February 27, 2015 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting

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Text of February 27, 2015 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting

  • February 27, 2015 Largest Hunting and Fishing Newspaper in Texas Volume 11, Issue 13

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    FISHING

    Pond Boss conference focuses on growing 15-pound bass in backyard ponds.

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    Growinghugebass

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    HUNTING

    Light goose conservation season a success, but some hunters dont like the extended season.

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    ConservationtimeCONTENTSClassi eds . . . . . . . . . Page26Crossword . . . . . . . . . Page22Freshwater Fishing Report . Page10FortheTable . . . . . . . . Page 22Game Warden Blotter . . . . Page12Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . Page20Outdoor Datebook . . . . . Page23Products...........Page24Saltwater Fishing Report . . Page17Sun, Moon and Tide data . . Page16

    LSONews.com

    TalkingtotomSouth Zone season starts March 21, and hunters are expecting plenty of mature toms this season.

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    BafnBaytroutGuides having tougher February wading in Baffi n due to crazy weather changes.

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    On the beds

    Border lake anglers throwing to female bass in shallows

    ByJillianMockFOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    On Amistad and Falcon International Reservoirs, dense underwater cover and warm-ing water temperatures mean the largemouth bass have started spawning. Its going to be better (this

    year) than it has been the last two years, said Gail Criswell, owner of Amistad Marine. Weve got more water and the hydrilla is recover-ing and it seems we have plenty of bait fi sh. Both lakes are still recovering

    from major drought and low water levels. Two years ago we were 41 feet low and now were 25 feet low, said James Bendele at Falcon Lake Tackle. We get down below 30 feet give or take we lose so much of our cover We dont have any small brush to protect the fi sh. Largemouth bass will survive

    well in a variety of habitats but prefer vegetated habitat, whether its fl ooded hardwoods, mesquites, salt cedars or aquatic hydrilla. Cover of any kind is especially critical for the survival of juvenile bass, which make a tasty meal for

    every lake predator from cormo-rants to adult largemouth. Bendele said that in the span of

    10 days he knew of two to four 11- pounders caught on Falcon and a few 5-, 6-, and 7-pounders. All in all, he fi nds the number of smaller and midsize fi sh to be a good sign for the fi shery. Were not catching huge num-

    bers of big fi sh like we were a few years ago but the number of big fi sh is up (and) youve got to have little ones before you can have big ones. On Amistad, Criswell said the

    average size was around 2 pounds, although one fi sherman did catch a 9-pound, 6-ounce largemouth. She added that the average fi sher-man was probably catching eight to 15 bass a day. Its still not going to be as good

    as it was in 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008, Criswell said, but its mak-ing a big comeback. Recovering water levels means

    recovering fi sh habitat and popu-lations. Newly fl ooded vegetation last

    year meant real good survival of young fi sh. Bendele said this

    BIGFEMALESMOVINGIN:AccordingtoguidesandtournamentanglersontheborderlakesofAmistadandFalcon,somebigfemalelargemouthbasshavemovedupintospawningposition,andanglersaretakingadvantage.PhotosbyDavidJ.Sams,LSON.

    Veteran takes unique buck Odessa Pumps and Lone Star

    Outdoor News Foundation work together to provide opportunity

    ByCraigNyhusLONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    One might think that a Marine Force Recon veteran who commanded snipers in Afghanistan and other foreign lands would be calm and cool as can be when a buck steps out.Not so.Colgan Norman hunted in northern Minnesota where he grew up, but

    the hunts on public lands in thick woods didnt produce much action.I saw one buck and passed on one doe, he said. And that was all I saw

    in all of the hunts over several years.After seven years in the Marines, ending as a captain and sniper

    commander, he was again a civilian, and now lives with his wife in Connecticut.He read about the opportunity for a deer hunt with the Lone

    Star Outdoor News Foundation through the Operation Once in a Lifetime Soldier Initiative program, supported by Odessa Pumps in Odessa.I wasnt sure if the hunt was only for soldiers that had been

    wounded, he said. Operation Once in a Lifetime Founder Patrick Sowers said Norman

    SOLDIERSFIRST:ColganNormantookthisdoublemainbeambuckathisOperationOnceinaLifetimeSoldierOutdoorInitiativeprogramhuntwiththeLoneStarOutdoorNewsFoundation.Whenaskedaboutthebeard,hesaidhegrewitafterhisservicetotheMarines.Ihadtoshaveperfectly,everyday,forsevenyears,hesaid.PhotobyCraigNyhus,LoneStarOutdoorNews.

