MOORE OUTDOORS: Changes coming to SE Texas outdoors scene
Published 11:01 pm Saturday, September 24, 2016
Fall has arrived.
Yes, I know it certainly does not seem like it, but last Thursday was the official first day of fall.
Tuesday we are supposed to get a cool front that should give some welcome relief from the crazy heat we’ve had, but fall is here and with it will come changes in the outdoors scene.
Paying attention to these subtle changes will allow you to catch more fish and have more success hunting in the thick forests of the Pinewoods region.
Right now, shad are still the mainstay in the diet of specked trout, redfish and flounder in the system. Where shrimp are thick you will see them hitting of course, but the shad migrate out before shrimp, and sometimes in the next 2-3 weeks you will see start having much more success finding shrimp to find the aforementioned three game fish.
In fact, in the areas in the marshes where shrimp are thick you will find a lot of opportunity for those fish right now. Once the official switch happens, all three species tend to feed more aggressively and preparation for the coming winter.
And who can blame them? I’d rather eat shrimp cocktail than oil shad any day of the week.
Another change to look for is a very much overlooked one and that is the hunger of truly monster-sized largemouth bass on Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Conroe.
The Toyota Sharelunker season begins Oct. 1 and that is when state officials accept donations of bass weighing 13 pounds or more. Looking at the Sharelunker records you can see that early fall has been fairly successful for those huge fish on our three local Sharelunker producers.
Looking at the Sharelunker database Toledo Bend has had seven produced there with one caught in October. Rayburn which has produced 26 Sharelunker has had November entries and Conroe had three in December.
No one really talks about giant bass until February when the pre-spawn begins on these lakes but the fact is fall is when the big ones start being caught. The pressure on the lakes is much lighter when many are more focused on duck and deer hunting. That means there are great opportunities for big bass so you might want to forget about chasing the schooling fish that are easy (and fun) to catch and consider flipping a jig or throwing a big swimbait for giants.
Hunters want to pay very special attention to acorn crops going into archery season.
My yard is full of pin oak acorns to an extent I have never seen. On a wet year like we’ve had, there will be acorns all over the place. Deer will come to corn, but not like they would in a normal year.
Pay very special attention to which species of oak trees are starting to drop their crops. Deer in certain areas will go for certain acorns before all others. On my last deer lease it was pin oaks. On some it is white and others red oaks. Do some scouting and figure out which acorns are their favorites and set up to hunt these areas.
Natural food sources are crucial and during this bow season in the Pinewoods they will override corn by a long shot.