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Toledo Bend Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

New Hunting and Fishing Licenses


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

New hunting and fishing licenses go on sale on Aug. 15. Last year’s license will expire Aug. 31.
If you plan to be in the field when the 2018-19 dove season opens in most of the state on Sept. 1, you’ll need a new Texas hunting license and a migratory bird stamp endorsement to be legal.

Earlier is better than later in purchasing your new licenses Wait until the afternoon of Aug. 31 and there is a good chance of running into long lines.

Make sure you bring along proper identification and be prepared to surrender your Social Security number at the time of purchase. TPWD is required to collect SSN’s for the purpose of child support enforcement.

Also, be sure the sales clerk carries out the proper Harvest Information Program Certification (HIP) before you leave the counter. HIP certification is mandatory. It consists of answering a few survey questions regarding the number of doves, ducks and geese you killed the previous season. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses the data for making future decisions in the management of migratory birds.

The last time Texas sportsmen saw a price hike in license fees was nearly a decade ago, when the cost of most recreational hunting and fishing licenses, boat registration and titling fees increased by five percent.

The 2009 increase represented a $4 jump in the cost of an Super Combo license, from $64 to $68. The cost of a freshwater fishing license increased $2, from $28 to $30. The biggest jump was in the cost of Lifetime Combination hunting/fishing license, which increased from $1,000 to $1,800, an 80 percent increase.

TPWD’s license menu is a lengthy one structured in a way that allows constituents to tailor their choices to meet their specific needs. If you hunt but don’t fish, you can just buy a hunting license along with any stamp endorsements required to go after specific game. If you fish but don’t hunt, there are fishing license packages for freshwater, saltwater or a combination of the two.

A hunting license is required of anyone, regardless of age, for hunting animals, birds, frogs and turtles. Fishing license requirements are less restrictive. You don’t need license to fish if you are under 17, were born before Jan. 1, 1931 or mentally disabled. License requirements also are waived when fishing from the bank in a state park, in waters fully enclosed by a state park and on declared free fishing days.

TPWD’s top-selling license is the Super Combo package, which sells for $68. It includes resident hunting and fishing licenses and all the stamp endorsements required for fishing in fresh and saltwater, hunting with archery gear and hunting upland game birds and migratory birds.
Senior Super Combo for those age 65 and older costs $32.

Waterfowlers should note the Super Combo package does not include the $25 Federal Duck Stamp. The stamp is required for all waterfowl hunters 16 and older. It can be purchased at U.S. Post Offices, TPWD law enforcement offices or through one of the 1,700 vendors that will be selling new hunting and fishing licenses, permits and stamps this year.

The Annual Public Hunting Permit (APHP), $48, provides hunting access to more than one million acres of public hunting land around the state. The APHP is a particularly good deal for dove hunters because it allows for hunting on more than 100 private lands fields currently under lease by the department for dove hunting. Many of the fields are located in areas rich with agricultural crops, many within a short drive of metro areas.

You can check out the different licenses online at

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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 68

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 43


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 62

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 46


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 68

Sunday Night

Thunderstorms Likely

Lo: 61



Hi: 67

Monday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 36

Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 12/14: 164.99 (-7.01)

Toledo Bend Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec. 11)

GOOD. Water slightly stained; 61 degrees; 7.09’ low. Largemouth bass are good on crankbaits, jigs, plastic worms, and spinners. Follow the creek channels along the Sabine Forrest. Striped bass are good on topwater, rattle traps, and spoons on humps and along river channels. White bass are fair on spoons and small crankbaits. Channel and blue catfish are good on live bait and stinkbait. Crappie are good around on jigs and live minnows.