Favorite Season of the Year




Every person who hunts or fishes has special season(s) of the year that are their favorite. For example, the freshwater angler can’t wait for the spring largemouth bass fishing. The saltwater angler eagerly checks water temperatures for when the action should pick up for speckled trout. If you’re a hunter, deer general gun season opening day is circled on your calendar. Waterfowl hunters are checking the skies when cold fronts begin pushing further south bringing ducks and geese for the upcoming seasons.

I like all the seasons, but during the fall and early winter, one of my favorite seasons is waterfowl. I’ve had the opportunity during my waterfowl hunting days to hunt a lot with guides. Days would begin at 4:00 a.m. at a local café with a bunch of other camo clad hunters, huddled over a cup of Java or maybe a couple of hot biscuits and gravy, sharing hunting license information with the guide. There wasn’t a whole of lot of talking going on, just waiting in anticipation for the guide to start sending hunters out to respective fields or blinds.

It was pitch black, no moon, and of course, cold as we rendezvoused along the side of the road along the field where we would be hunting. We were hunting geese in drawn down rice fields.

I hurried to put my waders on, put on my white parka over my regular parka, get my gloves, hat, shotgun and shells, but everyone else was finished before me and were dragging bags of decoy out into the field behind the lead of our guide.

I knew which direction they started out, but I could not see them. I could hear occasional noises of decoys being placed and the noise of geese awakening in an adjacent field … nothing else.

“Onward and upward,” as they say. I was doing a lot of staring upward as I floundered out across the deeply furrowed field. That rice grower must have been using the giant economy size disks on his tractor as they were deep and steep. Of course, I have never been known as being graceful, but I spent a lot of time on my backside or worse lying in the ditch between the sides of the furrow. After the third or fourth crash landing, and daylight slowly making itself known, I said to myself, “The heck with this, I’m staying right here in this furrow, and make my way to the group of hunters during a break in the action.”

As it turned out, I wasn’t too far off from the hunters and decoy spread. I don’t remember anyone making any comments as I struggled across the final set of furrows into the decoys, or maybe I should say I chose not to remember any good-natured comments made as I walked in. Gee’s … I was MIA and nobody even thought to send out a search party.

Maybe that’s what why I like waterfowl hunting … the camaraderie among hunters, the challenges of putting out decoys in the right patterns to fool the birds, the calling to bring the birds in. Have you ever heard a person “mouth call” a goose? It’s like a fine tuned trumpet, talking in the same language as the birds.

What’s your favorite hunting season, and why? I would like to hear some of your stories




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Toledo Bend Lake Current Weather Alerts

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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast

Monday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 73

Monday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 66

Tuesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 76

Tuesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 65

Wednesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 77

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 66

Thursday

Chance Rain Showers

Hi: 77

Thursday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 59


Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 12/5: 167.95 (-4.05)



Toledo Bend Lake

Fishing Report from TPWD (Nov. 30)

GOOD. Water stained; 59 degrees; 4.25 feet low. GOOD. The water level is 167.7 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 59 degrees. The back feeder creeks are stained and muddy with lots of Fall leaves floating on the surface, and the main lake remains clear. We were blessed with some rain this week 2-3 inches. Not much has changed on the pattern this week. Chatter baits are still producing in 3/8 to 3/4 ounce white, chartreuse, watermelon pepper, and red/black skirts. To cover a lot of water, use a square bill crank bait or a flat side crank bait and smaller rattle traps from 0-8 feet in shad and perch imitation colors and the Rayburn red traps are still working. For deeper Bass, cast a Carolina rig with a worm or lizard. Jigging spoons are still producing quality bass on 1/2 to 3/4 ounce (silver with a white or yellow accent tail feather or a deep diving crank bait in citrus shad and Tennessee shad colors). The jig and pig bite has been strong. Cast your jig to long tapering points that drop off into deep water, the best colors are black and blue, PB&J football jigs 3/8 - 3/4 ounce with a 3-inch matching color craw trailer, and a green pumpkin jig with a chunk style trailer. The Crappie bite is still good in 12-20 feet on the edge of the river channels using 1/16- and 3/32-ounce Wager Baits, #46 Bluegrass, #3 Monkey Milk, #09 Electric Chicken, #10 Black and Chartreuse and small minnows depending on the cloud cover and cooling night temperatures. Now that the lake is at a Winter drawdown, it's prime time to go out scouting for new areas for Springtime fishing. Look for areas like feeder creeks, ditches, man-made structures, creek bends and undercuts, etc. Reminder: Keep and extra set of clothes in a dry bag stowed away on your vessel just in case you get caught in the rain, heavy winds, etc. Hypothermia happens quickly. Good luck and keep casting forward! Report from Master Captain Steve “Scooby” Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orv

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