Fish Texas – November 2019

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In This Issue:

Chasing Rainbows

man holding rainbow trout, video link

Cool weather has arrived, or as we like to call it – trout weather! We'll begin stocking rainbow trout by early December in Neighborhood Fishin' ponds and other waterways – about 170 locations in all.

Any age or skill level can enjoy the thrill of chasing and catching rainbows, so grab grandma and the kids when you go, it’s great family fun. And Neighborhood Fishin' spots have restrooms and picnic tables nearby.

The rainbow trout stocking schedule will be posted by mid-November and will be updated throughout the cold-weather season. 

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5 Tips for Surf and Wade Fishing

man holding dolphin fish, video link

Our coastline is like a magician's hat – you never know what you'll pull out! Red drum and flounder are just 2 delicious fish you might catch when you surf or wade fish. 

To wade fish you walk into the water, sliding your feet to better sneak up on your prey. Surf fishing is done from the shore. Check out these 5 tips to increase your near-shore luck:

  1. Use natural baits like mullet or Gulf shrimp (never use non-Gulf shrimp as bait).
  2. Wear polarized sunglasses to cut surface glare.
  3. Use a variety of sinkers to hold your bait in place.
  4. Cast your line near underwater structures like sandbars.
  5. Fish while the tide is rising or falling for the best advantage. 

You find more tips and an equipment list on the Texas Parks & Wildlife blog post, Wade in and Catch Fish. Try fishing along the shore this fall and winter, when you won't have to contend with swimmers scaring off the fish.

Be aware that the daily bag limit on flounder drops to 2 fish from Nov. 1 - Dec. 15, and they can be taken only by pole-and-line (no gigging) during the month of Nov. Check the Outdoor Annual for saltwater bag and length limits.

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Teach a Friend to Fish

man and child fishing, video link

Fishing holds universal appeal. If you know an adult or child with an interest in fishing, encourage them to try it, or offer to take them fishing yourself!

State parks are good place to start, since they offer free fishing and host fishing events. Fishing tackle can be borrowed for free at many locations through our Tackle Loaner Program.

Neighborhood Fishin' lakes are stocked regularly and are conveniently located in urban areas.

Help spread the joy of fishing by coaching someone new to it. Having a mentor the first time out makes the process a lot less mysterious and the experience a lot more fun – for both of you!

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Build Your Fly Fishing Skills

man fly fishing in river with autumn color, video link

Has the thought of learning to fly cast kept you from fly fishing? Don't be intimidated. With some practice, you too can hear the whoosh-whoosh of a successful cast and watch your line sail out over the water.

There are several fly casting techniques you can explore to find your favorite. For support, look for a Texas fly fishing club nearby and attend a meeting. Members welcome newcomers to the sport, and many clubs offer loaner tackle.

Once you get the hang of fly casting, watch our video for tips on picking the right fly. If you need more inspiration, read the magazine story, The Unexpected Wonders of Fly Fishing – you may get hooked.

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Fish Habitat Structures = Better Fishing

man carrying large fish structure made of pots, video link

Good habitat is necessary for robust fish populations. Our Inland Fisheries team improves fish habitat in our reservoirs by installing plants and structures to attract fish.

Pick a spot from our list of locations with fish habitat structure and take advantage of the concentrations of fish they create. 

We continually strive to make improvements to the effectiveness of fish structures and regularly add them to new sites. Partnerships also play an essential role in making fish habitat projects happen. Visit Friends of Reservoirs for more information about these collaborations.

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Game Wardens Warn, “Don’t Feed the Dolphins.”

bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins are coastal residents, but Texas Game Wardens warn boaters not to feed them. Check the NOAA Fisheries viewing guidelines for more information.

If you find a beached dolphin, the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network asks that you do not push it back into the water. Call them at 1-800-9-MAMMAL instead.

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Did You Know?

We’ve put together a long list of frequently asked questions about fishing with links to the answers.

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