 tsp. hot sauce, 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed, 3 medium carrots, sliced, 4 small yellow squash, sliced, 3-4 stalks celery, thinly sliced, 2 medium green peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces In 8 quart dutch oven combine venison, juice, tomatoes including liquid, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat cooking for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots to pot; cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Add squash, celery, and pepper; cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender Cajun Style Dove: 15 doves, 1 1/4 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 3 large white onions, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 c. bell pepper, minced, 1 c. blush wine, boiling water, 1/4 c. water In a dutch oven place enough lard to fill pot 1 inch from the bottom while pot heats on mediumhigh. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the doves to the bowl and coat with mixture. Place the doves in the lard and brown. Remove pot from heat and drain all but 2 tablespoons hot lard and set doves aside. Add onions to the oil and saute until transparent. Add garlic and bell pepper to pot and saute until they are tender. Add doves, wine and enough boiling water to cover the doves. Add additional seasoning if desired. Cover pot and simmer for 2 hours. Remove birds from pot. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup four and 1/4 cup of water stir until a
Removing Gamey Flavor: There are a few different steps that can be taken in order to remove the undesirable gamey taste from your kill. One method is to remove any excess blood from your meat. By removing the excess blood you also remove a good portion of the gamey flavor. This works best on small pieces of meat, such as cubed meat for chili or small steak slices. Place your meat in a bowl of ice cold water; let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes then drain. Then fill your bowl with warm to hot tap water and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times. This process causes the meat to expand and contract forcing out excess blood and therefore removing the gamey flavor. Another option is to simply soak the meat in buttermilk, salt water or water with a little vinegar or apple cider vinegar added. Usually an over night soak is best but if you can at least get a couple hours of soak time, that will help remove some of the taste. Be sure to remove any silver skin and fat from the meat. They hold a great deal of game flavor and its usually best to completely remove them from the meat before cooking. paste is formed. Add mixture to pot and heat until thickened and gravy has formed. Serve doves with gravy. Baked Dove with Sausage Stuffing: 18 whole doves, 1 c. evaporated milk, 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage, 1 1/2 c. water, 3 c. stuffing mix, 1 medium apple, chopped, 1/2 small onion, chopped Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet add sausage and onion over medium high heat. When sausage is brown and onion is tender remove it from the skillet leaving the fat behind. Brown the doves on all sides in the fat. Place the doves in a baking pan so that they are touching. Add milk to skillet and stir until warm; pour over doves. Add water and apples to skillet and heat until boiling. Add stuffing mix, sausage, and onions; stir. Remove from heat and cover. When all the moisture has been absorbed, spoon the mixture over the doves. Cover pan and bake for 30 to35 minutes. Remove cover from the pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until toasted on top. Wild Pork Stew: 1 lb. wild pork, cubed, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 large yellow onion, chopped, 2 celery stalks, chopped, 1 c. mushrooms, sliced, 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce, 1 medium tomato, diced, 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced, 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped, garlic, minced, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 2 c. water In a large stock pot heat olive oil and add meat. Heat pork until it is fully cooked and browned on all sides. Add all other ingredient to the stock pot. Heat on medium-high until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 38
Handling your Harvest
Depending on the temperature, deer should be dressed, skinned, and cooled within an hour at 60 degrees or higher and within three hours at 30 degrees. Ideally, when a deer is shot, it should be hung by the back feet, skinned, gutted, and placed in a cooler or refrigerator between 32 and 40 degrees for 4 or 5 days before freezing or cooking. Skinning before gutting will prevent a lot of hair from getting stuck to the inside of the body. Avoid spraying cold water on the carcass before it cools down. Cold water will clot blood and prevent proper drainage from tissue. Aging causes a drying and firming up of muscle tissue. The outside sheath material will also dry, making it easier to remove. Since most of the trash and hair that accidentally get on the deer are on this sheath, it can also be removed with the sheath. When weight or time till dressing are a factor, field dress as soon as possible. Avoid using a saw when cutting up your deer. Bone dust is not only hard to wash off, but it will give the meat an odd flavor. Use a fillet knife to disjoint hams and shoulders. Experts also advise de-boning venison before freezing since the bone, although uncut, can also flavor the adjacent meat. This also saves freezer space. Use several layers of freezer paper (not plastic) for wrapping.
Use a meat thermometer to cook meat to proper internal Venison’s low fat, high water content make it extremely susceptible to temperatures (see chart). There are several types of meat thermometers freezer burn. Date packages and use within 8 months of freezing. available, which are easy to use and can be read instantly or remain in Additional tips: meat while it cooks. This helps ensure harmful bacteria are killed and Always wear heavy rubber or latex gloves when field dressing deer. If intestinal contents contact meat, consider the meat contaminated; meat is not overcooked. The color of meat is an unreliable indicator of doneness. cut off and discard affected area. For jerky, steam, boil or roast meat to 165°F using a meat Handle carcasses properly. Cool carcass rapidly in the field (bags thermometer prior to dehydrating. Dry at 130°-140°F until thoroughly of ice can hasten cooling). Age carcass at or below 40°F for no longer dry. Jerky is properly dry when it cracks on bending but doesn’t break. than 5-7 days. Hang birds by feet at less than 40°F for 2-3 days For sausage preparation, keep meat cold (under 40° F) during maximum. grinding process and ensure internal temperature reaches 165°F with Hold meat at or below 40°F at all times. If you don’t plan to meat thermometer during cooking. consume or process meat within 3-5 days, freeze it. Thaw frozen meat only in the refrigerator, never at room temperature Below is an estimate chart of meat yields. Sanitize equipment and work Live Weight Field Dressed yield of meat surfaces often during handling 100 80 45 and processing meat and poultry 150 125 68 with a bleach solution (1 Tbs. 200 160 84 bleach to 1 gallon water).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
39 • Lakecaster • November 2011
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November 2011 • Lakecaster • 40
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