November to remember
Nov. 25, 2012 at 5:25 a.m.
November has been a solid month for hunting and fishing. With temperatures still a bit mild for this time of year, the successful trend of autumn hunting and fishing could continue well in to December. Here are a few reports from across the state:
SPECKLED TROUT: The hot spots along the coast have been Sabine Lake, Trinity Bay and East Galveston Bay. Large flocks of birds have worked on the upper ends of the bay. Matagorda anglers have caught limits recently while drifting shallow shell and mud with Gulps and plastics under popping corks. Birds have not worked consistently in Matagorda. San Antonio Bay anglers have caught limits of trout on live shrimp recently with light winds. Waders have scored heavy trout on small topwaters near Port O'Connor. The odd flounder has been found on the edge of channels and along marsh drains.
REDFISH: The hot spot for reds has been Matagorda. Large schools of bronze-backs have been roaming the shallows and running the grass line like a freight train. However, only shallow-drafting boats have been able to get to the fish. Often fish have worked muddy flats with backs and tails out of the water. Gulps, Bass Assassins and small topwaters have been the go-to baits. Back lakes near Port O'Connor have held fish on the morning incoming tide, but many fish are congregating at the mouths of those lakes in the afternoon when the tide falls. Waders have found solid reds on the north shoreline of Trinity Bay at the top of the high tide, while bull redfish continue to impress at jetties from Sabine Lake to Port O'Connor.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL: Duck hunting remains fair at best. More mallards have shown, but the brunt of the greenhead population has not arrived. Most sloughs and river bottoms are dry, but those with water are holding solid numbers of wood ducks. Gadwalls and wigeons have been taken in shallow coves of lakes and reservoirs. The diver population on lakes and reservoirs has been impressive since the drought has limited watering sources. Hunting remains best around the coastal zone boundaries of IH-10. Freshwater impoundments have held pintails, wigeons, shovelers and teal, but wildlife managers have had to pump water due to the dry conditions.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL: The coast continues to produce steady duck shoots on the prairies, marshes and bays. Gadwalls, wigeons, shovelers, teal and pintails have been the species showing in bags. If you have water, you have ducks. Bay hunters have seen an influx of birds with limits of redheads, wigeons and pintails being the norm around Port O'Connor. Good numbers of birds were reported in Rockport and Port Mansfield, with pintails, wigeons and redheads making up the brunt of the bag. Snow goose hunting has been fair in isolated areas with significant water to roost birds. Specklebellies action has been fair despite a bumper crop of young specks. Lack of available rice fields have hurt decoying action. Sandhill crane numbers are steady, though the large gray birds will not be legal to hunt until Dec. 22. The first split of the South Zone duck season ends at sunset Nov 25.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).