Fish Texas – September 2019

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In This Issue:

Fish Like a Bass Pro

man in boat holding largemouth bass, video link

Texas has some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the world. And as fall starts cooling things down, bass tournaments heat up. To win requires skill and planning – why not apply those same techniques to your own angling? Check out these tips and tricks to help you fish like a bass pro. 

1. Start by fishing a lake known for big bass:

2. Find out the secrets of a big bass hunter in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine's blog post, Bassology.

3. Large bass rise out of deep, cool places to feed at night, especially in warmer weather, so don't miss these Night Fishing Moves.

There are all levels of bass tournaments, so why not compete yourself? If you'd like to enter a contest, we've got tips in our magazine story, Bass Tournament. While you're doing that, we'll keep up our research and programs like Texas ShareLunker and continue bringing you bigger, better bass. 

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Changes for 2019-2020

man fishing in front of waterfall

A digital version of your fishing license can now be used as proof of a license, unless you're fishing for red drum.

You can now view your license on the Outdoor Annual (OA) app or the My Texas Hunt Harvest app. Other acceptable digital versions include a legible digital photo of your license and your emailed license receipt. But if there's a chance you'll catch and keep an oversized red drum, which requires a tag, take your physical license with you. 

The OA is your source for all regulation information. There have been a few changes this year, so read over them before heading out. If your OA app was downloaded before Aug. 15, it will need to be updated to version 6 before you can use it to access your license or view the 2019-2020 regulations.

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New for Alligator Gar Anglers

snout of gar being held by man, video link

As of Sept. 1, all alligator gar harvested from public waters (other than Falcon Reservoir) must be reported within 24 hours of harvest using the My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app or online.

New rules for harvesting alligator gar on a portion of the Trinity River include a 48" maximum length limit, a nighttime ban on bow fishing, and an online drawing to allow a limited number of anglers to harvest 1 alligator gar over the 48" limit.

Entries are now being accepted for the free online drawing! Submit your entry on My Texas Hunt Harvest through Sept. 30. Winners will be notified by Oct. 15. More information about alligator gar restrictions, regulations, and the drawing can be found in the Outdoor Annual.

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Savory Spotted Seatrout

man holding sea trout, video link

Spotted seatrout (or speckled trout) are popular with saltwater anglers due to their wonderfully nutty flavor. You'll usually find them in bays and estuaries that have oyster beds or seagrass.

One way to locate seatrout is to watch for shiny slicks on the water, an indicator they're feeding. Check out our other tips on how to catch seatrout

Listen to this episode about seatrout on our new podcast, Under the Texas Sky. Host Cecilia Nasti discusses seatrout regulations with anglers, and a chef demonstrates how to make trout meunière. Chef's tip: clean and ice your trout as quickly as possible to maintain flavor and texture.

New this year, the daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler per day, coastwide. Other seatrout regulations can be found in the Outdoor Annual. 

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Balloon Roundup to Help Gulf Wildlife

deceased laughing gull caught in a ribbon from a balloon

Balloon releases might seem harmless, but the balloon debris is killing wildlife. Endangered sea turtles and other marine life think floating balloons are jellyfish and eat them, which is deadly. Wildlife of all kinds are getting hopelessly tangled in balloon ribbon, like the gull in the photo.

This summer, anglers in the Galveston area started a balloon roundup challenge and are retrieving any balloons they find. They've got the support of environmental groups and hope the roundup will increase awareness of the deadly effects balloons have after they float away.

You can help by not participating in balloon releases, and by collecting and safely disposing of any balloons or plastic debris you see while out on the water.

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RAWA – Good for Texas Fishing

man holding Guadalupe bass, video link

Our state fish, the Guadalupe bass, was restored to the South Llano River in 2017. It is one of more than 1,300 Texas species that will be helped if the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) passes, which will give Texas more than $50 million a year for conservation of at-risk wildlife species. 

But RAWA may not pass unless people who care, people like you, take action. Contact your U.S. Representatives to let them know you expect their support of RAWA. #RecoverWildlife

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Did you know?

Nominations for the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame are being accepted through Nov. 1. Check out this video about Alan Haynes, the 2019 nominee.