August 2011 Volume 21 Issue 8

Photo Credits: RM Stringer Photography, based on Sam Rayburn

LUNCH SERVED EVERYDAY – 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM Daily Lunch Specials plus Catfish & Chicken Fried Steak Everyday!

500 SOUTH WHEELER (HWY 96 N) • JASPER, TX • 409-381-8688


August 2011 • LAkecAster • 2

3 • Lakecaster • august 2011

Summer Series
Only THREE events with a THREE fish limit per team
June 11 – Sam Rayburn July 9 – Toledo Bend August 6 – Sam Rayburn

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Payback Based on 100 Teams $5,000 12 $600 $2,000 13 $500 $1,500 14 $500 $1,000 15 $500 $1,000 16 $500 $500 $1,000 17 $500 $1,000 18 $1,000 19 $500 $800 20 $500 $800 Big Bass $700 $600

Get even more! Check out the sponsor incentives from Ranger Cup - Cabela’s & Bass N Bucks!

Sam Rayburn Series & Summer Series CHAMPIONSHIP September 17-18 @ Umphrey Pavilion
Dawson Marine


Toledo Bend Series CHAMPIONSHIP September 24-25 @ Fin & Feather

Check our website for Championship Qualifying information (409) 727-8941


Familiar faces win at the Bassmaster Weekend Series
By Jodie Warner/Staff Writer

Saturday, June 25, marked another scorching day and another tournament for the Bassmaster Weekend Series. 64 boats fished the event each containing a boater with a five fish limit and co-angler with a 3 fish limit. The scales, however, saw fewer limits than those with a very successful day. Most of the first stringers brought in were either very small or not up to par with many co-anglers only able to hook one fish and boaters with only three of their five fish limit. The first weigh-in began at around 2:45 pm and continued until around 4 pm while a small crowd watched standing on the scorching pavement under the baking sun. On the co-angler side, Mike Huckman of Hemphill, Texas took an early lead with a 10.33 lbs stringer that held throughout the rest of the day to finally win him the top spot. The second place on the co-anglers side went to Chris Nequent of Buna, Texas with 8.35 lbs. Alton Powell of Marthaville, Louisiana took the third spot with 7.92 lbs. On the boaters side, Kendal Kersh of Nacogdoches, Texas managed to win his second Bassmaster Weekend in a row with a 17.96 lbs stringer toward the end of weigh in barely edging out William Cook of Houston, Texas who weighed in a limit at 17.16 lbs. Chad Wiley of Pineville, Louisiana took third with 14.82 lbs. The battle for Big Bass continued throughout the day with no one able to beat one fish at just under five pounds for the first hour or so; however, the competition soon heated up with the larger stringers arriving and in the end Chris McCall of Jasper, Texas stole the show with a 6.08 lbs bass. Kersh, upon his win said, “…had a small limit, about 12 lbs or so at noon, I had two big ones right off the bat and culled one time but the two big ones I caught early is what really got it for me.” Kersh also said he caught his fish on, “Stanley silvery smokish crawlers.” Huckman of Hemphill said, about his day on the water, “fishing the east side of the South Housen Bay with a Strike King Square Bill 1.5.” He also said the water level wasn’t really an issue. “I caught maybe three on a Zoom bait and culled a few times.” He also said, “I lost maybe two, but they weren’t big time fish… and caught the biggest one around 1:30.” Huckman added, “I caught my limit by about 10:30.” The next Bassmaster Weekend Series event will be on July 23 at Umphrey Pavilion in Sam Rayburn, Texas. For more information

 Mike Huckman started with an early lead that held strong throughout the day to win the co-angler’s first place.

 Chris McCall shows off his fishing skills once again with a Big Bass win


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

17.96 lbs 17.16 lbs 14.82 lbs 14.67 lbs 14.33 lbs

Kendall Kersh William T. Cook Chad Wiley Eric B. Hunt Bill Rogers

6. 7. 8. 9.

13.37 lbs 13.26 lbs 11.26 lbs 11.22 lbs

Mark E. Allen Chris McCall Andrew Upshaw Galen Bennett Mike Atchley

10. 11.18lbs


1. 10.33 lbs Mike Huckman
 Kendall Kersh took home his second Bassmaster Weekend Series win in a row on June 25, 2011.

6. 7.10 lbs Michael D. Greer Jr. 7. 7.03 lbs Thomas E. Martens 8. 7.01 lbs John Rankin 9. 6.65 lbs Duane L. McDaniel 10. 6.39 lbs Larry E. Beauboeufs

2. 8.35 lbs Chris Nequent 3. 7.92 lbs Alton Powell 4. 7.24 lbs Scotty Goins 5. 7.21 lbs Dan Self

5 • Lakecaster • august 2011

September 10th and 11th 2011
Lake Sam Rayburn Cassels Boykin County Park Presented by Kicks 105.1 FM

$10,000 Cash Guaranteed to Winner $21,000 in hourly paybacks
Based on 250 entrants

First 100 online entrants receive a custom Quantum rod Phone: 877.958.8687
Text the keyword rayburn to 99000 for updates


Lake Sam Rayburn shrinking, but a long ways from gone
By Jodie Warner

Lake Sam Rayburn is often times considered the biggest attraction to the East Texas area with plenty of fishing, good eats, and friendly neighbors to boot. It is often the destination of those trying to escape the city life for a weekend or a week; however, this summer has brought about what may end up being the “worst drought in Texas history” and has posed serious issues to Lake Sam Rayburn. Officials, on the other hand, have not gotten completely scared yet, as apparently the original engineers in the 1950s designed and built the launches and lake to compromise with low water levels. The Sam Rayburn Reservoir is located on the Angelina River and spreads over 114,500 acres with a maximum depth of 80 feet. Its main purpose is flood control but also to generate hydroelectric power for many citizens around the area in both Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. It is also known for hosting many bass tournaments throughout the year, totaling

over 300. Currently the Army Corps of Engineers, the entity in charge of the lake and its resources, have closed five boat ramps that enter the lake: Etoile Park, Marion Ferry, Ralph McAllister, Rayburn Park west boat ramp, and Cassels Boykin new boat ramp west 2 lanes, and caution is needed to launch from Mill Creek and Monterey boat ramps. Dennis Decker is the Water Supply Manager for the Lower Neches Valley Authority, he says “the reservoir is being operated for its authorized purposes, recreation is still possible on the 90,000 acres of lake surface area at the present level, the boat ramps installed at the time of construction were paved to elevation… At elevation 149 there is still 70,000 acres of lake surface area and 1.5 million acre-feet in storage…” Decker also stated that he, “doesn’t anticipate meeting or exceeding record lows” this summer and said that the record low was, “August of 1996 with

elevation at 150.75 msl and January of 1989 at 151.11 msl.” On the issue of the saltwater barrier, and its purpose he stated, “the saltwater barrier prevents saltwater from migrating upstream, therefore, water is no longer released for salinity control.” On the subject of down stream flow requirements, Decker stated, “The primary purposes of Sam Rayburn Reservoir are flood control, hydropower generation and water supply. Reservoir releases presently are being made for water supply and hydropower generation. The release serves both purposes i.e., the water needed for municipal, industrial and agricultural purposes is the same water used to generate electricity.” Also, on the impact of the water being released into the lake in comparison to the inches, Decker says, “under present drought conditions inflows into Sam Rayburn Reservoir are averaging about 30% of the cumulative evaporation and release. Evaporation alone accounts for 55% of

the daily reduction in storage with water supply and hydropower generation accounting for the other 45%. In other words, the lake would be falling even if no water was released from the dam.” Decker also added, “As we all suffer through one of the worst droughts in Texas history lets be glad that we have the wonderful resources of Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend to carry us through and thank our forefathers for having the foresight to build them.” The current elevation of Lake Sam Rayburn is at 155.39 msl, not far from the record low and at this time last year the lake was averaging around 161 msl with lows not being reported until the end of the 2010 year. Due to those lows, and lack of steady rainfall in the 2011 year the lake levels have seemed to hold fairly steady in the mid 150 range with the average elevation for the year so far at 156.22 msl. David LaRue a Natural Resource Specialist of the Army Corps of Engineers states, “ … rain, runoff, lake winds, and waves constantly move sand and silt on and around the launch lanes. As silt builds into the launch ramps, the usable launching depth decreases. Siltation builds up at different rates at each location, and can change with the weather. There is no cost effective way to maintain a working depth chart, as it would be changing frequently, and would be incorrect much of the time. As launch ramps become unusable, (and funds become available) the US Army Corps of Engineers, through a regional permit, removes silt and sand from the boat ramps to maintain access to the lake. Of course some ramps, such as Monterey, Marion Ferry and Etoile, have lower water depths and cannot be utilized when the lake level drops. And ‘usable’ is something of a ‘moving target.’ A small boat may easily launch where a twenty-three foot bow rider might bottom out. There are just too many variable to maintain such a database.” LaRue also explains, “The LNVA Salt Water Barrier is a significant partner in conserving water in the Angelina Basin. With the Barrier closed, salt water is prevented from reaching fresh water areas (including potable water for the Beaumont area). Without this barrier, water in Sam Rayburn would have to be released to flush out brackish water and protect the environment. This would require major water releases, which would greatly lower the lake elevation. The LNVA Salt Water Barrier is a critical partner in maintaining water in Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The lake might be dry without it!” He also adds, “Without significant rainfall within


the Angelina watershed, the lake level will continue to drop, largely due to evaporation. Evaporation happens almost every day. How far and how fast that water loss happens is ultimately beyond our control. However, all water releases through the Sam Rayburn Dam are examined and coordinated with the Corps Reservoir Control Section and all the appropriate users. Water is released only when required to meet legitimate needs of all users, including the reservoir. The vast majority of these releases are performed at night, which creates some evaporation reduction as compared to daytime releases.” Reports are showing, however, that 2011 is just making up for the drought-like conditions that began in late 2010 with the precipitation in inches actually being slightly greater so far in 2011 than they were in 2010 comparing 17.93 inches to 14.83 as of July 5. Also hindering the lake this year is the higher temperatures and evaporation levels with water evaporating at an average of .19 inches compared to .18 inches last year. The temperatures are averaging around 3 degrees more for this year at this time than of 2010 with much higher maximums and minimums for the months of May, June, and predictably July. The Army Corps are pumping around 2 million gallons of water during each release to combat against the above conditions of high evaporations from the lake coupled with little rainfall and high temperatures; however so far the results have been that of maintenance, without sets of heavy rain showers throughout the rest of the year it is foreboding to say that Rayburn may meet its lowest mark by the end of the year or next year in 2012. For now, though, the lake is still enjoyable and usable for everyone as the engineers and crafters predicted almost 60 years ago.


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August 2011 • LAkecAster • 8


Skinny water and big sacks at Bass N Bucks Toledo Bend Series Finale Dyess & Crawford win with over 30 pounds!
By Patty Lenderman / Lakecaster

The fifth and final Toledo Bend Series tournament was hot and the weigh in was exciting. Big weights were seen from start to finish at Cypress Bend Marina June 25, 2011. Five sacks over 20 pounds were registered, with the winning sack going over the 30 pound mark. When Dyess & Crawford put their creel on the scales – it was an impressive 30.86 lbs to take the win for an $8,000 payday. Anglers of the Year were also determined with all five events now in the books. It was a hot, windy day and trailering was allowed for the 104 teams who entered this last event in the 2011 Toledo Bend Series. Recent much needed rains in the area helped the grass grow and get the ground vegetation a little less crispy, but did little to the lake level on Toledo Bend. It is still hovering right around the 163’ mark, with normal pool being 172’. The record low for Toledo Bend was set in 2006 at 162.08 msl. With shorelines receding, some could argue that it is almost like catching fish in a bathtub. In a small lake, maybe. It is still Toledo Bend – the largest lake in the south and the 5th largest man-made water body in the United States. Skill is still required to get those big bass on the end of your line! Several big sacks over 20 pounds had already been registered when Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford heaved their catch to the weigh in line. All eyes were on them as they approached the scales. First they had to choose which bass to weigh to try for big bass of the day. That wasn’t easy, as they had three in the 7 pound range. Their biggest registered at 7.18 lbs, then adding the rest to the scales their limit weighed 30.86 lbs, taking the final win. “We had a good day!” the team agreed. Targeting creek bends with tree tops in 10’-20’ depths, they used big 10” worms, both Carolina and Texas rigged. “We had a decent limit early, about 20 pounds. Between 11:00-11:30 is when it got interesting.” That’s when they caught their seven pound triplets. “That was it for us. It just shut down after 12:00. Thank God we didn’t lose any.” They hit a total of four spots and caught fish in all four areas. Bass N Bucks rewarded the winners with the guaranteed 1st place check for $8,000. Robert More & Richard Stephens had been among the first to weigh and held the lead until nearly the end with their 26.29 lb limit. “We hit deep ledges, around 30’ with Bass Kandi Speed Bugs and a prototype crank bait from 6th Sense Lures.” The first fish they put in their livewell weighed 7.42 lbs. By 10am they had a limit put together weighing around 20 pounds. Trying different baits, they also used Bass Kandi trailers on Cyclone jigs, Texas rigged worms and some Bass Kandi jigs. “The fish bit pretty good all day. We culled a few times, the last cull around 2pm.” They received the 2nd place guaranteed check for $4,000. They would like to thank Scotties Taxidermy, Bass Kandi baits and 6th Sense Lures.

