Inland fisheries officials with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) will begin their annual rainbow trout stocking Nov. 30 stocking more than 264,000 hatchery-raised rainbow trout in over 100 lakes across the state.
Claiborne West Park in Orange County will get 1,100 total fish with stockings Jan. 19 and Feb. 8. The LNVA Barrier Pond on the Neches River in Beaumont will get 4,500 fish with two stockings Dec. 20 and Jan. 17.
TPWD officials report a valid Texas freshwater fishing package is required to fish for trout. Youth ages 16 and younger and all anglers fishing from the bank in state parks are exempt from the fishing package requirement.
“Trout make ideal table fare and are easily prepared. They are best eaten fresh within two days of the catch, but can also be frozen. First, remove the entrails by making an incision with a sharp knife along the length of the underside of the fish and thoroughly wash inside and out under running water,” they reported.
“Trout do not need to be scaled. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and top with a thin slice or two of lemon. You can also season with your favorite seafood spices. Wrap the prepared fish individually in aluminum foil and bake or grill until done, usually no more than 4-8 minutes at 350 degrees.”
Now onto the report:
North Sabine — Trout are fair to good on live bait and Rat-L-Traps fished under the birds from East Pass to the mid-lake area. Very few reports of reds. Flounder action is fair along the Louisiana shoreline on live mud minnows. Sheepshead are good on shrimp fished in Old River Cove.
South Sabine — Trout are fair to good on live shad (if you can get it) fished under a popping cork and Rat-L-Traps and soft plastic shrimp imitations fished under the birds in the mid-lake area and around Garrison Ridge. Flounder are good around the causeway on live mud minnows. Reds are good around Blue Buck Point and Garrison Ridge on Rat-L-Traps. Black drum and sheepshead are fair to good on the reef on shrimp.
Sabine Pass — Flounder remain good in Texas Bayou and Keith Lake Cut on live mud minnows and chartreuse plastics. This could be the last bit of the flounder run as the action is starting to concentrate in the pass. The jetties are very good for redfish on mullet fished in the Texas Cut and along the deep holes on the Texas side. The bull drum have started to show up as well.
Lake Calcasieu (Big Lake) — Capt. Buddy Oakes of the Hackberry Rod and Gun Club reports fair to good trout action throughout the system with most fish caught under the birds on spoons, cocahoe minnows and a variety of soft plastics. Flounder are good on mud minnows fished in the channel around Cameron. Redfish are mixed with the trout. Bull redfish are still good at the jetties on live and cut mullet and crab along with some big bull drum.
Rayburn Lake — Guide Roger Bacon reports largemouths are fair on jigging spoons over schools of shad and spinners in light colors fished along shallow grass on warm afternoons. Catfish action is fair over baited holes with cheese bait and nightcrawlers producing the most action. Very few crappie reports of crappie.
Toledo Bend — Cypress Creek Marina reports officials report largemouths are fair to good on jigging spoons along the river channel and white/chartreuse spinners fished along grasslines. Catfish are fair on trotlines baited with live perch in deep water. Baited holes are producing the most crappie.
Hunting — The region is still holding good numbers of geese and fair numbers of ducks but hunting overall has been slow to fair. Some of the best hunting has come from the Louisiana marsh across from Orange where hunters are still taking a few mallards. Most straps are consisting of teal, shovelers, gadwall and specklebellies.
TOLEDO BEND: Normal Level: 172.0 Current Pool Level: 165.20 (Was 165.19)
RAYBURN LAKE: Normal Pool Level: 164.4 Current Pool Level: 162.62 (Was 163.01)
B.A. STEINHAGEN: Normal Pool Level: 85 Current Pool Level: 62.21 (Was 62.23)
Chester Moore, Jr. is the Port Arthur News Outdoors Editor