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    Black drum run on ByConorHarrisonLONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    Midcoast black drum anglers are having a good February, with plenty of the big uglies being caught on crab and squid.

    The ship channel near Ingleside is once again the place to be for anglers with a boat for anglers who are stuck on dry land, it is tough to beat one of the many fi shing piers in the area,

    BIGUGLIES:Anglersarecatchingloadsofoversizedblackdrumintheshipchannelsalongthemidcoast.PhotobyLSON.

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    HUNTING

    All about the numbersByJillianMockFOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    The conservation season on snow geese started off strong in Eagle Lake and Garwood but the hunting is getting more diffi cult as the geese leave to head north. The electronic calling season on light geese started Feb. 2 and runs through March

    22. The fi rst weekend of February, foggy weather coupled with electronic calls made for excellent conditions. A hunter got 150 geese fog and wind are key right now, said Tim Kelley of Tim

    Kelleys Waterfowl Outfi tters Unlimited and The Eagle Lake Lodge at Wingswept. Youve got that electric call going and the birds cant see (they) will drop right through to the call

    LOTSOFMATURETOMS:The3-year-oldageclassofmaturegobblersshoulddominateSouthTexashuntingthisseasonthankstoahugehatchthreeyearsago.PhotobyDavidJ.Sams,LoneStarOutdoorNews

    South Zone ready

    ByConorHarrisonLONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    It was three springs ago when abundant rains fell across South Texas and the oft-parched landscape exploded in new growth.South Zone turkey hunters will reap the

    rewards of that rainfall this spring, when toms born that year will be dominant 3-year-old birds. And there should be loads of those wizened toms to hunt this season.Turkey numbers are up a bit, especially

    where you have good habitat this season, said Jason Hardin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments turkey leader. We just had

    such phenomenal recruitment in 2012, and all of those 3-year-old birds will be there. The 2-year-old age class will be spotty, but there should also be some jakes around. Hunters will have those big boss toms

    and jakes this season.Hardin said the coastal plains should

    hold the areas with the highest numbers of birds, with areas to the west becoming hit or miss depending on suitable habitat.The coastal plains will be really good,

    he said. The places with good habitat out west will also hold plenty of birds, but it will

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    TOOMANYINTEXAS?Mostoftheconservationgooseseasonhuntingisoverfortheyear,andsomeguidesthinkTexasdoesnotneedtheextraseason.PhotobyScottSommerlatte,forLSON.

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    A 10-year dayLate-season South Texas quail hunt brings bobwhites

    ByCraigNyhusLONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

    Roy Washburn, an avid quail hunter, has waited a decade for a day like this. He spent the second-to-the-last day

    of the season hunting quail in South Texas with the Lone Star Outdoor News Foundation.Its been a 10-year day, he said. Its

    been 10 years since Ive had a quail hunt like this I was impressed with the numbers of the totally wild quail on the ranch.The hunt, auctioned off at last years

    Wild Game Supper to raise funds for the foundation, was purchased by Washburns friend Stan Graff, but Graff couldnt make the trip and gave it to his friend. Washburn hunted with his son-in-law, Dane Bruun of Corpus Christi.The dogs, all 12 of them that alternated

    shifts, were professional hunters, owned by Darrell Layman of Pearsall. On their 38th hunt of the year, the conditions were hot and dry. That didnt slow the dogs though, as 16 coveys were pointed and flushed before the two shooters had their limit. Thorns and cactus didnt seem to bother the dogs, as they would stop briefly to yank one out before resuming running.Layman has been doing commercial

    hunts for six years, and this season, he is very popular.Dont they know Im hunting, he said

    to himself after the sixth phone call dur-ing the hunt, each caller asking if he was available for the seasons last day.Laymans unique rig consists of a

    Polaris 5-passenger UTV followed by his dog trailer. He hunts mostly wild quail with his German shorthairs and pointers.Layman said the quail numbers are good this year

    in parts of South Texas, especially from around here (Carrizo Springs) to Cotulla.Over Valentines Day weekend, humid and cooler tem-

    peratures provided good scenting conditions for Boomer, the vizsla owned by Eric Shirey of Omaha, Nebraska, and Moose, the black lab of David Sweet of Spring. The dogs were house dogs, not pros, and