 Ever wonder what a 30 pound stringer looks like? Well here it is, all 30.86 lbs of it caught by 1st place winners Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford

Glen Freeman had to go it alone this tournament, as partner Harold Allen had previous engagements. “I started deep and stayed deep all day,” he explained. “By 7am I had a 17 or 18 pound limit. I probably caught 30-35 keepers today in up to 25’ of water.” He exclusively used Texas rigged Yum and Ouzo worms. “I culled 7 or 8 times just by ounces.” He received a check for $3,000 for his 3rd place finish and would like to thank God, Nichols Marine, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Lowrance, Yum, Ouzo and Seaguar line. It was a close race for the $1,000 Big Bass check with four bass over 7 pounds in contention. Randy Patin

 Robert More and Richard Stephens held the lead until nearly the end, ultimately winning 2nd place for their 26.29 lb catch

 Glen Freeman had to take on the pack by himself, catching 23.70 lbs to win 3rd place overall


and Scotty Reynolds won it for their 7.88 lb catch. Bass N Bucks 2011 Sponsors added even more to the paybacks anglers enjoyed. Cabela’s Bonus - $250 Chad Dyess Dawson Bonus - $200 John Lemaire Congratulations to Bass N Bucks Toledo Series 2011 Anglers of the Year Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford. Their consistency has earned them top rankings in the points standings to achieve this prestigious title. With the tough field of contenders, this is no small feat. The reward is for their 2012 Toledo Bend Series entries to be waived. The Bass N Bucks Summer Series is already underway. It only consists of THREE tournaments, with a THREE fish limit per team. Bass N Bucks will be back on Toledo Bend for the second in the series July 9, then wrapping it up August 6 on Sam Rayburn. All Bass N Bucks tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish. Even if you are not trying to qualify to fish the championship, you can still fish for your chance to win some big money! The top 20 teams by points from the Summer Series that did not previously qualify from the Rayburn Series will advance to the 2011 Sam Rayburn Championship. The Championship winner will receive a brand new Ranger Z120 powered by a Yamaha 225 VMAX hpdi! It will be a two day event on Sam Rayburn September 17-18. For more information please visit or call 409-727-8941. Special thanks to Bass N Bucks 2011 sponsors: Ranger – Yamaha – Cabela’s – Premier Yamaha Marine - 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

 Of all the 7 pounders registered at the scales, Randy Patin caught the biggest at 7.88 lbs, winning $1,000 for that single catch

 In addition to his 1st place winnings, Chad Dyess enjoyed another $250 from Cabela’s

TOP TEAMS: TOP TEAMS: Joe Setina & Lamonte Loyd 1st $8,000 30.86 lbs 6th $500 18.77 lbs Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford Oscar Langele & Sean Langele 2nd $4,000 26.29 lbs 7th $500 18.30 lbs Robert More & Richard Stephens David Fox & Anthony Clemens 3rd $3,000 23.20 lbs 9th $500 17.91 lbs Glen Freeman Charles Bebber & Keith Caka 4th $700 21.71 lbs 10th $500 17.53 lbs Steve Delia & Kevin Cooley Scott Westerchil & Lee Brown 5th $650 21.42 lbs …..and last in the money…. 14th $500 16.68 lbs Scooter Clark & Ryan Pinkston Big Bass $1,000 7.88 lbs Randy Patin & Scotty Reynolds

 John Lemaire won $200 with the Dawson/Premier Yamaha Marine Bonus


Villis P. Dowden Gladys Dowden Villis Dowden, Jr. Eason Dowden Dayna Yeldell 318-256-0585 409-625-4909 318-256-0557 12275 Texas Hwy. Many, LA 71449  Congratulations to the Toledo Bend Series Finale top teams: (1st) Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford; (2nd) Robert More & Richard Stephens; (3rd) Glen Freeman; (Big Bass) Randy Patin & Scotty Reynolds




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11 • Lakecaster • august 2011

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Specs: EG-112 2-3/4”, 1/2 oz EG-112B 3-1/8”, 3/4 oz

August 2011 • LAkecAster • 12

Crappie Confusion
By Dan Ashe, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

A lot of folks may not realize that there are two different species of crappie in our lakes - white and black. When out doing creel surveys I find that when I ask crappie fishermen if they had caught white or black crappie most folks will say white if they’re guessing. I figure fishermen tell me they have caught white crappie because they have grown up calling crappie “white perch”. White and black crappie has similar life histories. Both species attain similar sizes through comparable growth rates with crappie in our area reaching legal size (10’’) in about 2 years. Crappie spawn in the spring when water temperatures begin approaching about 65o which is usually sometime in late March for us here. Crappie spawning technique is similar to that of bass, with spawning nests built in shallow protected areas such as coves and defended by the male. Females will spawn several times over the course of the spawning season laying anywhere from 10,000 to about 150,000 eggs depending on their age and size. Crappie will live to be about 10 years old if all goes well for them. Crappie were originally found from central North America east of the Rocky Mountains, but have since been stocked extensively throughout the country. White crappie is most often found in lakes that are muddy or turbid. Some white crappie from very muddy lakes may be quite white in color,

but most have blotchy vertical bars along their sides. During the spawn these blotchy bars will usually become darker as most fish will exhibit pronounced coloration when spawning. Black crappie are found in lakes that have clearer water. Black crappie are blotchy all over its body without the distinct vertical bars that white crappie have. In lakes like Sam Rayburn that has both muddy and clearer water on opposite ends of the lake you can observe a separation of the species. In Sam Rayburn I usually observe more white crappie above the Highway 147 Bridge and more black crappie below it in the clearer water of the lake. Many crappie fishermen have seen black crappie with a black stripe on its back. These fish are sometimes called black nose or Mohawk crappie. I remember even reading an article awhile back that referred to these fish as an entirely different species. These fish are black crappie that simply has a genetic trait that produces this black stripe. Interestingly biologists originally believed this trait was recessive but it is now known that it is in fact a dominant genetic trait. I’ve heard a lot of fishermen say that fish with the black stripe are males, but this trait is expressed evenly in both males and females in a population and will be exhibited in about 30% of all the fish.

To further confuse things crappie will hybridize, or in other words white and black crappie will sometimes spawn with one another. Reasons for fish hybridizing are often due to similar species unable to identify a mate in turbid water having similar overlapping spawning times and patterns. Usually first generation hybrids exhibit superior growth and this has been the observed case for hybrid crappie. People smarter than myself have determined that for first generation hybrid crappie there is no rhyme or reason as to which species (white or black crappie) is the mother or father. However, for subsequent generations of hybrid crappie they have been found to more often than not mate with black crappie. Crappie is the second most sought after fish only with black bass being more popular on Sam Rayburn. Last year on Sam Rayburn fishermen spent between 10-15% of the total fishing time or about 40,500 hours fishing for crappie catching nearly three fish per hour. Through our creel surveys we estimated that about 90,000 crappie (both black and white) were caught and harvested on Sam Rayburn. 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 or call me at 409-384-9572. Good Luck and Good Fishing!

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13 • Lakecaster • august 2011


30 Years Experience Fishing Toledo Bend

Welcome Bass Anglers To Toledo Bend!
SOUTH OBRIE ST. ZWOLLE, LA 71486 645-6191 175 SAN ANTONIO MANY, LA 71449 256-9256 TOLEDO TOWN HWY. 6 256-0928



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V&M/Cyclone Tournament Trail Championship - Oct 22nd & 23rd Moved to Big Bass Marina, Toledo Bend Over $50,000 in Cash & Prizes 1st place will receive a new Skeeter boat powered by Yamaha

We would like to thank all of the anglers who participated with us in our tournament trail this year. I hope everyone had fun and found some new V&M/Cyclone baits as essential pieces of their tackle arsenal. We would also like to thank all of the tackle stores that helped promote the baits and events. – Ken Starks, President / Bayou Outdoors, Inc. Thank you to these fine retailers: (Sam Rayburn) Needmore Tackle, Sportsman’s Cove, Tri Lakes Tackle (Toledo Bend) Toledo Tackle, Hometown Tackle, Fin & Feather Resort, Tid Bits & Tackle, Big Bass Maria

Beautiful Resort We have everything you need for a relaxing get-a-way Conveniently located Swimming Pool just south of Cypress Bend Restaurant Pavilion Make YOUR reservation today! Cabins Full RV Hook Ups (318) 586-4721 Covered Boat Stalls No problem launching to 158 Deep Boat Ramp Guide Service 363 Big Bass Lane – Many, LA Tackle Store New Owner Ken Starks welcomes you!

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State of the Union address for Toledo Bend
By Patty Lenderman / Lakecaster

When the lakes we so enjoy get drastically low, it affects us all. It makes us squirm and point fingers in blame and dream up reasons why. While the rumor mill can be entertaining at times, the facts are much more appreciated. Toledo Bend Reservoir is a shared lake between Texas and Louisiana. From the dam site, which is north of Burkeville, TX, the reservoir extends up the river for about 65 miles to Logansport, LA, and inundates land in Sabine, Shelby, Panola and Newton Counties, Texas, and Sabine and DeSoto Parishes, Louisiana. Toledo Bend Reservoir is the largest lake in the South, and the fifth largest man-made water body in the country. It is controlled by a joint management project of Texas and Louisiana Sabine River Authorities. The Toledo Bend Project was constructed primarily for the purposes of water supply, hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. The water, normally covering an area of 186,000 acres and has a controlled storage capacity of 4,477,000 acre feet. Toledo Bend lake levels: Normal pool – 172’ msl Current level (as of 7/05/11) 162.96 msl Record Low – October 16, 2006 – 161.25 msl In the summer (2-weeks after Labor Day) of 2010, a scheduled draw down commenced for necessary repairs to the dam. It was taken to a level of 165-feet msl and completed in September. While the power house has the capabilities to generate electricity to162-feet msl, a conglomerative agreement between both SRA’s, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), their governing authority, the utility companies that procure power from the generators at the dam and the general community, routine power generation ceases at 168’. “We have generated only to provide for downstream flows since the drawdown,” stated Jim Pratt, Project Manager for the Louisiana SRA.“Per our contract, we have to pay the utility companies to derive their power from alternate sources when we do not provide it. Low lake levels costs us money too.”

U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook

Drought Tendency During the Valid Period

Valid June 16, 2011 - September 30, 2011 Released June 16, 2011

No Drought Posted/Predicted

Some Improvement Persistence Some Improvement


Improvement Improvement
No Drought Posted/Predicted
Depicts large-scale trends based on subjectively derived probabilities guided by short- and long-range statistical and dynamical forecasts. Short-term events -- such as individual storms -- cannot be accurately forecast more than a few days in advance. Use caution for applications -- such as crops -- that can be affected by such events. "Ongoing" drought areas are approximated from the Drought Monitor (D1 to D4 intensity). For weekly drought updates, see the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. NOTE: the green improvement areas imply at least a 1-category improvement in the Drought Monitor intensity levels, but do not necessarily imply drought elimination.

Drought to persist or intensify Drought ongoing, some improvement Drought likely to improve, impacts ease Drought development likely

The purposes of Toledo Bend and its water is very diverse. Recreationally, many anglers, water warriors, divers and campers come to enjoy the beauty, bounty and serenity it has to offer. Stores, marina’s, restaurants all benefit from the people who come to visit the lake. Managing the lake itself also has many aspects to it. Municipalities depend on the water source for their towns and residents. Industries buy water for their cooling needs. Farmers require water for irrigation. Also, the river itself which spills into the Gulf of Mexico has to have a minimum flow flow in order to minimize saltwater intrusion backing up into the river to maintain the eco system in those areas. “There are USGS gauges downstream in the Sabine River that monitors river flow flow that determines how much water needs to be released to maintain minimum flow. flow. At the spillway, which dumps out into the Toro Bayou, the pipe continually releases 144 cubic feet per second of water. Also,

whenever the generators are not in operation, there is minor leakage that flows thru the powerhouse into the Sabine River. There is a minor leakage at the power house flowing into the Sabine River. Currently, we must run one generator for 2 ½ hours every other day to maintain minimum flow requirements. The impact for the month of May was approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Evaporation is also contributing to the falling lake level due to wind and temperatures.” So how low will it go? The long-term drought forecast doesn’t look good. According to the Department of Commerce, the seasonal drought prediction for our area is forecast to persist or intensify through September 30, 2011. “I fully anticipate seeing a new record low level this year” stated Jim Pratt. This is how short we are on rainfall totals: January – April – March June Normal Average 13.20” 14.60” 2010 9.2–4” 5.01” (-3.96”) (-9.59”) 2011 8.60” 9.33” (-4.60”) (-5.27”) July – Sept 11.50” 7.38” (-4.12”) Oct December 13.50” 8.82” (-4.68”)

15 • Lakecaster • august 2011

In an 18 month period of time, the rainfall deficit total is a devastating 32.22 inches. Lake access is getting increasingly difficult. However, both the Texas and Louisiana River Authorities utilized the opportunity during the last record lows in 2006 to improve and extend several public boat ramps, and many private businesses improved theirs as well. Where to launch: Louisiana To Level 162.5’ 162’ 162’ 162’ 162’ 162’ 162’ Location S. Toledo State Park Pirates Cove Bass Haven Resort Turtle Beach Lodge Lanan Landing Driftwood Motel San Miguel To Level 162’ 162’ 160’ 160’ 159’ 157’ Location Oak Ridge Pleasure Point Launch Tranquility Bay Big Bass Marina Cypress Bend Toledo Resort

Texas To Level 163’ 163’ 163’ 162.95’ 162.95’ 162.69’ 162.69’ 161.50’ 161.25’ 161.25’

Location Logansport City Ramp Lowes Creek Park Six Mile Marina Fin & Feather Lodge Mid Lake Campground Alpine Marina Paradise Point Newell’s Fishing World Indian Mounds Camping Pendleton Harbor Marina

To Level 161.25’ 161’ 161’ 161’ 161’ 160.50’ 160’ 158’

Location Indian Mounds Huxley Bay Marina Holly Park Haley’s Ferry Six Mile East Hamilton Swede Johnson Rec - Site 1 Sam Forse Collins Rec-Site 7

The bottom line is that every single party interested in Toledo Bend and its varied uses is praying for rain. We all need to – every single day.

See weekly reportS online at

A map of all boat ramps on Toledo Bend, provided by the Sabine River Authority, can be found on

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Castledine & Bonds win BL Premier Series Finale.
by Patty Lenderman

Summer fishing tournaments are hot, but so is the action. The Sam Rayburn Bud Light Tour wrapped up the Premier Division June 26, 2011 at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. Several teams brought in five fish limits tickling the 20 pound mark but Todd Castledine and Jason Bonds took 1st place with a 20.90 lb limit. Castledine and Bonds fished Strike Pro lures all day for their winning limit. “Two of our keepers came on a new Strike Pro wake bait, the rest on a Strike Pro prototype.” Reporting catching around 50 fish throughout the day, the team focused on areas with pepper grass. “We moved around a lot, hitting several spots, but they all had the pepper grass in common.” Their last cull was to exchange a 3.7 lb bass for a 3.9 lb. Each cull provided them with needed ounces to total 20.90 lbs and a 1st place win. The team would like to thank their sponsors: Strike Pro Lures, Legend Boats, Mercury, Power Pole, Hummin Bird, Hydro Wave, Kicker Fish, Combat Lures, Strike Wire, Todd’s wife and Jason’s girlfriend, and especially the Lord. Glen Freeman and Jeff Rice achieved a 2nd place finish with 20.18 lbs, anchored by a 6.97 lb kicker. Their day began with small fish in the morning, graduating to bigger fish in the afternoon. “We caught a few shallow, but most of them were in deeper water at the end of ridges.” They used a variety of Yum plastics as well as jigs for their creel. “We hit seven or eight spots, and made our last cull around 2:00.” They won Big Bass honors with their kicker fish as well. Glen is thankful to God for always being with him, as well as his sponsors: Nichols Marine, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Lowrance, Yum, Ouzo and Seagar. Vic Cooper and Jason Wells had a challenging day. “It started out fine. We put three good bass in the boat within the first 15 minutes. We were fishing topwater lures over hydrilla beds. Then we dropped our lower unit, and didn’t do any more fishing until noon.” They had to get their boat back to the ramp and loaded, then find another boat to borrow. “Once we got back out on the lake, we wrapped up our limit using crank baits.” They ended up with a 19.51 lb total winning 3rd place overall. Their sponsors include: Neuville Stone, Town & Country Marine and Tri Lakes Tackle. Wrapping up the top 5, Chris Wilkerson and Ricky Guy won 4th place with 19.12 lbs, followed by Clayton Boulware and Chris McCall with 17.70 lbs. Now that all five tournaments are in the books, the points have been tallied, Glen Freeman and Jeff Rice earned Anglers of the Year title with 98.26 points, just staying ahead of runners up Clayton Boulware and Chris McCall having 98.21 points. This division qualifies to participate in all four 2011 Region Championships by the Bud Light Tour.

