Category Archives: Fishing

Trout Stocking in Texas – They have Arrived!

If you’ve ever wanted to catch a rainbow trout this is your change. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has already started trout stocking in Texas for 2012. This colorful, hard-fighting and tasty fish can be caught at a pond near you very soon. TPWD reports that ponds and streams at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) received their first stocking of rainbow trout this past Tuesday.

About 1,100 rainbow trout were stocked in total. Most were put into the TFFC casting pond and the pond next to the Conservation Center, but other streams and ponds received fish as well. Trout were also placed in the Hill Country Stream exhibit in the Visitor Center for viewing only. Continue reading

Freeze Impacts Texas Coast, Habitat and Wildlife

The cold weather was tough as temperatures dipped down low last week in Texas, causing gulf waters to get very, very cold. In fact, more than 1,000 sea turtles have been rescued in the wake of last week’s arctic blast, a massive infusion of cold air that brought ice and snow and bone-chilling temperatures to much of the Lone Star State, including the entire Texas coast. As of February 7, it appeared that the turtles suffered minimal mortality during rehab and most were in the process of being released back into the Gulf.

Aerial flyover today was expected to provide a better handle on impacts to the fisheries, but initial reports indicate only minor isolated fish kills. Fisheries professionals in Texas will be focusing efforts in the days ahead on assessing resource impacts. Among the conservation measures employed to help protect the resource was a set of temporary fishing closures around deepwater thermal refuges and a voluntary suspension of barge traffic in the Lower Laguna Madre. Continue reading

O.H. Ivie Bass Fishing Sets Record!

My money was on Ivie or Lake Fork. However, it just had to be O.H. Ivie Reservoir! The lake has produced nine largemouth bass weighing 13-plus pounds that have been entered into the Toyota ShareLunker program this spring, and now the 500th bass entered into big bass program has been delivered from the same lake. All the fish were special fish to the anglers who caught them, but the ninth was a little more special: Sam Callaway of Corpus Christi will collect $500 a pound for his catch, a total of $6,670!

Callaway caught Toyota ShareLunker number 500 at 9:20 a.m. April 9 using a Zoom Magnum eight-inch lizard in watermelon/red. The 13.34 pound fish was immediately taken to an official ShareLunker weigh and holding station, Concho Park Marina, where it was held for pickup by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) ShareLunker program manager David Campbell. The fish, 20.5 inches in girth and 26.25 inches long, now swims in the Lunker Bunker at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Continue reading

Clearing Muddy Water in Ponds

Water in a newly constructed pond is usually muddy, but water can also be muddy in old, well-established ponds too. In new ponds, water turbidity should clear up as a good sod cover grows on the exposed soil around the pond. However, several things may contribute to a new or an old pond’s muddy water, all of which can be cured through simple pond management techniques. These are erosion in the watershed, fine clays in the construction site, certain fish such as bullheads, livestock within the pond area, and the action of wind on the shorelines.

First, the cause of the problem should be determined. If removal of the cause is not effective, one of several chemicals may be tried. The broadcasting of 1,000 pounds of ground agricultural limestone (calcium carbonate), 740 pounds of hydrated lime, 1,000 pounds of agricultural gypsum, or 250 pounds of aluminum sulfate (commercial alum) per surface acre is effective in clearing many muddy ponds. These materials will help suspended solids to bond together, settle to the bottom, and clear muddy water. Continue reading

Lake Livingston, Amistad Produce Big Bass

Bass fishing is always fun, but every angler hopes hook into a truly large, wall-worthy bass. Putting a big fish on the wall is great, but putting donating a Sharelunker to improve largemouth bass fishing in Texas is even better! To qualify for the program administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department bass must weigh 13 or more pounds. This past weekend, two Texas anglers did just that—one at Lake Livingston and the other at Lake Amistad.

Fishing on Lake Amistad, Robert Robles of Del Rio caught Toyota a 13.5 pound bass. At almost the same time, Robert Laird of Livingston set the hook on a 13.19 pound bass. Robles was fishing in about 30 feet of water in Evans Creek using an Amistad Tackle Flutter Spoon. Laird was fishing in 6 to 8 feet of water beside the U.S. 190 bridge across Lake Livingston. He was using a Bagley crankbait.

Largemouth bass

Laird’s fish is the first ShareLunker ever entered from Lake Livingston and is the new lake record for largemouth. The fish also was the big fish in the Polk County Bass Club tournament Laird was fishing in and helped him win. The fish bested Lake Livingston’s previous largemouth record of 12.45 pounds caught February 16, 1987.

Lake Livingston is not known as a big bass lake, and some of Laird’s friends doubted him when he said he had a fish over 10 pounds to weigh in.

“They didn’t want to believe me on Lake Livingston,” he said. “When I pulled her out of the bag, all their eyes flew open.”

Any angler legally catching a 13 pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at 903-681-0550 or paging him at 888-784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code.

Choke Canyon Yields Big Largemouth Bass

Choke Canyon became the latest Texas reservoir to yield a big largemouth bass for the Toyota ShareLunker program. Not only has the ShareLunker program helped Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) with fish and lake management throughout the state, it’s allowed lucky anglers to put their catch on display. On February 6, Richard Flores of Seguin caught Toyota ShareLunker 478, a 15.09-pound largemouth bass while flipping a 10-inch plastic worm in 12 feet of 57-degree water.

Of the seven fish entered into the Toyota ShareLunker program so far in 2010, three have weighed 14 pounds or more and one more bass larger than 15 pounds. Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, from October 1 through April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling program manager David Campbell at (903) 681-0550 or paging him at (888) 784-0600. Continue reading

American Fisheries Society in Athens

The annual meeting of Texas chapter of the American Fisheries Society will take place from January 21 through 23 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. Friday morning’s session will cover future impacts to fish management and aquatic systems in Texas. The fisheries society brings together private and public researchers, universities, and natural resource professionals from around the state to a conference that aims to share working information for the best management of Texas water bodies.

Invited speakers include Dr. Karl Eschbach, Texas State Demographer, and Dr. Nielssen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist, who will speak to changes that will affect both natural resources and people. Additional presentations, including from both Coastal and Inland Fisheries staff, will address issues specific to fisheries and aquatic resources. Athens is also home to the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.