Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Families looking for inexpensive outings might want to consider checking out the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) near Athens.
TFFC offers free fishing with paid admission for channel catfish and rainbow trout with no license, bait, tackle or experience required, and from March 10 until the end of rainbow trout season in late April, visitors can harvest trout for free.
Daily limit is five trout per person. Anyone wishing to harvest trout should bring an ice chest and ice according to TFFC officials.
“Visitors will also want to check out the center’s 300,000 gallons of aquaria featuring native Texas fish, including black bullhead catfish, grass pickerel, lake chubsucker, freshwater drum and white bass, along with sunfish, gar and crappie. There are also some truly monster fish on display, including largemouth bass weighing more than 15 pounds and alligator gar weighing 200 or so.”
“Weekdays at 11:00 a.m., Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. a diver hand-feeds the fish in a 26,000-gallon aquarium with a viewing auditorium while discussing their biology and behavior. Visitors can ask questions of the diver through a live underwater link.”
After the dive show, visitors can take a tram tour of the hatchery where TFFC annually raises two to three million largemouth bass for stocking into public waters, channel catfish, smallmouth bass and koi carp (fish have to eat, too).”
Admission is affordable for all ages and you can get more information at 903-676-2277.
Now onto the report…
North Sabine — Redfish are good in the marshes on live bait and soft plastics. Target the Entergy Canal for reds, drum and sheepshead on dead shrimp. Very few reports of trout. Flounder are fair to good on the north end of Pleasure Island on live bait.
South Sabine — Redfish and drum remain fair along the Louisiana shoreline. Flounder are improving daily on jigs tipped with shrimp and live bait.
Sabine Pass — Flounder are starting to slowly trickle into the system. Look for big incoming tides to produce good catches at various points along the channel. Very few reports of trout and reds this week.
Lake Calcasieu (Big Lake) — Anglers continue to catch a few big trout caught near the channel and over mixed shell. Redfish are fair to good along the shorelines. Very few reports of flounder.
Sabine River — Catfish remain in the rivers on chicken liver and shrimp. Very few reports of crappie. Bass are good in the Burnt Out Bridge area on spinners and Texas-rigged worms.
Sam Rayburn — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report largemouths are good on green pumpkin and watermelon soft plastics, crankbaits, and buzzbaits. White bass are good on live minnows and chartreuse jigs. Crappie are good on minnows and pink tube jigs. Bream are fair on worms. Catfish are good on shrimp, liver, and cut bait.
Toledo Bend — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report largemouths are good on watermelon and chartreuse soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and Rat–L–Traps. Striped bass are fair on minnows. White bass are fair on minnows and Li'l Fishies. Crappie are good on minnows and pink tube jigs. Bream are good on worms. Channel and blue catfish are fair on shrimp and stinkbait. Yellow catfish are slow.
TOLEDO BEND: Normal Pool Level: 172.0 Current Pool Level: 166.48 Was 166.05
RAYBURN LAKE: Normal Pool Level: 164 Current Pool Level: 157.54 Was: 157.09
B.A. STEIN HAGEN: Normal Pool Level: 85 Current Pool Level: 82.57 Was: 82.44