 These five fish added up to a 1st place win for Jason Bonds and Todd Castledine

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 Glen Freeman and Jeff Rice won 2nd place with their 20.18 lb limit, as well as Big Bass with their 6.97 lb kicker.

 Overcoming a challenging day, Vic Cooper and Jason Wells came out in 3rd place with 19.51 lbs

17 • Lakecaster • august 2011

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How drought conditions are affecting Martin Dies State Park
By GEORGIA PURDY, Newsboy Correspondent

On a recent already-hot morning, a couple comes to the headquarters of Martin Dies, Jr., State Park wanting to rent a canoe, but Superintendent David Weeks offers to rent them a bicycle instead because the weather report indicates gusty winds. Wind and sustained high temperatures are having the biggest impact on the park in what has officially become the third worst drought in Texas history, according to the office of the state climatologist at Texas A&M University. “Windy conditions are affecting canoe rentals,” Weeks said. “With constant winds of 9-10 miles per hour and gusts of 15-20 mph on the lake, it isn’t safe. That, of course, impacts visitors who come to paddle and also impacts revenue.” Winds have also made tent camping difficult in open areas, Weeks said, and campers have even been seen trying to secure their tents to vehicles. “Sometimes the tents get away and they look like tumbleweeds blowing across the park,” he said. In addition, extreme heat is effecting both visitors and staff. “Campers are still coming but they aren’t staying as long. Where they may have stayed a week in the past, they are cutting it to a couple of days because it is so hot. We are reminding our visitors to drink plenty of fluids and to rest. We are also tying to keep our rangers hydrated, so we are scheduling much of our work in the morning.” Despite drought

conditions, Steinhagen Lake is full and visitation at the park continues to be high. “B.A. Steinhagen is at full-pool level. The Corps is keeping the lake full and our water quality is good. We have no issues with that,” Weeks said. “The LVNA hasn’t called for any release of water above normal. If we don’t get rain, we do expect to be lower later in the summer. Typically, we are lower in August.” The lake also has less vegetation than it has in a long time, due to ongoing applications of herbicides used to control invasive species. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Todd Driscoll, Toledo Bend is in the Sabine River basin, so water level there has no bearing on water level at Sam Rayburn and B.A. Steinhagen (both in Neches River basin). “Steinhagen is in close proximity to and downstream from Sam Rayburn,” Driscoll said. “Water releases from Sam Rayburn flow directly into Steinhagen. Water releases from Sam Rayburn are for hydropower production and for municipal, agricultural, and industrial uses in the lower Neches River (Jefferson, Chambers, and Liberty counties via LNVA pump/canal system). Steinhagen is a relatively shallow reservoir, lacking the water storage volume of larger, deeper reservoirs. Frequent water releases from Sam Rayburn maintain the Steinhagen water level at full or near full all year. The only exception would be if the USACE intentionally lowers Steinhagen for dam/

turbine repair or for aquatic vegetation control.” One of the biggest reasons visitation has remained strong at Martin Dies, Jr., State Park, Weeks said, is because it is a family-oriented destination. “We are a family-oriented park. We have programs we offer year after year, so we have families who plan their vacations around those activities; and families who have come here for generations. In the fall, we have a number of family reunions. People rent the dining hall and also camp out.” The park’s interpretive programs also keep visitors coming. “Our interpretive programs have always been a big draw,” Weeks said. “We use those to educate kids. While there are other Texas parks with programs, they don’t all offer the number and variety we do. Katherine does an excellent job. A lot of our visitors come because of those programs.” Weeks is referring to naturalist interpreter Katherine Crippens who plans and conducts a wide range of programs geared to both children and adults. Attendance for the last quarter shows 2,954 persons participated in programs such as guided hikes, canoe trips, educational programs at the nature center, Easter activities, a dutch-oven cooking demonstration, and a special presentation by Bevil’s Rangers, a reinactment group whose focus in on Texas pioneer life in the 1840s. High gasoline prices have affected visitation at parks across the state, but Weeks expects local numbers to be good through the Fourth of July. “We have a Fourth of July program scheduled for July 2, and expect good participation for that,” he said. “Visitation will drop off after that as it usually does in the hot part of summer, and then pick back after Labor Day. Gasoline prices have affected visitation across the state and we have seen some decline since Memorial Day weekend.” Despite good visitation numbers, the threat of fire is uppermost in Weeks’ mind. The drought has caused numerous wildfires across the state, including Southeast Texas, and Jasper County is currently under a burn ban. “Our biggest danger right now is fire,” he said. “An example is the fire near Sandy Creek Park that burned over 500 acres. We had to evacuate the Hen House Ridge Unit because of the smoke and threat of fire spreading into the park. We aren’t allowing any campfires or open flames of any sort, like tiki torches. People can use camp stoves or charcoal for cooking only, and we are reminding everyone to be careful with any kind of fire.”

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How is the deer population looking this year? You do the math!
By Robert Baker, TPWD

How is the deer population looking this year? That is a question that I hear quite often. The best way to get the answer is to do a survey on the particular piece of property. There are many methods to use, but this article will discuss some of the most popular for East Texas. Deer surveys are generally done in late summer (2nd half of July – 1st half of September). This time of year is chosen for good reason. The survey is being conducted after the most stressful time on deer in East Texas has occurred. Fawns are big enough to be moving around, but still small enough to be easily identified. This is close to the start of hunting season and gives the best picture of what is available to be harvested. The most common method in East Texas is the spotlight count. This method uses a vehicle with a driver and 2 people to shine for deer counting how many are seen. Visibility (right angle distances on each side of the vehicle in yards of how far the observer could see a deer) is taken every tenth of a mile. These distances for the left and right

side of the vehicle are added up, and put into the following formula. Total yards of visibility/number of times visibility was taken X number of miles driven X 1,760 yards per mile/ 4840 square yards per acre = acres of visibility. Once the visibility is known, simply divide the visibility by the number of deer seen. Healthy deer herds in East Texas should be around 20 to 25 acres per deer. Stand counts are another popular method. This method requires the observer to sit in a deer stand for a given period of time (usually a couple of hours) writing down deer seen by category (buck, doe, fawn, unknown). While in the stand the visibility is estimated using measurements of length and width (of the area seen from the stand) to determine area surveyed. From this data acres per deer can be calculated and extrapolated to the entire area. Camera surveys are becoming more common now that trail cameras are becoming more affordable. A complete set of guidelines can be found in a publication titled surveying

white-tailed deer populations using infrared-triggered cameras (www. under the publications tab on the top of the page). This method estimates the number of individual bucks and then uses the buck to doe ratio (determined from pictures) to estimate herd size. A camera needs to be placed over bait for every 100 to 150 acres of area to be surveyed. Deer surveys should be run multiple times each year so that results can be averaged to get a better picture. Keep in mind that all surveys of deer populations are not good for a “stand alone” count. They are best used to determine trends over several years. By conducting deer surveys as part of your deer management you can gain a better understanding of what the deer herd is doing on your property or lease. It does not take much time or effort and can go a long way towards improving the data used to make decisions. For more information visit or visit your local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department office.

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21 • Lakecaster • august 2011

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Ron Risenhoover & Charles Ford set new A/O Record
By Bill & Barbara Long

Anglers Quest Rayburn Saturday 2nd Series # 2

July 9, 2011 - Anglers Quest 2011 Sam Rayburn Saturday 2nd Series # 2 out of The Umphrey  Ron Risenhoover and Pavilion in Sam Rayburn, TX began this event with 76 teamed anglers showing up to fish for Charles Ford finished in the $5000.00 purse. Any team that finishes in the top 10 in points will qualify for the 2-day Sam 1st with their best 5 bass Rayburn Team Championship. The top team in points in the 1st Series, Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo that tipped the scales were declared the team “Anglers of the Year” and will be awarded free entries to all 2012 Rayburn at an A/Q record setting Saturday Series events. The teams entering all 8 Rayburn Saturday 1st & 2nd series events will 32.21 lbs. They had their 5 bass limit in the boat by automatically qualify for all 4 of the Lake Series 2-day Championships. Any team qualifying for any 9:30 am. A/Q Championship will be allowed to enter the “Tournament of Champions” on November 19-20 at Lake Palestine. This event was started as a trailering event at 5:55 am. Sam Rayburn water was in good shape and 8.83 feet below normal pool level with water temps running 86-88 degrees. The weather at takeoff was a calm 78 degrees with a warming to 101 degrees by weigh in time. The fish catching was very good on Big Sam today as there were 21 limits brought to the scales, for a total of 123 bass at 364.99 lbs making the average bass brought to the scales today weigh 2.96 lbs. The team of Ron Risenhoover from Lufkin, TX & Charles Ford from Sam Rayburn, TX ran their Champion/ Mercury bass rig to the mouth of Veach Basin out on the main lake point drops into 30-35 ft of water to catch their bass with their Castaway rods & Academy reels tipped with Texas rigged Bass Kandi RedBug wacky worms. They finished in 1st with their best 5 bass that tipped the scales at an A/Q record setting 32.21 lbs. They had their 5 bass limit in the boat by 9:30 am. Ron & Charles also had the Big Bass of the event in their bag at 8.81 lbs. Their day on the lake paid back $1880.00 for their efforts. The winning record setting team wanted to thank all of their sponsors for the help that they receive from…Pepsi Cola, Bass Kandi, Performance Marine Propellers, check for $750.00. The team of Todd Castledine & Jason Bonds finished in 4th with 18.20 lbs and took home Interstate Batteries, Daiichi Hooks, Castaway, Stanley jigs and Ouzo Baits. finished $500.00. Michael Doggett & Darrell Proffitt finished in 5th with 17.88 lbs and they took home $300.00 for their The team of Bob & Andy Vote from Kingwood, TX ran their bass rig to various main lake areas to catch their efforts. Cort Weston & Donnie Smith finished in 6th with 15.96 lbs and took home $250.00 for their efforts. bass throwing frogs & Texas rigged worms in and around grass & lily pads to finish in 2nd with their best 5 Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo finished in 7th with 15.58 lbs and took home $200.00. bass that tipped the scales at 23.98 lbs. They had a limit in the boat early and then culled several more times The entire results from this and all A/Q events put on by Anglers Quest can be viewed at throughout the day. Bob & Andy had a nice 6.92 lb kicker in their bag. Their day on the lake paid back $935.00 for their efforts. A/Q would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors who offer the Incentive Bonus dollars for our anglers The team of Bill Rogers & Ray Livingston from Jasper, TX finished in 3rd with 19.94 lbs. They took home a  Bob & Andy Vote finished in 2nd with their best 5 bass that tipped the scales at 23.98 lbs.

 Bill Rogers & Ray Livingston from Jasper, TX finished in 3rd with 19.94 lbs.


in the Anglers Quest Tournament Trail, Bowden Marine, T/A Lure Xtractor, Lock-N-Haul Transom Saver, and PAA membership bonus. Please read the qualifications for these great incentives on our Anglers Quest website. Anglers Quest will be at Lake Houston Marina on Lake Houston on July 12th for the 16th of 23 Tuesday night events. Anglers Quest will be at El Dorado Jack’s on Lake Conroe on July 16th for the 2nd event of the 2nd series of the Saturday Series. On July 19th A/Q will be back on Lake Houston for the 17th of 23 Tuesday night events. Then on July 23rd & 24th A/Q will be at Kickapoo Bait & Tackle on Lake Livingston for the 2nd events of the 2nd Series Saturday & Individual events. On July 26th A/Q will be back on Lake Houston for the 18th of 23 Tuesday night events. Then on July 30th & 31st A/Q will be on Lake Houston for the 2nd of the (3) 2nd Series Saturday Team & Individual events. Anglers Quest is now accepting Credit Cards. Call Mr. Bill or Barbara Long at 281-852-8842 for any information or entry. Anglers Quest suggest the use of these sponsors products & services: American Rodsmiths, Antex Roofing, Automated Mailing Solutions, Bill Lewis Lures, Bowden Marine Sales & Service, Buster McNuttys, 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, Lake Palestine Area Chamber/Tourism, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, Lone Star Buffet, MSD Building Corporation, 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 Farms. God Bless & Good Fishing to All……  Ron Risenhoover & Charles Ford had the Big Bass of the event in their bag which was a nice 8.81 pounder.

 Todd Castledine & Jason Bonds finished in 4th with 18.20 lbs.

 Michael Doggett & Darrell Proffitt finished in 5th with 17.88 lbs and they took home $300.00 for their efforts.

 Top teams in the Anglers Quest Team Sam Rayburn Saturday 2nd Series # 2 event.

