The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

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By Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record 

It's almost "showtime"


Last updated 10/19/2021 at 4:25pm

Hunters and fishermen alike are taking advantage of cooler temps and looking forward to a wide open fall pattern.

For a long time I always equated the best time of the year with the full moon in October, which coincidentally happens this week. For all intents and purposes summer is now in the rear-view window and those nasty 90-degree days should be nothing but a memory. Occasionally we get a reminder from Mother Nature that we are never far from crazy weather but judging from the forecast I'd have to say we may be safe for a few days so get ready to enjoy everything associated with this time of the year. Both fishermen and hunters alike are ready to get things going and I can't blame them one bit, it's time.

Local fishermen are intently eyeing the water temps as the approach the magical number to kick off the fall flounder run. As water temps drop a few more degrees coupled with the coming full moon and the flounder will begin their migration to the gulf through all the major passes. Anglers all along Sabine and Calcasieu will stack up along the shorelines and intercept huge numbers of quality fish as the flounder pass through these areas in great numbers. The highly anticipated flounder run draws tons of anglers because of both the numbers of fish and how fantastic they are as table fare. Texas has enacted special regulations this year as a result of the freeze and closed the season on flounder from November 1st thru December 14th so you cannot keep any flounder during that time. Be sure you check the regulations and understand the law before you hit the water.

The recent cool front really kicked Sabine Lake and Calcasieu into high gear as lots of schooling trout are being caught under the birds, unfortunately very few are large enough to keep. The high volume of small fish will certainly bode well for both bodies of water if we don't suffer another big freeze. All these small fish will make an appearance in the spring and hopefully they spawn successfully so Sabine can continue to rebound. According to many meteorologists we are due to have another major winter event this year, only earlier than that big one from last year. Personally, I hope the winter weather doesn't get as bad as last year where we had major fish kills all along the Texas coast, but I would certainly welcome some legitimate cold weather during hunting season. 

Speaking of hunting season, you can certainly tell we are closing in on the general hunting season opener as places like sporting goods stores and gun ranges are busy and full. The general opener is as close to an unofficial holiday in Texas as any day during the year gets, it's a huge tradition and thousands of Texas hunters will converge on all parts of the state in just a few days. Local deer hunters are enjoying good conditions over most of the state as consistent rains helped most parts of the state stay green. A few areas to the extreme north in the panhandle are pretty dry but overall things look good for the opener. Waterfowl hunters are also in the good shape as local marshes look good. Early reports from the northern end of the central flyway have been promising, lots of birds near the Canadian border. The Dakota's, North and South, are extremely dry and it appears many birds are continuing to fly south in search of both water and food. If early teal season is an indicator, we may see more birds than previously forecasted, but that remains to be seen.


If you plan to travel during hunting season, be prepared and stay informed because you may get yourself stranded as more and more airlines stand up against radical mandates from the current administration. Several airlines have had major walk outs in response to tyrannical ultimatums for employee vaccinations which caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled. It's refreshing to see people stand up for their rights and say "no" even if it causes some temporary inconvenience to travelers. The walk outs forced some companies like Delta Airlines to drop the vaccine mandate because they couldn't afford to be without their personnel. Look for this trend to continue as long the foolishness keeps coming from the white house. Until that time comes get ready for the good stuff because its here and should only get better as the days get shorter. 


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