Fish Texas E-Newsletter: Summer 2013

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In this issue: 


Hooked on the Coast

man casting in shallow bay water, sunsetSitting on a dock on a bay can be a happy place to let time roll away if you’re a saltwater angler. Coastal fishing is a way of life for some enthusiasts as described in this video “Hooked on the Coast.”

Variety is the spice of saltwater fishing – from big boat excitement at an offshore rig, to the camaraderie of a pier, or patient wading in a shallow bay. Find a place to saltwater fish in public waters. Public fishing piers offer easy access to try coastal fishing and enjoy the breeze and the ocean view at the same time, and many are wheelchair accessible.

Two reminders about fishing and boating in coastal flats:

  • Save seagrass and save good fishing. Propeller scars across coastal seagrass flats can last for years.  So “Lift, Drift, Pole or Troll” when crossing these essential nurseries that foster some of the best fishing in the nation. Learn how to protect this critical habitat in this brief video, “Protecting Seagrass.” 
  • In shallow bays, keep a respectful distance from coastal rookeries where birds are nesting. Watch “Guarding The Nest.” Frightening birds off their nests can kill eggs or hatchlings in moments.

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A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser

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Summertime Fishing Notes

close up of large bass in man's graspKick off a great summer of fishing with two reminders:

• Celebrate Free Fishing Day on Saturday June 1. It’s a great opportunity to introduce someone to fishing – no license required. And remember you never need a license to fish in Texas State Parks.

 • Fish are important to Texas anglers and the Texas economy. Fishing regulations are designed to help maintain the quality and quantity of popular fish like bass, redfish and trout. Invest in your fishing future with a quick review of some basic angling rules in this video, “Don’t Mess with Texas Fish.”

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Growing Texas-Sized Trophy Catfish

close up catfish in net along boat sideTexas is blessed with an abundant supply of catfish, the frequent target of three of every four Texas anglers. The good news for cat anglers – whether they want to land a trophy or just catch a bunch to fry up, Texas may be becoming Catfish Heaven.

Caught with a rod and reel at Lake Texoma a few years ago, Splash, a 121.5-pound catfish, set a new world record and inspired biologists to consider the possibility of a catfish program similar to the largemouth bass Toyota ShareLunker program. Read “The Cat’s Meow” in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine to see how research will help increase catfish populations for trophy angling as well as for harvest. Growing trophy blue catfish is the focus of one current study described in this video by TPWD Fisheries Biologist John Tibbs.

Got a hankering for some catfishing? Remember that the Neighborhood Fishin’ program stocks catfish in 15 urban area lakes from April through November (then stocks rainbow trout for the cooler months). Find out if there’s one near you.

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Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center: Take the Kids

adults and child fishing at pond

Catch some summer memories at Texas’ premier aquatic nature center and hatchery. Southeast of Dallas in Athens, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) is home to a lot of what’s good about fishing in Texas and a great destination for families.

Kids of any age can catch a fish (instruction, bait, and fishing rods provided; no fishing license needed), learn about fish, see really big and really tiny fish, and visit a fishing museum. Watch fish feeding, and enjoy daily dive shows and tram rides to the hatchery ponds. Visit the wetlands pond, and don’t forget to check out the alligators.

The Center is the destination for all “lunker” bass donated to help build great fishing in Texas and the Toyota ShareLunker Program’s home base. It also offers group aquatic science education for youth and fly fishing instruction programs.

On June 1, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will celebrate Free Fishing Day with free admission for kids 12 and under plus free fishing, hot dogs, drinks and chips for the whole family.

Check the calendar for upcoming events. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday and most holidays. Download the new app. It provides all the information visitors need to see what’s happening at TFFC.

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Zebra Mussels: Don't let 'Em Muscle In

a solid mass of zebra mussels close upYou may be carrying zebra mussels…unless you clean, drain and dry your boat, trailer and gear as described in this video. Transporting zebra mussels is bad news for your favorite fishing spot, local lakes and rivers, and your community water supply. They hurt us all - multiplying rapidly over large areas, lacking natural predators in Texas lakes and causing tremendous environmental and economic damage. Learn more about this invasive species.

Transporting zebra mussels is also illegal - a first offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and fine of up to $500.

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A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser=============

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Stop! Don’t Tug That Snagged Lure

man fishing in brush

When the best fish lurk up under heavy cover, an angler is likely to catch a tree or a bush before landing a bass. Tip #1: Resist the urge to immediately yank on a line caught in brush or an underwater snag!  A little finesse can save the day.

Pick up some tips on freeing your line from a distance in "Freeing Snagged Lures," a story from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

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Green Fishing: Share Some Tips

man wade fishing in pristine river

And speaking of fishing line, if every angler discarded fifty feet of monofilament along the bank of his or her favorite fishing spot, the result would be disastrous! The same is true for batteries, lead weights and even plastic corks.

Anglers have been instrumental in working on better stewardship of the environment and are in a great position to lead the way for others. Find tips to share with fishing pals in “Green Around the Gills” from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

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A Lifetime License Could Be Yours in June

ADV Enter to win a Lifetime License

Enter by June 27 to win a Lifetime Super Combo License (an $1,800 value) which would give you the privilege to hunt and fish in Texas without ever having to buy another state license or stamp! Buy your $5 entries wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. The winner will be drawn June 30.

The winner can keep the license or give it as a gift to family or friends in Texas. Only Texas residents are eligible to win. Winners also receive a 1-year subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Read the complete rules and information here.

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