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August 2011 • LAkecAster • 24

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Jackson Hill’s Outdoor Freedom Program Hosts Military Families for the July 4th Holiday
Freedom isn’t Free, however for two Military Families their Holiday leave was made extra special with a free stay at the lake. PFC Cody Worry serving in the US Army and his family were the first Military guests to stay at Jackson Hill’s new Freedom Lodge. Cindy and Joe Worry of San Augustine were excited to show Cody the stars and stripes decorated lodge. “Cody was so happy when we told him that we were going to stay at the new lodge”. “He was able stay and play with his whole family and that really meant a lot to him” Cindy reported. “Cody grew up fishing with his father who was disabled in an automobile accident in 1992 so to be able to be here where they can spend time fishing on the boat slips has been wonderful” she added. Cody is a graduate of San Augustine High School and did his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He is currently stationed at Fort Irwin, California as an E4 Specialist assigned to an A-1 Abrams Tank crew as a loader. Cody’s short term goal is to transfer to Fort Hood as a Tank Gunner and to then be deployed in the Middle East. Brett and Brittney Losier currently serving our Country in The US Navy were totally surprised and delighted when they were told that their Holiday stay was free at Jackson Hill. “We are both stationed in California and we can tell you that you do not get this kind of treatment there”. “We are so happy to be back in Texas and thank everyone for their encouragement and expressions of appreciation, it really means so much to both of us”. July 4th was also the official announcement of Outdoor Freedom’s Military fund raising fishing tournament “Patriot’s Challenge” It will be an open Military tournament were each team must represent one branch of service. The two day event will be open to everyone who has taken the oath to protect our Country and Defend the Constitution of The United States of America. Each team must represent one branch of service and prizes will be awarded for the top Military Team as well as Big Bass and Exact Weight Bass cash awards. There will also be several random drawings for premium prizes for participants. “We are encouraging all VFW and American legion posts as well as Veterans who like to fish and want to show their support for our Military members past and present to join us” said Tournament Director Terry Sympson of Jackson Hill Marina. Additional information can be found by calling 936-872-9266 and will also be available at www. by July 15th. Anyone interested in helping are encouraged to Contact Terry Sympson at Jackson Hill Marina or email

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Advanced Financial Sam Rayburn Tournament Schedule texas Hunting & EVERY THURSDAY 5-8 PM - JACKPOT TOURNAMENT AT PUBLIC BOAT RAMP Services Fishing Licences
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Hunter Safety Course offered A Hunter Safety Course has been scheduled for August 13 & 14 The course will be conducted at the Peachtree Baptist Church located on FM 254 in Jasper, TX. Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course. Each participant must be at least 9 years of age and each person has to make a grade of at least 70 on the final exam. The course will start at 9am on the 13th and over at 6pm. The course will cost $25.00 per person. The lunch on Saturday will be provided and the drinks during breaks. If you provide your own lunch and drinks the cost is $15.00. Please call 409-384-3568 and leave a message to register or call 409-594-8071. The course will be conducted by Kenneth Moorhead and Justin Eddins. From Hwy 63, turn East on FM 254. A sign will be on the corner.

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27 • Lakecaster • august 2011

Fishing Forecast
August 2011 and the heat is on here on “Big Sam” with plenty of summer fun for everyone. A few words of wisdom, “Big Sam” has been low for some time and needs a lot of rain to bring it back up to normal pool. With that Lynn Atkinson said; there are a lot of sand bars and cell 979-220-0251 areas of shallow water to watch out Reel Um N Guide for. June found Sam Rayburn over 9 Service, ft low. Without a doubt we will see it dropping even more in the next few months if we don’t get some slow, soaking rains. That’s not all bad news. There is still a lot of water to play and fish in. For the folks that like to walk the shorelines and look at all the cover and things that are usually below the water it can be loads of fun. It’s a great time to explore the lake and see things that only the fish normally get to look at. When the water comes back up and all that new vegetation goes under it could turn into Bass Heaven. Those bass should take to the new vegetation and begin to feed. This low water problem could become the start of even more awesome fishin’ here on “Big Sam”. Fishing on Sam Rayburn can be hot in August with an early topwater bite. Lots of baits come to mind but the Stanley Ribbit is one that stays on top of my list. I enjoy throwing it into that thick stuff and pulling it across slowly and waiting to have some Monster Bass try to take it away from me. It can be heart pounding when they blow up on it. Now here are some more oldies that have proved their catching ability over the years. Buzz bait, Pop-Rs and Spook Jr. These oldies have caught fish all over the world and still are favorites with many fishermen. Something new on the scene and that has shown me that it works is the Hunchback by Strike Pro. It’s got a great wobble and sound that drives bass wild when worked around the grass edges. Work it around the open pockets around the thick stuff where the bass are hiding out. These are also good to catch some of the schoolies that will be out chasing shad off the main lake points and humps. These schoolies can be a lot of fun for everyone and can sometimes save a hard day on the lake when the bass have lock jaw. The crank bait and spinner bait will be good around the grass edges and off the points early and late and you can cover lots of water looking for active fish. Look for some bass to hang out off the long points and ledges in 8 to 20 ft of water for the summer. That’s where you switch over to Carolina or Texas rigs and do a lot of dragging. Let’s not forget the Stanley football jig as it’s a great tool to catch some big fish all year. Crappie will be out around most of the stumps this time of year. Moving from stump to stump can put some nice slabs in the boat. The 147 bridge will still put out some nice fish and you can stay in the shade most of the day. Crappie fishing this time of year can be a lot of fun for everyone as you catch everything from Catfish, Bass and Perch out there. Grab the kids, come on and enjoy the great outdoors. I have a pontoon boat to handle up to 8 anglers with plenty of shade.

Lake level information updated daily at Lake level as of 07/27/11 (154.28) Normal pool level (164.40’) For lake level updates and generation schedules, call 409-384-5716.


They’ll be glad to talk to you!
thing for miles around. We will all be proud of this. The new pool is open and looking great. Now lets fish!!!!!!! The Bass are schooling all over the lake, top water crank baits are doing well, big worms and swim jigs work well. Hope we get some water soon. The crappie are deep. The best ones are 20 ft. or deeper. Minnows are the best right

Mid Lake & South End
Boy where has the year gone. Already August and still hot and still no rain. Folks it’s dry, the lake is low and very dangerous when boating and jet skiing. Not too much going on Bill Fondren, around here this time of the Tejas Guide Service/ 3-S Texas Outdoors summer. The fish hatchery, is almost done and it really cell (409) 381-1397 looks great. The new country club is almost finished and if Professional Guide you have not seen it let me — Licensed and say it is the most beautiful

now. We are also having great luck on the Stanley Wedge Tail Minnow and the Big Bite Jigs. Try several colors until you find the right one. Bream and Catfish are doing well. Not much to talk about here in the Dog Days of Summer. Don’t forget to stop by and visit our merchants around the Lake. Remember if we can help just call.

August 2011 • LAkecAster • 28

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Lowe & Bridges won it all at Bass N Bucks on the Silent Giant
By Patty Lenderman

It was back to Toledo Bend July 9th for the second of three tournaments in the Bass N Bucks Summer Series. Big bass lurk in the waters of the silent giant lake of Toledo, and with a three fish limit Brian Bridges and Pete Lowe put together over 20 pounds of bass to win. Three fish limits and bigger bass is what we’re seeing at the Bass N Bucks summer tournaments. Earlier weigh in times for anglers who can launch wherever they would like after a boat check in one of three places around the lake. Contenders must put their rods down by 2:00 and be back to the weigh in by 3pm to register their catches. Normally teams may have 5 fish in their creel, but for the Summer Series the limit has been set to only 3 fish per team. Steve Delia and Kevin Cooley registered the first limit early, weighing 16.29 lbs. Initially, tournament personnel and other on lookers believed this may be a winning sack, averaging well over 5 pounds per fish. Once more teams began rolling in, David Burns and Joey Martin took over the lead with 18.18 lbs, and lead on Big Bass with their 7.76 lb kicker. Then everyone was amazed when Pete Lowe and Brian Bridges brought in their three fish to win with over 20 pounds. “We had a good day!” The team said with a smile. Using both Texas and Carolina rigged 10” Xcite raptor tail worms, they completed a limit by 6:30am. “We hit creek channels with timber and caught fish all day. If we were allowed a five fish limit, it would have been over 30 pounds.” They picked three spots, and two of them had the fish they were looking for. When they heaved their fish to the scales, it was difficult to pick which one was their biggest bass. Checking the first, it weighed 8.09 lbs. Putting their second on, it topped that weight to 8.36 lbs. Adding all three fish to the scales, their weight totaled 20.88 lbs to take the win! Bass N Bucks presented them with the 1st place check of $3,000, but their winnings did not stop there. They also received $500 for catching the biggest bass of the day. Pete had also read the sponsor incentives, and since he had registered with the Ranger Cup program as well as Cabela’s, he won those bonus dollars as well – another $500 and $250 respectively. The teams’ total for the day was $4,250. “We’d like to thank Xcite Baits, Ranger, Cabela’s, and Gilespie Black Topping Service for paving the way for us. Also the Mayor of McNary, LA.” David Burns and Joey Martin was awarded 2nd place for their 18.18 lb limit. Their day went much differently than the winners. “It was very hot today. Tough for most of the day.” Things were looking pretty bleak for them, not having a single fish in the livewell until 1:00. “We were fishing main lake stumps with Santone football head jigs in 14’-20’ of water. When we hit this particular spot at 1:00 things turned around for us pretty quick.” Within 15 minutes they put two 7 pounders in the boat.

 Two over 8 lbs to anchor a 20.88 lb three fish limit and take the win for Brian Bridges and Pete Lowe. They also won Big Bass honors with their 8.36 lb kicker.

Catching one more over four pounds gave them their 18.18 lb limit to win the 2nd place $1,500 check. “We’d like to thank Santone Lures, 3-D Oil Field Service and Buster McNutty’s for their support.” Another good three fish limit was caught by Kraig Welborn and Jeremy Burge. “We were using 10” Texas rigged redbug worms on main lake points up to 10’ deep. Within 15 minutes, we had a limit in the boat.” The early morning bite was fast and furious, but when it played out they bounced the grass with 1 ½ oz Talon Jigs to finish the day. “We had all of our weight by 9am. Although we caught a lot of three pounders after that, we didn’t catch anything to cull with.” Their weight totaled 17.08 lbs for a 3rd place win. “The bite was good, and we caught fish all day. I lost a big one around 1:00 that may have made a difference.” Bass N Bucks presented them with a $1,200 check for their win.  Kraig Welborn and Jeremy Burge finished with 17.08 lbs on three fish to take 3rd place

 These three fish represent 18.18 lbs that won a 2nd place finish for David Burns and Joey Martin


 Phenomenal weights on three fish limits! Congratulations to the top winners: (1st & Big Bass) Brian Bridges & Pete Lowe; (2nd) Joey Martin & David Burns; (3rd) Kraig Welborn & Jeremy Burge


1st $3,000+ 20.88 lbs Brian Bridges & Pete Lowe 2nd $1,500 18.18 lbs David Burns & Joey Martin 3rd $1,200 17.08 lbs Jeremy Burge & Kraig Welborn 4th $1,000 16.29 lbs Steve Delia & Kevin Cooley 5th $ 900 16.27 lbs Robert More & Richard Stephens 6th $ 800 15.39 lbs C.M. Patterson & Kevin Flowers 7th $ 800 15.33 lbs Shannon Thibodeaux & Rodney Owens

8th $ 600 14.68 lbs Jerry Barnette & John Lafitte 9th $ 600 14.47 lbs Vic Cooper & Jason Wells 10th $ 600 13.52 lbs Doug McCain & Mason McCain 11th $ 500 13.12 lbs Bart Blakelock & Allen Trafford Big Bass $500 8.36 lbs Brian Bridges & Pete Lowe Ranger Cup $500 Pete Lowe Cabela’s $250 Pete Lowe

 Pete Lowe didn’t miss out on any of the Sponsor Incentives. Not only did he and partner Brian Bridges win 1st place and Big Bass, Lowe additionally won the $500 Ranger Cup bonus as well as the $250 Cabela’s bonus Anglers were not only fishing for cash prizes, but also for points. The top 20 teams by points from the fishing Summer Series that did not previously qualify from the Rayburn Series will advance to the 2011 Sam Rayburn Championship. The Championship winner will receive a brand new Ranger Z120 powered by a Yamaha 225 VMAX hpdi! It will be a two day event on Sam Rayburn September 17-18. There is one tournament left in the Summer Series and is open to anyone who would like to fish. Join Bass N Bucks on Sam Rayburn August 6 for your chance to win. For more information please visit 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

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August 2011 • LAkecAster • 32

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Guide Business On A Shrinking Lake also check out “Top Five Hints”
by Pro Guide, Joe Joslin
Hello Anglers! We are more than halfway through Summer 2011 as nights get gradually longer and daylight hours get slightly shorter. As one who spends much time outside and sees a lot of sunrises and sunsets, these slight changes are a welcome sign that the longest days of summer are behind us and little by little we move toward the cooler fall season. As we get into August the days are still hot but longer nights allow more time for air temperatures to cool which is very noticeable at daybreak. This early morning coolness is a sure sign most of summer is in the rear view mirror. Also, we usually see a few teal heading south the last of this month which is yet another sign that summer is fleeting. Yea, I am already dreaming about cooler weather. TOP 5 HINTS TOLEDO MAY BE TOO LOW As the lake recently went below 162.5’ mean sea level, I thought I would suggest a few hints that the lake may be getting a bit too low: Hint # 5: You have to use a garden hose to fill live-wells. Hint # 4: Heard that Camels may replace the Longhorn. Hint # 3: Your favorite fishing spot is crowded with 4-wheelers. Hint # 2: My Skeeter FX is kicking up more dust than spray. Hint #1 : Caught a bass and it had ticks. HOW’S BUSINESS? One of the most common questions I get now-a-days is “How is business with current lake levels?” For July we had a good month and personally it seemed that the gas prices spiking in late May/early June had more impact than low water levels. I have noticed a definite trend over the past several years that when gas prices get to $4.00 a gallon, as it has 3 times in the past 6-8 years, my phone and computer inquiries slow down. In dialog with customers, most of my clients state that they use extra or discretionary funds to hire me so if they have to spend more of their pay checks on fuel costs, then they have less left over at the end of the month. In addition, I have several regular clients who are retired and well off financially but have a “somewhat” fixed income and are very hesitant to pull out funds from investments with so much uncertainty in today’s markets. However, there are some situations when the low water levels actually create business as a certain number of anglers have boats but are very spooked at the thought of launching their boat and heading out on the lake to catch some fish. Since they love to fish, they opt to hire me especially if it has been a while since they have been on the lake. Going forward, the growing major challenge is finding a place to launch. Realistically, without a tropical storm, the lake will fall another 2 feet (at least) before winter rains bring relief. That is close to 160 feet msl which will be 2 feet lower than 2006. WOA!!! The good news?? The fish will bite this fall...big time! Please Pray For Rain! God bless. 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 . and WEBSITE

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August 2011 • LAkecAster • 34

Toledo Bend Tournament Schedule
DATE 10 13 13 TOURNAMENT August 2011 (409) Bass Club (Night) (409) Bass Club (Night) Up & Coming Outdoors Night Tournament september 2011 7 9 9-10 10 24 24 24-25 PAR Bass Club Sportsman’s Bass Club of Southwest LA Oilman’s Classic PAR Bass Club LA Lions Big Bass Rodeo Fort Polk Community Bassmasters 21st Open Tourn Bass N Bucks-Toledo Series Championship OctOber 2011 1-2 7-9 12 14-15 15 22-23 29 BFL Cowboy Division 2 Of Us Championship (409) Bass Club Super Dooper Bass Challenge (409) Bass Club V & M/Cyclone Championship Sportsman’s Bass Club of Southwest LA NOvember 2011 9 12 PAR Bass Club PAR Bass Club December 2011 10 GCFT Winter Classic Bass Tournament TBA Six Mile Six Mile Cypress Bend Lowe’s Creek Six Mile Cypress Bend Six Mile Cypress Bend TBA Six Mile TBA Cypress Bend Six Mile Cypress Bend US Army Recr Center TBA LOCATION Six Mile Six Mile Cypress Bend

