Outdoors Digest

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat


Through Dec. 29 – Oklahoma dove season second split.

Through Jan. 2 – Texas North Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 2 – General whitetail season in Grayson and Collin Counties with the means and method of take restricted to lawful archery and crossbow gear.

Through Jan. 15 – Oklahoma archery deer season.

Through Jan. 16 – Texas South Zone general whitetail season.

Through Jan. 30 – Texas North Zone duck season second split.

Through Jan. 30 – Oklahoma Zone 2 duck season second split.

Through Feb. 15 – Oklahoma quail season.

Through Feb. 27 – Texas quail hunting season.

Dec. 17 – First TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Dec. 17 - Jan. 2 - Texas North Zone dove hunting second split.

Dec. 18-Jan. 31 – Texas woodcock season.

Jan. 4 - Monthly meeting of the Red River Fly Fishers at the Rec Hall at Eisenhower State Park. For information, visit www.rrff.org .

Jan. 7 - Second TPWD trout stocking at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Jan. 8 - 15th annual City of Denison Howard Caylor Trout Derby at Waterloo Lake Park Pond. For information, call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) or visit the city of Denison's website at http://www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec .


As the city of Denison gets ready to celebrate the city's Sesquicentennial Celebration next year, D-Town is getting ready to host the 15th annual Howard Caylor Trout Derby early in 2022. This upcoming event will take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 at Waterloo Lake Park Pond according to Andrew Means of the city’s Parks and Rec Department. Look for more details soon; call (903) 465-2720 (extension 2034) during business hours; or visit the city of Denison website at www.cityofdenison.com/parksrec... Grayson County’s first local stockings of catchable size rainbow trout have been taking place this week. The first such TPWD stocking was on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at Pottsboro Lake while the second one will happen today on Dec. 17 at Denison’s Waterloo Lake Park Pond …Wintertime is also trophy catfish season in Texomaland and ODWC reports that such action is heating up on 89,000-acre Lake Texoma.  Blues, channel cats, and flatheads are all good on cut bait, dough bait, goldfish, hot dogs, live shad, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish right now according to ODWC. Look for big whiskerfish along creek channels, in coves, near docks, on the main lake, near points, and in the river channels. Blue cat action should continue to get better according to ODWC as the winter season continues, with a lot of success coming on juglines in 15-45-feet of water for those using live shad...Renowned bowhunter Chuck Adams has tagged another Pope and Young Club world record animal. The velvet racked Sitka Blacktail Deer was taken on Alaska's Kodiak Island in August and was panel measured last week by P&Y measurers. To see more on Adams latest world record big game animal, visit http://www.bowhunter.com ....

Hunting Reports

With the post-rut continuing, there haven’t been many more reports of big deer since Texas DPS state trooper Tarif Alkhatib arrowed what might be a new county record typical buck last week. If you missed that news story in last Friday’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section, the big 12-point mainframe buck has a reported green gross score in the mid-190s and a reported green net score in the upper 170s…As the second split of duck season continues, Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guides are finding good limit shoots in southern Oklahoma, although it is taking some good scouting every day to find concentrations of ducks pushing into the region despite the mild weather…As Christmas Day approaches, most area waterfowling success is seeing wingshooters getting a few mallards, gadwalls, wigeon, green-winged teal, pintails and diver ducks like canvasbacks, redheads, and ring-necked ducks…Don’t forget that there are a couple of additional wingshooting options coming up in parts of the area over the next several weeks. First, the 2021-22 woodcock season begins in Texas as it runs its course from Dec. 18 through Jan. 31. Also keep in mind that the second split of the 2021 Oklahoma dove season is underway and continues through Dec. 29 on the Sooner State side of the Red River…In Texas, the second split of dove season begins in the North Zone today on Friday, Dec. 17 and continues through Jan. 2…Quail season is underway in both Texas and Oklahoma and there are a few reports of success. In western Oklahoma though, conditions are dry, wildfires have been erupting with ease, and scenting action is difficult for pointing dogs…

Fishing Reports

As the Christmas holidays approach, fishing remains good on Lake Texoma according to guide John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors. He tells TPWD that the water is lightly stained; water temp is 56 degrees; and the lake is 1.35 feet low. Striped bass are good in the main luck on Alabama rigs, with the larger fish biting on swimbaits thrown around structure. The dead-stick bite is also producing right now…At Lake Ray Roberts, site of the 51st Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, there is no current bass fishing report. But TPWD says that crappie are good on main lake brush piles in 20-30 feet of water on minnows. The agency says that the bigger fish are still in the Buck Creek area in the standing timber around 20-foot depths with the crappie bait suspended in the 10-12 feet of water…At Lake Fork, water is lightly stained; water temps are 62-64 degrees; and the lake is 3.17 feet low. Guides Jason Hoffman and Marc Mitchell tell TPWD that Fork’s largemouth bass are still biting good on spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits worked along windy banks in 3-4-feet of water. Viper XP jigs are good on wood near creeks and ditches in 4-6 feet of water. Suspending jerkbaits are also good near points and creeks with some flooded timber in 4-7-feet of water…Fork crappie guide Jacky Wiggins says that the slab bite is also good between the 154 and 515 bridges on creek channels. Fork’s crappie are feeding up on bait, so they are shad and happy, if you will, says the guide. He says to fish deep in 45-55-feet of water, but keeping in mind that crappie are suspended around 20-30-feet on top of the timber. Success is coming for crappie anglers using small one-sixteenth ounce hand ties with a weight above it, but if they are biting, also add a minnow… At the Blue River near Tishomingo, Okla., ODWC reports a normal river elevation, water temp of 52 degrees, and clear water. The agency says that this past week, rainbow trout have been good on in-line Mepp's style spinnerbaits, PowerBait, and small spoons fished along channel braids and rocks in the Johnson County stream...If your Christmas holiday travel plans take you near the Texas Gulf Coast, on the Upper Coast at the Bolivar Peninsula, TPWD is still getting many reports of bull redfish, redfish, and jackfish being caught on live finger mullet, fresh cut bait, or squid…On the Middle Coast at Port Aransas, TPWD says that the big bull reds are in 30-feet of water at the jetties and the Fina Docks, biting on cut and live perch and cut mullet. Sheepshead are good on live shrimp too according to Capt. Doug Stanford of Pirates of the Bay Fishing Charters…Finally, down on the Lower Coast at South Padre Island, Capt. Lou Austin tells TPWD that if you put in the work, you will bring home a full sack of fish that will rival Santa’s sack of toys. Trout are biting well on artificial lures tossed in murky water on the east side, and for those anglers using live shrimp on a popping cork around the gas well. Lots of sheepshead are being caught by those free shrimping dead shrimp around the Causeway. Schools of sand trout south of Coast Guard station are good too, but redfish are spotty, with some oversized fish being caught in the jetties. In the main channel, slot sized reds are coming to anglers using cut finger mullet near Channel Marker 68 near Three Islands…

Tip of the Week

With family, friends, and guests coming over for the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, watching outdoor programming on your TV screen is a great way to pass the time. After all, if you can’t be outside fishing and hunting, watching some great outdoors programming is the next best thing, right? Thanks to Outdoor Sportsman Group’s MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) streaming platform, such programming is always available on demand with more than 20,0000+ hours available for viewing on your favorite devices like Xbox, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and LG and Samsung TVs. To give the gift of year-round outdoor programming, why not consider a gift card to MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) for a six month pre-paid plan ($49.50) or a 12-month plan ($98.99). For more information, visit www.myoutdoortv.com.