By TODD NAFE
Have you ever driven down a Texas back road and saw a place that made you stop and imagine yourself fishing or hunting there?
If you are one of those lucky people who owns a place, or has access to private hunting and fishing property through friends and family like me, then celebrate your good fortune. But there is a significant and growing number of people in our area who have lost their leases or no longer have access to private land and water, including newcomers to the area looking to scratch their itch outdoors.
To provide people who fall into the latter category with options for outdoor sports, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a program that opens more than a million acres of publicly accessible land for hunting and fishing that the department leases to other states and federal. agencies, forest products industries and private owners.
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TPWD’s Annual Public Hunting Permit provides walk-in access to a large number of acres throughout the state, including a significant amount just a short drive from Waco. More than 180 hunting areas and more than 100 small game and dove areas are available through the purchase of the $48 permit, which allows hunters to target seasonal species such as doves, quail, deer, turkeys, waterfowl and small game. Some areas also allow authorized and licensed visitor fishing access.
If you have a smartphone, downloading the TPWD Outdoor Annual app will give you everything you need when you’re in the field or on the water, including your license documentation, hunting and fishing regulations, species identification tools, fishing reports, state park information, news and events, and even public hunting maps with detailed property-specific layouts including boundaries and features, allowed species, means of harvest, and more.
Just when it seemed like summer was being pushed aside for some cooler fall-like temperatures and refreshing rains, Mother Nature had second thoughts and dashed our hopes away. But it won’t be long until the summer weather gives way to cooler days and when that changes, so will fall fishing patterns.
Catfishing legend Danny King (Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait) says that when cooler weather comes to stay and water temperatures drop, look for shallower waters for success. “They’ll move to feed in three to six feet of water, and I’ll mainly be fishing off points,” he said. “This time of year you can usually catch three or four, then a little later a few more will shed.”
He’s been catching a dozen or two every morning for the past few days, using his signature bait and rods (he opts for the Suki Gizzard variety of bait), and last week’s casts included fish weighing between three and 25 pounds. while fishing from the Bank. He fishes it on the bottom and says he’s been fishing more than boat anglers, but recommends that if you’re fishing from a boat, target areas just off points on the edge of deeper river channels and streams.
The hunt for plan B
When whitetail deer archery season begins Oct. 1, hunters may find fewer deer depending on feeders due to recent rains in the area. As city folks noted when their gardens began to sprout again, the same thing happened in deer habitats, making the deer more difficult to attract to the feed corn that many hunters had already loaded up and started hunting. to transmit.
So when conditions change, smart hunters adjust their strategies and position themselves near things like mesquite trees, which are full of beans, a favorite on the whitetail menu.