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35 • Lakecaster • august 2011

Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service & Lake Cottages • • 936.368.7151 Just to give you an idea of how low the lake is, the follow data helps put things into perspective. As of this report, the lake is 162.5msl, which is 10 feet below high pool of 172.5msl. At high pool (172.5msl) the lake will hold approximately 4.5 million acre feet of water which is one acre/ one foot deep. At 162.5msl, there is approximately 2.9 million acre feet which equals to a loss of 36% of water. There are approximately 325,800 gallons of water per acre feet. So we have lost approximately 521,280,000,000 gallons of water (that’s 521 billion!). So how much rain will it take to raise the lake back to high pool? Ten inches of rain across the basin (watershed) will raise the lake approximately two feet. We’ll need approximately fifty inches of rain to bring the lake back to high pool. It looks like we’re in for some low lake conditions for a while. Note: A special thanks to Shawn Tarro with SRA for taking the time to calculate the above stats. Hey, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but it’s been a brutal summer this season with temperatures hovering around the century mark almost every day. The heat index has been running as high as 120 degrees and that’s in the shade. The high temperatures not only negatively affect us, but also negatively affect the fish. Less oxygen in the water and high surface temperatures push the fish deep where they will suspend just above the thermocline where the water is cooler and there are higher concentrations of saturated oxygen. Subsequently, the fish feed less during the day. Nighttime is the right time to catch numbers and quality fish. Concentrate along the shoreline where deep water is close by. Lighted piers, seawalls and rock banks will also be productive. Throw top water baits that make a lot of noise, buzz baits, large dark colored spinner baits and large dark colored soft baits Earlymorningandlateeveningwe’reworkingshallowgrass

Toledo Bend North End Forecast
flats, lily pads and pepper grass close to deep water with top water plugs, stick baits, frogs, buzz baits, spinner baits, shallow diving and lipless crank baits and finesse plastics (Senkos, Flukes, and Trick worms). When the sun gets overhead or the bite slows down, back out to deeper water along creek channel drops, river ledges, timberlines, main lake ridges and humps, secondary and main lake points with mid to deep diving crank baits, slab spoons, tail spinners and Texas or Carolina rigged soft plastics. Watch for schooling bass and keep a lipless crank bait, shallow diving crank bait and top water plug handy. The White Bass are running all over the lake chasing shad and you never know when they will blow up. Concentrate around boat lanes, roadbeds and flats throughout the day. Keep a trap, shallow diving crank bait or top water plug handy when they are schooling and a slab spoon or tail spinner when they go down. Look for the birds dive-bombing the water. Crappie are holding in 15 to 25 ft. over brush tops. Better catches coming in at night. Live shiners or jigs tipped with a shiner are working best.

Lake level information updated daily at Lake Level – as of 07/27/11 (162.42) Normal pool level (172.00') For lake level updates and generation schedules, call 318-256-4114.

Darrell Lyons• DW’s Guide Service for Rayburn & Toledo 409-787-3664 • • BASS ~ Good. Most green/purple flake. Watch for schooling fish and throw CATFISH ~ Excellent! In 20’ to 38’ of water over baited early fish are coming a Humdinger. There is excellent action at night on black holes use cut liver or Catfish Charlie. on grass lines or around emerald 11” Texas rigged worms along river edges. For best STRIPER’S ~ Excellent! They are moving in the old river. shoreline vegetation in results remember to use your Kick-n-Bass. Use electronics to locate bait fish suspended in 30’- 45’ of 4ft to 8ft using a Rogue BREAM ~ Good. Fish over brush in 18’- 30’ of water with water. Use buck tail jigs and live carp. Keep your eyes open in black/gold or a Red Eye crickets and Berkley power maggots. for schooling fish. Shad in silver/blue back. CRAPPIE ~ Excellent! Fish are being caught in 18’- 28’ WHITE BASS ~ Excellent! These fish are being caught on As the day warms, drop of water over brush on pink/white tubes rigged on a 1/16 oz. Humdingers and Slab Spoons in chrome or white/black back out to 18ft to 26ft and throw a Carolina rigged Yamamoto 5” jig head and minnows. August is one of the best night fishing on sandy points in 12ft to 22ft . Watch for schooling fish on cut tail in watermelon pepper gold flake or green pumpkin months. the main lake.

Mid Lake and South End

South Toledo Fishing
By Pro Guide Joe Joslin, 30 Years Experience on Toledo Bend • 337-463-3838 • 409-565-1288

GUIDE SERVICE QUESTIONS: As to be expected, with ramp closings and articles about Toledo and Rayburn’s low water levels in numerous publications, we are receiving multiple questions concerning whether or not we are still operational as far as our guide service. That short answer is yes and we basically are using normal procedures. In 2006 Toledo’s levels were even lower and we continued fishing with no major problems. Obviously, we are very cautious when navigating the lake. The fish are biting! FISHING REPORTS/BASS: There have been very few boats on the lake the later part of July and with school resuming and low lake levels that will not change with the exception of an increase the week of Labor Day. Patterns have not changed very much other than that we have been fishing deeper on days with lots of bright sunshine. Our patterns have been fairly basic with Texas and Carolina rigs making up much of our fishing day in depths of 15 to 30’. We have also been getting a few good topwater bites early morning and late afternoon and also when we are fortunate enough to get some clouds and light rain

conditions. Our recent producing topwater lures have been Berkley’s Frenzy Walker (similar to a Zara Spook), Chug Bug and Yellow Magic. In addition, on grassy points we have also been fishing Stanley’s Ribbit frog and a buzz bait (Bill Norman’s Triple Wing). Crankbaits continue to be productive and we are using a couple of mid-divers (Norman’s DLN and Bomber’s Model A) plus our favorite deep diver which continues to be Norman’s DD22. We are running our crankbaits on 10, 12 and 15 lb test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon depending the depth we want to cover. The lighter line allows crankbaits to run deeper than the heavier line. Sometimes you want to use a DD22 but you don’t want it to run as deep so using larger line will help keep the bait from digging. As far as crankbait colors we are having success on firetiger, bumble bee, sexy shad and blue/chartreuse. Schooling bass should be more active the dark side of the moon in August as they tend to be active for a couple of weeks then back off for a while as this is impacted by the moon phase. In summer months, my years of fishing journals exposes the fact that the dark phase of the moon (moon under foot) is generally much better during daylight hours for schooling bass on the surface. When fish will school on the surface, they usually will also be active at

other depths as well. Before becoming a professional angler 13 years ago, I would plan my summer vacation around the dark phase of the moon which I felt would improve daylight fishing conditions, especially the morning fishing. On other fishcatching patterns the drop shot and jigging spoons have been, at times, productive near the river and especially along main creeks where there are huge amounts of baitfish (shad). CRAPPIE/YELLOW AND WHITE BASS “The crappie are still biting” says crappie guide, Noe Garcia with the most consistent pattern being baited brush holes with green brush in 18 to 28 feet. Many of the crappie/white perch are running over a pound. Yellow and white bass action has been excellent on the south end using tailspinners (Little George and Knock-off by Bill Norman Lures) plus jigging spoons by Klassic Lures and a custom spoon a friend makes for me. Some days we are catching almost any number we wish to catch. 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 and WEBSITE

August 2011 • LAkecAster • 36

Toledo Bend Reservoir
Sabine River Authority of Texas

Each month this map is provided showing low water ramps. Another map showing ALL boat ramps is on

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Anglers Quest Rayburn Individual 2nd Series # 2

Brian Branum Won!!!
the qualifications for these great incentives on our Anglers Quest website. Anglers Quest will be at Lake Houston Marina on Lake Houston on July 12th for the 16th of 23 Tuesday night events. Anglers Quest will be at El Dorado Jack’s on Lake Conroe on July 16th for the 2nd event of the 2nd series of the Saturday Series. On July 19th A/Q will be back on Lake Houston for the 17th of 23 Tuesday night events. Then on July 23rd & 24th A/Q will be at Kickapoo Bait & Tackle on Lake Livingston for the 2nd events of the 2nd Series Saturday & Individual events. On July 26th A/Q will be back on Lake Houston for the 18th of 23 Tuesday night events. Then on July 30th & 31st A/Q will be on Lake Houston for the 2nd of the (3) 2nd Series Saturday Team & Individual events. Anglers Quest is now accepting Credit Cards. Call Mr Bill or Barbara Long at 281-852-8842 for any information or entry. Anglers Quest suggest the use of these sponsors products & services: American Rodsmiths, Antex Roofing, Automated Mailing Solutions, Bill Lewis Lures, Bowden Marine Sales & Service, Buster McNuttys, Custom Built Awards, Check-It Stik, City of Jasper, Tx-Chamber, El Dorado Jacks, Executive Security Integrators, Experience Lake Livingston, FishingWorld,

By Bill & Barbara Long

July 10, 2011- Anglers Quest 2011 Sam Rayburn Individual 2nd Series # 2 out of The Umphrey Pavilion at Sam Rayburn, TX began this event with 7 anglers showing up to fish for the $670.00 purse. All 3 of the 2nd series events will be started as trailering events. On this event the anglers were allowed to trailer to a PUBLIC ramp of their choice and leave at 5:55 am. The weigh in time was conducted by 3:15 pm. Any Individuals finishing in the top 10 in points of the 2nd series will qualify for the 2 day Rayburn Individual Championship. The Top Individual in points in the 1st series was Ricky Guy and he was declared the “Angler of the Year” and will be awarded free entries to all 2012 Rayburn Individual Series events. The Individuals entering 7 Rayburn Individual 1st & 2nd series events will automatically qualify for all 3 of the Lake Series Individual 2-day Championships. Any Individual qualifying for any A/Q Championship will be allowed to enter the “Tournament of Champions” on November 19-20 at Lake Palestine. Sam Rayburn water was in good shape and about 8.83 feet below normal pool level with water temps running 86-88 degrees. The weather at takeoff was a calm 78 degrees with a warming to 100 degrees by weigh in time. The fish catching continues to be very good on Big Sam as there were 3 limits brought to the scales, for a total of 18 bass at 47.30 lbs making the average bass brought to the scales today weigh 2.62 lb. Brian Branum from Sam Rayburn, TX ran his Skeeter/Mercury bass rig to Veach Basin areas over grass to catch his bass with his rods & reels tipped with frogs & Texas rigged worms in 4-5 ft of water. Brian managed to cull several times during his day to finish in 1st place with 15.23 lbs and also have the Big Bass at 5.46 lbs. Brian got the win and BB to make himself $520.00 for his day on the water. Tommy Hill from Kountze, TX ran his Bullet/Mercury bass rig to south lake areas over grass & lily pads to catch his bass using his rods & reels tipped with frogs & buzzbaits in 1-4 ft of water. Tommy managed to cull several keepers to finish in 2nd place with his best 5 at 12.27 lbs and make him $115.00 for his day on the water. Elton Thomae from Hemphill, TX ran his bass rig to Easley Flats areas on the south end of the lake and finished his day in 3rd with 5 bass at 9.79. Kenneth Conkle finished in 4th with 2 bass at 6.16 lbs. The entire results from this and all A/Q events put on by Anglers Quest can be viewed at A/Q would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors who offer the Incentive Bonus dollars for our anglers in the Anglers Quest Tournament Trail, Bowden Marine, T/A Lure Xtractor, Lock-N-Haul Transom Saver, and PAA membership bonus. Please read

 Brian Branum won 1st place with 15.23 lbs and also had the Big Bass of the tournament which was a 5.46 pounder.

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 Tommy Hill managed to cull several keepers to finish in 2nd place with his best 5 at 12.27 lbs and make him $115.00 for his day on the water.

 Pictured left to right - Tommy Hill placed 2nd with 12.27 lbs. and Brian Branum won 1st with 15.23 lbs.

Fish Tales


Shane Gamill and Page Cook with a huge Sam Rayburn Small Mouth Buffalo. It weighed 79 lbs, was 44-1/2 inches long and 36-3/4 inches in girth and was weighed in at Jackson Hill Marina.

4 yr old Faith Yates and her brother Micheal, 10 yrs old, came to Powell Park on Sam Rayburn from Sonora, KY. Faith had her brand new Barbie fishing pole, while Micheal used his new lucky Spiderman pole. They each landed their very first catfish!

Toledo angler Mike Hamilton and a big striper caught on a jigging spoon with Toledo guide, Joe Joslin.


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By Jim Binns

Grass Fishing – Grass Fishing – Love it or Hate It Love it or Hate It
will see many edges, holes, points, etc. If you like topwater fishing these beds can provide some outstanding action. In many cases however, unless you have cloud cover the best action is usually related to early morning and late evening. I know that each of you have your favorite topwater lure but let me recommend a few are deadly for this type of fishing. The Stanley Ribbit is fun to fish and has a track record of catching big bass and winning tournaments. Other artificial frogs can also be deadly and provide heart-stopping strikes when worked over the open holes in the grass. A Zara Spook, buzzbait or a double-willow leaf spinnerbait are “go to” lures that can also get the job done. Another deadly bait is a Senko fished weight-less “wacky” style. Work the edges of the grass, points, holes, etc. and sooner or later you and the bass will collide. Fishing the Deeper Edges – I believe that the outside edge where the vegetation stops growing is where you want to spend most of your fishing time. These edges can certainly be fished with techniques such as a Carolinarig or crankbait, but for consistency this is where a ¾-oz to 1-oz jig and trailer excel. A dynamite technique is to “pitch” the bait a few yards ahead of the boat as you watch your graph to be sure you stay near the break-

