Fish Texas – May 2020

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In This Issue:

How to Find a Spot to Fish Close to Home

man and and his son fishing on dock

The closer to home you fish, the more time you get on the water. Try any of these 3 useful tools to find places to fish near your home:

Outdoor Annual app: use the "Where to Fish" option to search waterbodies within 5 to 50 miles of your location. It lists size, location and other details – even a fishing report if there is one. You can also easily check fishing regulations.

Lake Finder: Use the map to find a lake in your area. You'll find access information and fishing tips for 150+ lakes. To find out if a lake has had structures added to attract fish, check locations of fish habitat structures

River access points: We have leased river access areas for use by anglers and paddlers. You'll find directions to the access points, contact info and other details online.  

Some lake and river access points may be closed during the pandemic. Many have contact information listed, so confirm the area is open before you head out. Check our Temporary Closures and Operations Adjustments for any Texas fishing updates related to COVID-19. 

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Fish School: Angling Skills Kids Can Learn at Home

Girl holding fish, video link

School may be out, but fish school is in! If you've got children, we've got 4 ways they can build their angling skills while spending time at home.

  1. Practice Casting – Get a hook-less casting plug, set up some targets in the yard, and let the fun begin! Get tips from the article The Perfect Cast and the video, How to Cast. Practice a half-hour each day.
  2. Tie Knots – Learning this at home will save time and avoid frustration on the water. Start with the short video on how to tie a palomar knot. Once that's mastered, visit Coastal Fisheries' Tie Tuesday, where we post a knot-tying video on Facebook each Tuesday. For learning, use a supple 10-12-pound test monofilament line.
  3. Baits & Lures – Once a child realizes fish detect a meal by movement, sight and sound, a world of possibilities is revealed. The short video, Baits and Lures, will get them started.  
  4. Know Fish – The more a child knows about fish behavior, the better an angler she or he will become. Kids can explore the habits of their favorites in our descriptions of freshwater and saltwater fishes of Texas. 

Practice may not always make perfect, but it will give your child more confidence as an angler and a more satisfying fishing experience.  

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Tips for Coastal Kayak Fishing

Saltwater catch on stringer next to kayak, video link

Our coastline is filled with sport fish, and one of the best ways to get to them is in a kayak.

A kayak takes you farther out than wade fishing, and it gives you access to the nooks and crannies of marshes – where you won't find many people but can find a bounty of crabs, red drum, spotted seatrout and other fish. 

While on the water, steer clear of waterbird nesting areas from Feb.-Aug. It's illegal to disturb them. Most, but not all, of their nesting islands have yellow warning signs, so stay aware. Many populations of our colonial waterbirds are in major decline – give them a break and give them their space.

Kayaks are quiet, simple to use and safer than a canoe, so try one for your next fishing adventure. Rentals are easy to find and so are the fish – once you've mastered kayak fishing. 

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Never use imported shrimp as bait.

Game Wardens Celebrate 125 Years Protecting Texas

Game Wardens in Boat, video link

Whether they're rescuing a family from a sinking boat, dismantling illegal long-lines or helping an injured bald eagle, the women and men of the Texas Game Wardens have been valiantly protecting the people and wildlife in our state for 125 years.  

The first school for game wardens started in 1946 at Texas A&M, and the first woman became a game warden in 1979. There are now about 550 active game wardens. Recent highlights include the creation of the K-9 unit (video) in 2013, the rescue of more than 12,000 people from Hurricane Harvey flood waters in 2017, and Lone Star Law, a reality show about Texas Game Wardens now in its 7th season. 

Read more about the illustrious history of your game wardens in the magazine blog post, Texas Game Wardens Celebrate 125th Anniversary. For more on their recent experiences, read Game Warden Field Notes. And for breaking news, follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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Join Tony Smith in Conserving Guadalupe Bass

Tony and his dog and paddleboard, link

Paddling the cool, clear waters of the Texas Hill Country is a favored pastime for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s (TPWF) We Will Not Be Tamed Ambassador Tony Smith. As the founder of Jarvis Boards, specializing in handmade wooden paddleboards, Smith appreciates knowing that these waters are home to the official state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe bass. 

But our official state fish needs some help. Because of the rapidly increasing population in Central Texas, among many other factors, Guadalupe bass have completely disappeared from many Hill Country rivers where they once thrived.

That’s why TPWF is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to restore Guadalupe bass through the Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative. TPWF members help support the effort, and so can you.

Become a member today and help support the state fish of Texas.

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Did You Know?

Largemouth bass are not members of the bass family. They're in the sunfish family, along with their cousins the bluegill, redear, longear and warmouth.

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