Mention hydrilla to some folks and their immediate comment is, “Kill It All!” But a savvy bass fisherman knows that even though the grass can be a nuisance, it can also provide some super bass fishing. “Find the grass and you find the bass” is a rule of thumb that most anglers in our area live by. Where hydrilla first began is unclear, but most experts point to the warmer regions of Asia and central Africa. It is thought that the plant was first introduced into Florida through the aquarium trade in the early 1950’s, and eventually wound up in our East Texas/Louisiana lakes in the mid-70’s. Hydrilla is a submersed, rooted aquatic plant that can form dense “mats” as it stretches upward from as deep as 20-feet toward the surface of the water. Once the plant reaches the surface, over one half of its biomass is found in the upper 2 feet of the water column. This is when you can see those large floating mats in our area lakes. Beneath the matted surface you will find a relatively open water column that produces shade, a desirable habitat for shad, perch, crawfish ... and a holding and feeding area for bass. So the question is how do we effectively fish this type of stuff? Well keep in mind that the bottom structure of the area you are fishing is still extremely important. That winding creek channel near the grass bed will provide security and depth as the bass move in and out feeding. Those sharp drops become even more important as they provide a break line for the hydrilla and a holding spot for bass. Bass will use channels, ledges and drains to move around just as they would be doing without the hydrilla. The fish are still looking for unique areas where a change in structure occurs, so keep that in mind as you select your fishing spots. fishing Let’s assume that you have examined your fishing map and have fishing selected a few good looking areas to fish. Let’s look at a few proven fish. techniques. Fishing the Top - Most hydrilla mats are not as solid as it may at first first seem. As you examine the layout you

line. Once the bait hits the water allow it to sink vertically with just a slight tension on the line. Most of your strikes will occur as the lure is falling or immediately after it hits the bottom. If no strike occurs give the bait a couple of slow hops and then pitch again to another spot. Some of you may think that this is a “b-o-r-i-n-g way to fish, but believe me, when you find one bass you often find a bunch in the same small spot. Fishing the Deep Holes – When I say “holes” I am referring to where you have a break or opening in the hydrilla. This is where I like to use a 1-oz to 1 ½-oz sinker pegged to a 5/O hook with a large plastic worm as bait. The key is to cast the bait out on top of the matted surface, pull it slowly to the edge of one of the holes and then ease the bait into the hole and allow it to fall on a semi-slack line toward the bottom. I like the Mad Paca, C-Mac or the Bass Kandi “Stiks” for this type of fishing and watermelon candy, green pumpkin and red bug are my color selections. Be sure you also have the Texas-rig handy when using a topwater bait over these holes because bass will often just roll or slap at the bait without

taking it. Follow up the strike immediately with the Texas rig and the bass will hit it almost every time. Tackle – Fishing deeper grass is definitely where you want to use heavy tackle. I prefer a 7-foot heavy action rod and suggest 50-plus pound braided line or 30-pound fluorocarbon. I want a jig with an extra strong hook so my selection would be the ¾-oz to 1 1/2-oz Strike King “Hack Attack”, the Oldham jig or Lonnie Stanley’s “Flip-Max”. Nothing is more frustrating than to lose the bass of a lifetime because the hook opened up. Jig color preference would be black, black/blue, green/pumpkin and PB&J. Many anglers however believe that the weight of the bait may be even more important than the color. The Strike – Many of the strikes you get will be very light so you have to be alert. Occasionally the bass will just tug on the bait or you may suddenly have a “weightlessness” feeling as the bait is falling. A good rule of thumb is if you feel anything out of the ordinary – set the hook hard. You have to get the bass’ head up quick and keep him coming or the fish will ball up in the grass and you will have another “lost lunker” story to tell. Fishing these grass mats is not a “run and gun” deal and requires lots of patience. There are days when the bite seems slow as molasses and other days when the bass seem to want the bait in every area you put it. That’s fishing. If quality bass are what you are after then fishing the grass will offer some great opportunities. Pitching that bait to the edge of the hydrilla, coaxing it down to the bottom, and then feeling that solid “thump” is one of the most exciting ways to fish and can really get your adrenalin flowing. Give it a try – but be careful because fishing the grass can certainly be habit forming. – Good Fishing – JB


Fireflies at Night
Courtesy of Texas A & M University

They’re called fireflies, lightning bugs, glowworms and other names, but one thing they are not called in recent years is plentiful. You can still find the flashy bugs in many areas of the country, but in Texas you might have to do some serious searching, say two Texas A&M University researchers. Entomologists Ed Riley and Bart Drees say the past few years have dimmed the lights of the flashy insects, once seen almost nightly throughout the state during spring and summer months. “There’s no doubt the severe drought the past few years has affected them,” confirms Drees, who is a Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. “The lack of water has to be one big reason why you don’t see as many as in years past, but there are probably other reasons, too.” “Most insects need a certain level of moisture in their environment, so the drought can play a big role in their numbers,” adds Riley, a curator for the entomology department with a joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Research. “But another likely reason is urbanization – most insects need natural settings in which to live such as woods, meadows and creeks. In places where you have a lot of homes and concrete, you will find fewer insects, and lightning bugs certainly fall into that category.” Both experts say there has been very little research over the past decade to determine why there appears to be fewer fireflies, which are technically members of a family of beetles and not true flies. Many Texans can recall summer months of catching the bugs and placing them in a jar to admire their glowing abilities. But too many children today are stuck with an empty jar. “Some theories are that fire ants are partly to blame because they can destroy them (lightning bugs) in the early development stages,” says Drees. “As to whether pesticides are to blame, it may be possible but there is no definite proof. There are just not that many scientific studies to look at to come to one definitive answer.”

Residents of East Texas probably have a better chance of seeing them, as do persons who live in the Midwest, South and Northeast United States, where fireflies remain in abundant numbers. There’s no doubt they are interesting bugs. Fireflies produce a chemical reaction inside their bodies that allows them to light up. This type of light production is called bioluminescence. The flashing — both males and females light up — is a huge neon sign to other fireflies that it is time to mate. But some species use the flash for a more sinister reason — dinner time.

“There are some species of the flashing beetle that flash to attract others so they can eat them,” Riley notes. So some fireflies aren’t sure if it is time for romance or time to be lunch, and the bugs don’t have much time for either, since they live as adults 7-14 days at the most, the experts explain. “I have lived in this area for almost 25 years, and I have never seen very many of them in town,” Riley adds. “It’s a question that seems to come up very frequently, but there seems to be no real answer.” For persons wishing to learn more about fireflies and other insects, Drees recommends visiting

August 2011 • LAkecAster • 42

Area Club Updates
Sportsman’s Bass Club
The Sportsman’s Bass Club of Southwest Louisiana recently awarded (2) $500 cash scholarships to two local high school graduates. Recipients of the scholarships were South Beauregard graduate Jordan Johnson, and Rosepine graduate Stephan Keel. The bass club would like to congratulate the recipients and wish them the best of luck with their continuance in education.

Many Bass Club
Bill Ligon won the Many Bass Club’s July 2011 tournament with a five fish limit weighing a very respectful 19.10 lbs. Fishing the Housen Bay area of Toledo Bend Reservoir, Ligon caught his fish using jigs and soft plastic in 15 – 20 feet of water. Shane Kennedy claimed second place with a five fish limit weighing 15.50 lbs & Jimmy Many Bass Clubs Campbell was the third place winner with a five Top Ten 2011 Standing fish limit weighing 15.37 lbs. Skeeter Willhite Jimmy Campbell 83.58 was the Big Bass winner with a 6.97 lb lunker. Boyd Sanders 77.66 A total of 70 fish were caught weighing 172 Harvey Coward 76.65 lbs for an average fish weight of 2.50 lbs. Mike Smith 75.89 Persistence and dedication are two attributes Frank Davis 72.03 worthy of mentioning. The Many Bass Club would like to recognize Shane Kennedy for his Bobby Munlin 71.22 club participation these past several years. His Mike Price 70.87 second place finish with a 15.50 lb stringer Jim Campbell 70.70 in this month’s tournament is an example of Bill Ligon 70.04 his hard work and desire to attain a long time Richard Pesson 62.48 personal goal. Congratulations Shane on a job well done!

L-R Marlin Ramsey (South Beauregard principal), Jordan Johnson (South Beauregard graduate), and J.D. Milstead (President of Sportsman’s Bass Club).

Stephan Keel (Rosepine graduate)

Here’s a quick look at the results of the Up and Coming Outdoors Summer Series from this past weekend on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. The two night tournaments were held at the Public Ramp on Sam Rayburn and Cypress Bend on Toledo Bend.

Up & Coming Outdoors Summer Series

Friday Night July 15 Sam Rayburn
1st - Mike Greer/ Chris Richie - 21.54 2nd - Mack Rose/ Kevin Walker Jr. - 16.54 3rd - Mike Oates/ Rodney Sammons - 14.71 Big Bass - Rose/ Walker - 5.44

Bill Ligon won the Many Bass Club’s July 2011 tournament with a five fish limit weighing a very respectful 19.10 lbs.

Shane Kennedy claimed second place with a five fish limit weighing 15.50 lbs

Jimmy Campbell was the third place winner with a five fish limit weighing 15.37 lbs.

Skeeter Willhite was the Big Bass winner with a 6.97 lb lunker.

Saturday Night - Toledo Bend
51 boats - The largest night tournament on Toledo Bend of 2011 1st - A.P. Castino/ Johnathan Simmon - 21.41 2nd - Shane Rogers/ Billy Jeane - 20.88 3rd - Pete Lowe/ Brian Bridges - 20.88 4th - Aaron Wilson/ Joe Paddy - 20.32 5th - Darold Gleason/ Kevin Jeane - 20.16 Busch Big Bass of the Tournament Castino/ Simmon - 10.79 For full results, Team of the Year standing and photos go to

The Sportsman’s Bass Club of Southwest Louisiana held their annual open team night tournament on July 9th at Toledo Bend. There 46 teams that braved the low lake levels to fish the 12 hour night event. Rustin McClelland / Cole Stewart won 1st place with 21.64 pounds, 2nd place went to Dean West /D.J. West with 20.98 pounds, Shannon Thibodeaux / Rodney Owen won 3rd place with 20.31 pounds, 4th place went to Tommy Roscoe / Alton Powell with 18.47 pounds, Aaron Wilson / Joe Paddy won 5th place with 18.21 pounds and Marcus Henry/ Keith Frederick won 6th place with their 17.20 pounds. The big bass of the tournament was caught by team Bronk McDaniel and Aaron Strother, a nice 7.95 pounder. The Sportsman’s Bass Club would like to thank everyone who fished the tournament and would also like to thank all of the sponsors for donating some very nice door prizes.

Sportsman’s Bass Club

Rustin McClelland / Cole Stewart won 1st place with a nice bag of fish that weighed 21.64 pounds

Dean West /D.J. West won 2nd place with their bag of fish that weighed 20.98 pounds

Top Winners in Sportsman’s Bass Club Annual Open Team Night Tournament on July 9th.

Port Arthur Refinery Bass Club
This month’s tournament had a turnout of 13 teams composed of 2 guests and 22 members. These 24 individuals brought 60 bass to the scales, 153.24#, for a 2.55# average, one of the largest average weights of the year! There were some healthy fish caught, that’s for sure. George and Hunter Aucoin worked the magic we’ve all come to expect of them and pulled a 20.79# sack off of main lake points with 10 inch worms to come in first place. This impressive haul included the big bass of the tournament, 7.27lbs. George contributed enough weight, 16.76#, that he could have placed in the money even fishing by himself! Hunter weighed in a limit totaling 12.99#... nice sacks, guys. Paul Guidry finally got Shawn McCelvey out on the water for the first time this year and put together a 16.81# total sack to take second place. Paul had a little over 10# and Shawn had a little under 10#. Troy and Leslie Woodall weighed a 10.70# stringer and 14.55# stringer respectively, and their best 5 totaled 15.31#, third place. Jim McDonald and Stan Verret totaled up a 14.48# stringer to take first place out of the money. Anglers reported catching bass on the aforementioned 10 inch worms, frogs, topwater poppers, and spinnerbaits. Guest, Lynn Griffin (Dylan’s dad), had a very special day on the water, catching a 7.22# lunker! It broke his previous “personal best” record of 5# that he set in 1976. He caught it in the early dawn, couldn’t quite see how big it was, and swung it in the boat without waiting on “net man” Dylan Griffin. The line snapped just when he got it over the middle of the boat! Could’ve turned a very special day into a heartbreak really quick if it would have snapped sooner! Congrats, Lynn... making memories, spending time with family on the water... that’s what it’s all about. Well, let’s take a look at how our Top Six standings shifted. I thought David Burke was finally going to get tired of drafting off of Stephen Ensign and slide up around him for the leader’s spot this tournament... and he did... until Leslie Woodall decided to make another play for the AOY jacket and zoomed up into the #1 spot! David stayed at #2, Stephen dropped to #3, Huey Martin bumped up to #4, Chester Sams moved to #5, and Hunter Aucoin busted up from #9 into the #6 slot. You Top Six sticks are doing great... keep bringing those fish in... it’s still tight enough that we can have some upsets on the downhill side of our season! Speaking of the downhill side of the season, our next tournament will be a night tournament on Rayburn, August 16 & 19, Mill Creek, 7:30pm - 8:00am. Our July tournament meeting is next Monday, July 25, at Novrosky’s in Nederland, 6pm til. Well everybody, let’s all get together Monday for door prizes, good food, and fishing talk! AND, if Leslie wins another Curado reel/Castaway rod combo, let’s all throw fries at him! Nobody should be that lucky! :)

409 Bass Club
The 409 Bass Club held their 6th event of the 2011 season on Lake Sam Rayburn out of San Augustine on the nights of July 13th and 16th. Conditions on both nights were pretty similar with light winds, full moon, and water temps in the mid to upper 80’s. As in all of our summer tournaments a 3 fish limit was implemented to help with fish mortality. 29 anglers showed up to fish the 13 hour marathon tournament. There were 45 fish brought to the scales weighing 117 lbs, yielding a 2.60 lb average per fish. There seemed to be 2 different patterns with success. Some anglers had a good bite up shallow and some were on a deep water bite. The majority of fish were caught using typical night time tactics. Texas rigged dark soft plastics, football jigs, dark colored surface lures and frogs seemed to work best. First place went to the father and son team of George and Hunter Aucoin. They heaved a nice 11.34 lb sack to the scales anchored by Hunters 5.53 lb kicker. There actually was a tie for 2nd place. The team consisting of Buddy Ellis and Cecil Mathews, along with Chester Sams and Stephen Ensign weighed in exactly 10.63lbs to split the rest of the stringer winnings. Forrest Erb and Top Six Anglers: Teri Morgan took home top big bass honors Doug Smith 48.46 with a 6.69lb lunker that Forrest caught on a 10 Steven Desormeaux 45.79 inch worm. Congratulations to all our winners. The 409 Bass Club would like to thank Hunter Gothia 41.83 Daley’s Hunt and Fish, R1-Bass, Bass Kandi, Allie Smith 41.80 and Ace Image Wear and Filter Resources for Cecil Mathews 39.85 their continuing support. Our next tournament Marcus Van Horn 38.44 will be held on August 10th and 13th on Toledo Bend out of Six Mile.

43 • Lakecaster • august 2011

Top 6 Standings
Leslie Woodall David Burke Stephen Ensign Huey Martin Chester Sams Hunter Aucoin 58.44 55.06 52.07 51.81 50.92 44.13
George & Hunter Aucoin won 1st place in the Port Arthur Refinery Bass Club tournament with over 20 lbs. George’s 7.27 lb kicker also won Big Bass honors Congratulations to 409 Bass Club 1st place winners George & Hunter Aucoin Buddy Ellis and Cecil Mathews co-won 2nd place, tying with the team of Chester Sams and Stephen Ensign. Both teams weighed in exactly 10.63 lbs

Get Reel Bass Anglers
Get Reel Bass Club had six people fish on a very hot day for their July tournament. It was decided to have an early 1:30 weigh in due to the heat. Deon Ford won 1st place with 9 lbs 6 oz. The Big Bass of the day weighed 2.91 lbs. Come fish with us next month on August 13 at Cassels Boykin.

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Paul Guidry and Shawn McCelvey achieved a 2nd Place win with 16.81 lbs

Leslie and Troy Woodall teamed up to win 3rd Place with 15.31 lbs



August 2011 • LAkecAster • 44

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Lifeʼs better outside.

Cleveland Angler Sets New State Catch-and-Release Record for Alligator Gar

Joseph Williams of Cleveland, Texas, fishes the Trinity River below Lake Livingston dam about 30 weekends a year, trying to catch big alligator gar and release them alive. In April he landed a 200-pound-plus monster that did not survive and became the rod and reel record for the Trinity, but he had a higher goal in mind: the state catch-andrelease record, which requires that fish be photographed, measured and released alive. On July 4 Williams succeeded, landing and releasing an 88-inch-long gar that he will submit for recognition as the new state catchand-release record. Williams is passionate about conserving these trophy fish, using a circle hook or small treble hook to hook them in the mouth. He fishes from a small, 14-foot boat that lets the fish tow him around without straightening the hook. Williams’s fish topped the previous catch-and-release record of 80 inches caught by Leo Flores from Choke Canyon Reservoir in March 2011.

Joe Williams of Cleveland landed the new state record catch-and-release alligator gar from the lower Trinity River on July 4. The fish was 88 inches long and was released alive.




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


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Fish, Steaks and more at Bassmaster Weekend Series on Sam Rayburn
By Jodie Warner

Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers held their “Bass and BBQ” event on Lake Sam Rayburn, at Umphrey Pavilion on Saturday July 23. There were plenty of events for everyone to enjoy and booths were set up selling goods and good eats as well as offering an area for children that was sponsored by S.N.I.P.S. The weigh in began early with a co-angler, Sammy Strong of Orange, Texas bringing his bag in before the regularly scheduled 3 pm weigh in due to the fish overheating and Strong suffering from severe pains; however, he pulled out the lucky weight and won the co-anglers division with a limit at 12.36 lbs. Strong said, “we were fishing down by the dam…my boater had been doing really well, but didn’t do well today…I used a Senko [bait]….caught the first one at about 6:30 am and caught all the way up to about 11 am, but actually we really quit fishing at around 9 am because I was lying in pain in the back of the boat.” A harder battle was fought over on the boater division, but William T. Cook came in during the last leg with a bag weighing 21.95 lbs. The competition on the boater side had been fairly steady all day with some bringing in a limit of five fish, while others with only one or two catches. Cook said, “We were fishing shallow grass lines and had a poor morning…I was discouraged until I threw by a little stump and caught that 7.17 pounder. Then, I had all the fish I needed in the next 30 minutes. With the lake low, there’s a grass line all around the lake. These fish go in and out of the grass. I caught my fish on a Stanley

swim jig and a Pop-R topwater bait.” Cook also took home the title of big bass for the boater division. The surprise of the day came from Dr. John Stinnett on the coangler side brought one fish to the scales and surprised us all with the scales reading 6.50 lbs and placed him in eighth place overall and the title of big bass for his division. Also making an appearance in the weigh-in was Andrew Upshaw, the first collegiate qualifier for the Bassmaster Classic. Weights were thin and fish were few for many anglers, both boater and co-angler with many coming to the scales with just one fish, while others never made it to the scales due to empty live wells. On the other end of the competition for the day were the IPT Pellet Grills’ steak cook-off and sweet treats cookie tour as well as the Early Times ‘Man Day’ Cornhole competition. The next competition will be October 8, 2011 on the Tensaw River in Mobile, Alabama and November 12, 2011 at Lake Santee Cooper in Clarendon, South Carolina. All results reflect final tallies, including any penalties. The new East Texas Cookie Champion is Delilah Delacruz from Jasper- she also won $500 The steak Cook-off winner: Penny Hranicky from Jasper- she won $1,000 2nd place Steak cook-off: Dwayne Shanks from Jasper Outboardhe won $650 3rd place Steak cook-off: Tyler Mays from Jasper – he won $350

 Winner of the boater division, William T. Cook shows off his large catches.

 Dr. John Stinnett with his big bass winning fish



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
 Co-Angler Winner Sammy Strong who braved the day through severe pain to win the $2500 grand prize check.

21.45 lbs 19.11 lbs 16.98 lbs 16.03 lbs 15.93 lbs 15.84 lbs 14.54 lbs 12.86 lbs 12.86 lbs

William T. Cook Brian Branum Mark E. Allen Shane R. Williams Roy Sanford Eric B. Hunt William Burns Ron Festavan Hau Nguyen Jason Roberston

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

12.36 lbs 11.03 lbs 9.57 lbs 8.01 lbs 7.85 lbs 7.42 lbs 6.69 lbs 6.50 lbs 5.89 lbs

Sammy L. Strong Michael D. Greer Jr. Cortland M. Weston Larry E. Beauboeuf Carson Orellana Billy Glaze Clint T. Lipham John Stinnett Matt Gorum Richard Wagnon

8. 8.

10. 12.40 lbs

10. 5.89 lbs

47 • Lakecaster • august 2011

Drought Scorches Texas – And the Record Books
Courtesy of Texas A & M University Newswire

The months-long Texas drought is sapping the record books bone dry and is racking up dire statistics that have never been reached since reliable record-keeping was started 116 years ago, according to figures from Texas A&M University researchers. Don Conlee, instructional associate professor of atmospheric sciences who, along with graduate student Brent McRoberts, also assists State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon with recordkeeping, confirms that the period from February through June was by far the driest on record with a statewide average of 4.26 inches of rain. The next driest occurred in 1917 with 6.45 inches. Also setting records: March-June, driest on record; January-June, driest on record; December-June, driest on record; November-June, driest on record; and October-June, driest on record. They note that official weather keeping began in 1895 in Texas. As for June, it was most definitely time to crank up the AC unit:

2011 marked the hottest June ever in Texas with an average of 85.2 degrees, breaking the previous mark of 84.9 set in 1953. “June was not only the warmest June in Texas history, it comes in as the fourth warmest month ever, which usually goes to a July or August time period,” Conlee notes. One stat sure to make Texans sweat: Even if the state receives an average of 2 inches of rain in July (the long-term average is 2.45 inches), it will already have had the driest August (2010) through July period ever. Conlee says the Palmer Drought Severity Index (used by the National Climatic Data Center) is currently -6.37, officially making this the third worst drought on record. First place occurred in 1956 with a mark of -6.54, and second was in 1918 with a -6.41 reading. “But the stats are through June, meaning this still has the potential to surpass one or both of the infamous past droughts to be the worst

or second worst drought in Texas history,” Conlee adds. “The primary cause of the drought is the lingering La Nina in the Pacific, but we don’t know for certain if climate change is affecting rainfall one way or the other. What we do know is that temperatures are a degree or two warmer with climate change so the drought is worse than it would otherwise be,” says Nielsen-Gammon, whose position as state climatologist is in addition to his service as professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M. As for rainfall in the upcoming months, Conlee says the prospects are not that promising: the mid and long range forecasts are no better than an equal chance of above and below-normal precipitation, with many parts of the state having greater probability of below-normal. “The saving grace could be the wildcard of a tropical storm or hurricane, although that rain could come at a high price,” Conlee adds.

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Shooting Sport Complex Underway
By Chadd Caperton Jasper County Ag/NR agent

A growing interest in the Jasper County 4-H shooting sports program has led to the formation of a Jasper Youth Shooting Sports Association (JYSSA), and they are making progress towards establishing a shooting complex that allows youth and other community groups to participate in learning shooting safety, proper technique, responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills through practice and competition involving various shooting sports. This program includes competitive archery, rifles and shotguns. It is run by 4-H volunteers in the Jasper Gun and Bow 4-H Club. The shooting sports program was originally started through Jasper Community 4-H but grew very fast. Members eventually formed a separate club. Certified instructors donate their time to teach youth about archery and firearm safety, and competitive shooting. Currently they rely on other facilities to allow the kids to shoot, but have recently lost their archery facility, putting urgency on getting the complex established. The increasing interest and participation took a group of kids to Clifton, Texas, for a 3-D archery tournament. 3-D archery uses life-size targets of various game animals placed at random unmarked distances out in the field and wooded areas. Local kids who competed brought back 4 trophies. JYSSA has located and begun the process of buying property near Huff

Creek on which the complex will be built. The goal of the association is to build a complex that will house an indoor archery/pistol range, a full competition grade skeet range, a rifle range and a 3-D archery range. This complex will allow for regular tournaments open to youth and other groups, and will bring valuable revenue to Jasper through these tournaments. There will also be NRA certified classes covering everything from rifle to shotgun to re-loading, and various safety classes like protection outside and inside the home. The archery and firearms hobbyist will be able to enjoy a full facility located right here in Jasper. The closest facility with a

similar set up is in Crockett. Having a facility like this opens the door for more economic diversity and growth, bringing revenue to local stores, hotels, restaurants and many other businesses while tournament participants are here. The recent tournament in Clifton brought in 85 youth from seven different counties, plus coaches, parents and those who come to watch. Typically, tournaments draw 75 to 200 participants, and there are scholarships available to youth and national competitions for youth and adults. Everything is in the beginning stages but moving quickly. The association board elected officers and committee chairman, and their first priority is to complete the purchase of the land; then they will begin to raise funds through sponsors, and fundraisers. It will be a challenging process to achieve the goals of the association but it is feasible with the support of the community and local businesses. 4-H and everyone involved are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that this complex will bring to our community and our youth. If you would like to help or would like more information on the JYSSA, contact archery instructors Michelle Byerly or BR Byerly at 409-382-0878 or 409-382 0879.

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BASS - Mercury College Bass

Hemphill, Texas’ Upshaw earns Classic berth
By Steve Wright, BASS Communications

(Jul. 10, 2011 - LITTLE ROCK, AR.)... If a college angler is going to be in the Bassmaster Classic, he should pass a grueling test to earn that right. The Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship proved to be all that. Stephen F. Austin teammates Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins passed the first three tests working in tandem - on first the Arkansas River, then Lake Maumelle and finally Beaver Fork Lake - in winning the national title Saturday. But Sunday proved the toughest of the four-day event. Not only did the teammates compete against each other for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth, they did it on one of the toughest tournament days of their lives. A private reservoir near Little Rock was so difficult that with 12 minutes left to fish, Upshaw didn’t have one 12-inch bass in the boat. Finally, he caught a 12-inch fish that fell off his crankbait as he swung it in the boat, hit the gunnel and, instead of bouncing back into the lake, caromed into the console well where Upshaw grabbed it. On his next cast with a Norman Deep Little N, he caught a bass in the 2-pound range. Then, with both Upshaw and Watkins having two fish in the livewells of identically rigged Bass Pro Shops Nitro Z-9 boats, it was time to go to the weigh-in. Six hours of fishing appeared to have produced a dead heat - “heat” being the enduring word on this 100-degree day. Watkins weighed first, and the scale stopped at 2 pounds, 10 ounces. Upshaw weighed second, registering 3 pounds, 5 ounces. “I had lost it (his composure) by noon,” Upshaw said. “I knew Ryan had to have a limit. I know how good a fisherman he is. It was like fishing against Kevin VanDam for me.” Watkins caught his two bass around 9:30 a.m. on a Strike King KVD 2.5 bluegill colored crankbait. Otherwise a lake that holds numerous bass in the 8- to 10-pound range proved unsolvable for the two anglers who had excelled the three previous days on three entirely different bodies of water. “I left my whole heart out there on that lake,” said Watkins, who is from Rockport, Texas, where his father, two uncles, a grandfather and a brother are in the charter boat fishing business. “Andrew is a great fisherman, and he got my best today.” Upshaw, who is from Hemphill, Texas, and lives on Toledo Bend, has dreamed of being a professional bass fisherman for many years.

“When I was in high school, I said I was going to fish professionally and people laughed at me,” Upshaw fish recalled. “I just didn’t pay any attention to that. “I want to go to the Bassmaster Classic and win it. I don’t want a Top 10 (finish) or a Top 20 finish. I want to win it.” That’s a bold and seemingly unrealistic prediction for a 24-year-old who will be competing against the best professionals in the world at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. But it should be noted that Upshaw has competed in several high-level fishing circuits, including the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens, and held his own. And Upshaw has spent many days in the Red River/Louisiana Delta area where the Classic will be held. Most importantly, Upshaw won’t have to compete one-on-one against his best friend in the Classic, like he did Sunday. For more information about the Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship, go to the bassmaster website. 2011 Mercury College B.A.S.S. Official Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops About B.A.S.S. For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications, Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times, comprehensive Bassmaster website, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

Photo’s by Steve Wright, B.A.S.S


Boat ramp closures on Toledo Bend due to low water
Jacques Berry, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Sharon Broussard Office of State Parks

Effectively immediately, the boat launches at North Toledo Bend State Park, near Zwolle, and South Toledo Bend State Park, near Anacoco, are closed to boat traffic. The water levels at the boat ramps at both parks are 12-14 inches deep, creating unsafe conditions for launching boats. The Sabine River Authority has issued warnings regarding all boat-related traffic on the lake. According to the SRA, the lake level is approximately 9-1/2 feet below the safe level of 168 feet mean sea level. Additionally, the current extreme drought situation is causing the lake to fall approximately one-half inch per day, creating potentially hazardous areas even in established boating lanes. Caution is advised in the boat lanes, as there have been reports of damage to boats in boat lanes as well as in less-traveled areas of the lake. All water sports participants are advised to avoid excessive speed and exercise caution when navigating waters not in normal boat lanes. For more information, as well as general lake information, visit For more information about Louisiana State Parks, visit

Species Bass, Largemouth Bass, Palmetto Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Yellow Bluegill Bowfin Buffalo, Bigmouth Buffalo, Smallmouth Bullhead, Black Bullhead, Yellow Carp, Common Carp, Grass Catfish, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Crappie, Black Crappie, White Drum, Freshwater Gar, Alligator Gar, Longnose Pickerel, Redfin Shad, Gizzard Shiner, Blacktail Shiner, Golden Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Orangespotted Sunfish, Other Hybrid Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Spotted Warmouth Species Bass, Largemouth Bass, Palmetto Bass, Spotted Bass, Striped Bass, White Bass, White x Yellow Bass, Yellow Bluegill Bowfin Buffalo, Bigmouth Buffalo, Smallmouth Bullhead, Yellow Carp, Common Carp, Grass Catfish, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Crappie, Black Crappie, White Drum, Freshwater Gar, Alligator Gar, Spotted Pickerel, Redfin Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Other Hybrid Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish, Redear Warmouth Species Bass, Largemouth Bass, Palmetto Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Yellow Bluegill Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Crappie, Black Crappie, White Drum, Freshwater Gar, Alligator Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Redbreast Warmouth

All-tackle records for Sam Rayburn
Wt. 16.80 11.58 5.50 4.75 1.24 0.75 10.13 65.00 84.00 1.46 2.51 27.00 84.00 83.50 12.32 84.06 2.15 2.94 6.20 244.50 41.00 0.55 0.24 0.04 0.07 0.30 .01 0.34 0.57 0.60 0.06 0.40

Current Lake Records
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 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 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 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

All-Tackle Records for Toledo Bend
Wt. 15.32 15.81 3.40 33.22 4.40 0.22 1.66 0.86 19.00 75.00 84.76 1.25 32.00 53.50 84.00 7.94 97.50 4.00 3.44 31.50 181.00 8.00 0.66 0.33 0.75 0.88 0.80 1.09 Wt. 11.57 2.95 4.10 2.18 0.98 0.71 3.16 52.00 2.12 1.58 0.89 192.00 0.10 0.45 0.40

Junior Angler Records for Sam Rayburn
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

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

Certified Scale Locations

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


Species Wt. Date Angler Method Bass, Largemouth 11.48 3-06-07 Dylan Lyons Rod & Reel Bass, Spotted 1.50 3-17-11 Gage Shepherd Rod & Reel Bass, White 2.24 5-12-08 Dylan Lyons Rod & Reel Bass, Yellow 0.82 11-25-07 Dylan Lyons Rod & Reel Bluegill 0.85 4-10-06 Kevin Johnson Rod & Reel Bowfin 8.75 3-17-11 Gage Shepherd Rod & Reel Buffalo, Smallmouth 49.84 7-14-09 Heather Taylor Bow & Arrow Bullhead, Yellow 1.25 3-16-11 Mark Balderas Rod & Reel Carp, Common 23.87 3-21-08 Ben Rumery Bow & Arrow Catfish, Blue 20.00 11-07-10 Caleb Anderson Rod & Reel Catfish, Channel 3.03 4-23-11 Jacob Bowman Rod & Reel Crappie, Black 2.54 2-19-11 Forrest Gothia Rod & Reel Crappie, White 2.75 3-18-11 Gage Shepherd Rod & Reel Sunfish, Other Hybrid 0.75 7-05-10 Gage Shepherd Rod & Reel Sunfish, Redbreast 0.88 7-04-10 Gage Shepherd Rod & Reel Sunfish, Redear 0.80 4-12-11 Carson Downey Rod & Reel Warmouth 0.68 5-21-10 Holly Berry Rod & Reel 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.

Junior Angler Records for Toledo Bend


AUgUST 2011
Sun: 6:33am - 8:12pm Moon: 8:37am - 9:23pm Sun: 6:34am - 8:11pm Moon: 9:43am - 10:00pm Sun: 6:34am - 8:10pm Moon: 10:50am - 10:37pm Sun: 6:35am - 8:10pm Moon: 11:56am - 11:17pm Sun: 6:35am - 8:09pm Moon: 1:02pm - 11:59pm






Sun: 6:36am - 8:08pm Moon: 2:08pm - none

1 2 3 4 5


AM ----PM 11:26 – 1:26 AM 11:56 – 1:56 PM 12:26 – 2:26 AM 1:51 – 3:51 PM 2:16 – 4:16 AM 2:46 – 4:46 PM 3:16 – 5:16 AM 12:51 – 2:51 PM 1:21 – 3:21

AM 3:46 – 5:46 PM 4:16 – 6:16

Sun: 6:37am - 8:07pm Moon: 3:12pm - 12:47am Sun: 6:37am - 8:06pm Moon: 4:12pm - 1:39am Sun: 6:38am - 8:05pm Moon: 5:07pm - 2:35am Sun: 6:39am - 8:04pm Moon: 5:55pm - 3:34am Sun: 6:39am - 8:03pm Moon: 6:38pm - 4:35am

7 8 9 10 11

Sun: 6:40am - 8:03pm Moon: 7:16pm - 5:34am


Sun: 6:40am - 8:02pm Moon: 7:50pm - 6:33am

Full Moon

AM 4:36 – 6:36 PM 5:06 – 7:06 AM 5:31 – 7:31 PM 6:01 – 8:01 AM 8:06 – 10:06 PM 8:31 – 10:31 AM 6:21 – 8:21 PM 6:51 – 8:51 AM 7:16 – 9:16 PM 7:41 – 9:41

AM 8:51 – 10:51 PM 9:16 – 11:16

AM 9:31 – 11:31 PM 9:56 – 11:56

Sun: 6:41am - 8:01pm Moon: 8:21pm - 7:29am Sun: 6:42am - 8:00pm Moon: 8:51pm - 8:24am Sun: 6:42am - 7:59pm Moon: 9:21pm - 9:18am Sun: 6:43am - 7:58pm Moon: 9:51pm - 10:11am

14 15 16 17

Sun: 6:43am - 7:57pm Moon: 10:23pm - 11:05am


Sun: 6:44am - 7:56pm Moon: 10:58pm - 11:59am


Sun: 6:45am - 7:54pm Moon: 11:36pm - 12:53pm


AM 10:21 – 12:21 PM 10:41 – 12:41 AM 11:06 – 1:06 PM ----AM 11:31 – 1:31 PM 11:51 – 1:51 AM 12:16 – 2:16 PM 12:36 – 2:36

AM 1:01 – 3:01 PM 1:26 – 3:26

AM 1:51 – 3:51 PM 2:11 – 4:11

AM 2:36 – 4:36 PM 3:01 – 5:01

Sun: 6:45am - 7:53pm Moon: none - 1:48pm

Sun: 6:46am - 7:52pm Moon: 12:19am - 2:43pm Sun: 6:47am - 7:51pm Moon: 1:08am - 3:36pm



Sun: 6:47am - 7:50pm Moon: 2:02am - 4:26pm


Sun: 6:48am - 7:49pm Moon: 3:01am - 5:14pm


Sun: 6:48am - 7:48pm Moon: 4:04am - 5:58pm


Sun: 6:49am - 7:47pm Moon: 5:09am - 6:39pm


AM 3:26 – 5:26 PM 3:51 – 5:51

AM 4:11 – 6:11 PM 4:36 – 6:36

AM 5:01 – 7:01 PM 5:26 – 7:26

AM 5:51 – 7:51 PM 6:16 – 8:16

AM 6:41 – 8:41 PM 7:06 – 9:06

AM 7:31 – 9:31 PM 7:56 – 9:56

AM 8:21 – 10:21 PM 8:46 – 10:46

Sun: 6:49am - 7:45pm Moon: 6:16am - 7:18pm Sun: 6:50am - 7:44pm Moon: 7:24am - 7:56pm Sun: 6:51am - 7:43pm Moon: 8:32am - 8:34pm

28 29


Sun: 6:51am - 7:42pm Moon: 9:41am - 9:14pm


New Moon

= Best Fishing Days
AM 10:01 – 12:01 PM 10:26 – 12:26 AM 10:56 – 12:56 PM -----AM 11:31 – 1:31 PM 11:56 – 1:56

AM 9:11 – 11:11 PM 9:36 – 11:36

AM/PM = Best Fishing Times

Sales • Service
New & Used
4220 US Hwy. 96 N. • Silsbee, Texas 77656

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

(409) 385-6515 • Fax (409) 385-6574

51 • Lakecaster • august 2011


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) WATERFRONT CONCORD HEIGHTS – Sam Rayburn. 2/1, fully furnished, sleeps 6, satellite TV. No pets,Nosmoking.Call409-384-5029 or 409-383-9688 (Sept-11)

FOR SALE – TOLEDO BEND AREA – 1 mile east of Pendleton bridge, formerly restaurant & antique shop. Great location on LA 6. Two plus acres, all road frontage. Over 4,000 sq ft retail. Owner can finance – other options available. Open Saturday & Sunday for antique sales. Call (318) 567-2553 weekdays for details. (Sept-11)

MJ UPHOLSTERY – Boats / Trucks / Cars / Home or Office furniture. Don’t buy new – RECOVER! Call for an estimate. Mobile service – I will come to you. 409-382-5959 (Aug- 11)

Antique Connection on the square in Hemphill, TX now carries Jelly Belly jelly beans & “USED FISHING LURES”. Swimbaits, Crankbaits & Jerkbaits. New stock weekly. 409-787-2860 (Aug-11)





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)

2005 YAMAHA HOOD (COWLING) FOR 225 HPDI. Brand new, $1,100. Yamaha prop with 25 pitch, $200. Lower Unit, $800. Other parts also available. 903-361-3744 (Aug-11)

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702 S. Wheeler, Jasper, TX 75951 409-384-3441
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The Lakes’ No. 1 Promotional Magazine

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, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Jasper, Woodville, Beaumont, Orange, Bridge City, Lake Charles, Kingwood, Texas City, League City, 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.

Do you have a lake oriented friend or family member that would like to keep abreast of the happenings on Lake Sam Rayburn or Lake Toledo Bend? Then why not have THE LAKECASTER mailed directly to their home every month? A GREAT GIFT FOR THAT SPECIAL PERSON! Only $35 for Sam Rayburn / Toledo Bend’s Lakecaster for 12 issues (charge is for postage). Just fill in the form below and mail it and a check to: THE LAKECASTER, 702 S. WHEELER, JASPER, TX 75951. Name Address City State ZIP


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53 • Lakecaster • august 2011

1.5 Million Florida Largemouth Bass Stocked at Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend
By Todd Driscoll, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Hundreds of thousands of these small Florida strain bass fry are released into Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend every year.

Fish stockings have been used for many years to develop populations in new reservoirs and supplement populations in existing reservoirs. Texas has a long history with fish stockings, going back to the 1890s with the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), then known as the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission, began stocking hatchery-raised largemouth bass in 1941. Hatchery production greatly increased during the 1960s, which resulted in more widespread stockings. Up through the 1970s, only native northern largemouth bass (NLMB) were stocked. During that period, TPWD started to experiment with the Florida largemouth bass (FLMB), a largemouth bass subspecies native to Florida and southern Georgia. Earlier work by California indicated FLMB had superior growth rates and greater potential to reach larger sizes when compared to NLMB. In 1972, TPWD introduced FLMB into public reservoirs. The FLMB stocking program has been extremely successful in many of our reservoirs, and TPWD has verified that FLMB attain a greater maximum size than the native NLMB. For example, the long-standing 1943 state record largemouth bass of 13.5 pounds was broken in 1980 by a FLMB weighing 14.1 pounds. Since then, many fish exceeding the 1980 record have been caught, and the current state record is 18.18 pounds (1992). It now takes a fish over 15.3 pounds to be listed in the top 50 largemouth bass caught in Texas! A common misconception is that FLMB are stocked in reservoirs to increase overall bass numbers. However, the total number of young bass surviving each year is primarily limited by habitat conditions and food availability, resulting in strong year classes of bass some years and weak year classes in others. Typically, natural bass reproduction (i.e., no stocking) will maximize reservoir carrying capacity each year. Therefore,

stocking FLMB does not increase total bass numbers, but increases the percentage of FLMB in the population which increases the trophy bass potential. The primary goal of FLMB stockings in Texas is to enhance production of large fish (> 8 pounds). Stocking requests from biologists throughout the state are prioritized based on the trophy potential of each reservoir. Therefore, nearly all of the statewide production of FLMB is stocked into lakes that have a history of producing high numbers of fish > 8 pounds. Both Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend support high-profile bass fisheries, produce trophy-size fish, and are highly prioritized when compared to other reservoirs in the state. As a result, FLMB stockings have been stocked annually on both Sam Rayburn (since 1994) and Toledo Bend (since 1990, except for 2006). Each year, Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend are initially allocated 500,000 FLMB fingerlings. If our hatchery staff has an above average production year, then a majority of the surplus FLMB are stocked at Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. In 2011, our hatchery system had an outstanding year and we stocked a total of 1.5 million FLMB fingerlings in Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. Due to the high numbers of fish stocked, the stockings were widespread at both reservoirs. To maximize survival, fish are stocked into areas of aquatic vegetation. At Sam Rayburn, all areas below Deer Stand/ Jackson Hill Marina with aquatic vegetation were stocked with FLMB. At Toledo Bend, fish were stocked in all major embayments on the Texas side from Indian Creek to Indian Mounds. If you have questions concerning the fisheries of our area lakes, stop by the Inland Fisheries office at the Jasper State Fish Hatchery or contact us by phone (409-384-9572) or email ( Good luck and good fishing!

Locations for releasing the fry are chosen with respect to areas that have vegetation, a natural cover for these small fish to be able to protect themselves from predators

The fry are transported from the hatchery in special trucks that keeps the water oxygenated for better survival

August 2011 • LAkecAster • 54

Toledo Bend is Still in Business
“We still have 136,000 acres of water available on Toledo Bend Lake,” said Tourism Director Linda Curtis-Sparks. “If you are planning to come for a summer getaway, still come,” she added. The fishing is good. The Lunker Bass Program sponsored by Toledo Bend Lake Association had three lunkers caught for the month of June ranging from 10.18 lbs. to 11.04 lbs. All 35 guide services on Toledo Bend report good fishing for bass and crappie, and there are lots of other things for the family to experience. “We do urge extreme caution in the boat lanes because of stumps and shallow areas in secondary lanes,” explained Jim Pratt, Director of the Sabine River Authority that manages Toledo Bend Lake. The lake is currently at 162.55 msl as of July 19th. We advise against water sports on the lake below 168 msl. Normal lake levels range from 168 msl to 172 msl. There are currently thirteen launching ramps on the Louisiana side that are still accessible. The Sabine River Authority is dedicated to keeping ramps open at the parks they operate such as Oakridge, San Miguel, Cypress Bend Park, and Pleasure Point. Although fishing is the biggest recreation opportunity on Toledo Bend, 35 parks and resorts on Toledo Bend’s Louisiana shoreline offer a variety of other activities such as camping, sandy beaches and pools for swimming. Cypress Bend’s Audubon Golf Course is available for golfing, their mountain biking course offers a great challenge and the spa and fitness center will relax you. Hodges Gardens State Park and Wildwood Resort offer canoe and kayak rentals. All within driving distance and offer great summer fun. For more information contact: Wanda Rivers, Sabine Parish Tourist Commission 1601 Texas Hwy., Many, LA 71449 Phone number: (318) 256-5880 E-mail:

Many models & options to choose from!

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We have so much on! • Weekly tournament reports • Tournament photo’s *Get standard pic of various sizes *OR great as gifts on decks of cards, aprons, mouse pads and more! • Record fish applications • Detailed lake maps featuring ALL boat launches on Sam Rayburn & Toledo Bend • News releases that you may not see in print • Weekly fishing reports for Sam Rayburn & Toledo Bend

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55 • Lakecaster • august 2011

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

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August 2011 • LAkecAster • 56