Archive for the 'Fishing' Category

Game Wardens: Illegal Fishing in the Gulf

Thursday, January 29th, 2015


Texas Parks & Wildlife patol in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border.

Texas Parks & Wildlife patrol in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border.

This is Passport to Texas

Gillnets are vertical panels of netting used by some commercial fishermen; they arbitrarily catch fish and other wildlife, and are illegal in Texas waters. During an enhanced marine patrol last fall, Texas Game Wardens seized roughly 8,000 feet of gillnet.

07— The gillnets were actually in the Rio Grande River, which is a fertile ecosystem that feeds to the Gulf of Mexico.

Captain James Dunks, a Game Warden in the Brownsville District in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, says they made no arrests in this Class B misdemeanor case, but he’s certain who owned the nets.

27— There’s a commercial fishing village just south of the Mexico border; it’s called La Playa Bagdad. And basically all it is, is a commercial fishing camp; they have a bunch of boats and captains that are fishing out of that area. We chase them, and we catch a few. The coast guard catches a few. And every time you interview one, you ask them why do you keep coming over here. And they’ll tell you they don’t have any fish left. So, they’re having to utilize our resources for their personal gain.

Captain Dunks says these fishermen are after whatever they can sell, saying bull sharks are close to shore these days, and with shark fin soup a delicacy…

06— They’ll take them right up to the beach, cut the fins off, and I’ve heard of them discarding the actual shark – just to cut the fins off.

Anyone who witnesses alleged illegal commercial fishing activity is encouraged to call their local game warden or Operation Game Thief.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Fishing: Tackling White Bass

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015


Maybe you can fly fish for white bass

Maybe you can fly fish for white bass

This is Passport to Texas

Largemouth bass give fishermen a good fight, but the smaller white bass is just as capable of providing anglers with an adrenaline kick.

14— Ounce for ounce, they are a real strong fighter. But they’re not as big as largemouths. If they grew as large as largemouth bass, I think we’d have to fish for them with surf rods and heavy lines.

John Jefferson is an outdoor writer.

11— Most people that fish for whites will use lightweight tackle, a medium to lightweight spinning rod, and four to six pound test line – and then they’re fun!

Late winter and early spring white bass begin schooling in tributaries to spawn. Whether from a bank or a boat, fishing for whites in open and running water is your best bet for success.

21— Middle of the creek, and then draw the lure back to the shore. And you’ve covered water from the deeper water in the middle up to the shore. You’ll probably hang one. It’s not uncommon, and a neat thing to see [that sometimes] you’ll hook one fish and as you’re reeling it in and playing it, there will be two or three others schooling right along with it.

They’re probably offering moral support.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and receives funding from your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel…

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Fishing: White Bass Run

Monday, January 12th, 2015
White Bass

White Bass

This is Passport to Texas

Outdoor writer John Jefferson has caught his share of white bass.

11— White bass is a great sport fish. Parks and Wildlife records show there are more white bass caught per hour of fishing than any other fish in Texas.

Usually a lake dweller, white bass school in tributaries to spawn in late winter and early spring.

21— The white bass are triggered to spawn when the water reaches 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As far as the calendar, instead of the thermometer, it starts sometimes as early as warm days in January, but it really picks up in February and March. Those are the best two months.

Anglers may keep up to 25 fish caught with a pole and line that meet the 10-inch length requirement. Although white bass prefer shad and minors, they’ll take artificial lures, which is what John Jefferson says he uses.

13— With me, it was a matter of laziness. I didn’t want to lug a big minnow bucket up and down the creeks when I could take a few jigs with me and a lightweight spinning rod and spend more time actually fishing than changing bait.

We’ll talk more with John about white bass tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport fish Restoration Program supports our series and receives funding from your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel…

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Sinking the Kinta

Friday, December 26th, 2014

This is Passport to Texas

The Gulf of Mexico has a lot going for it; but one thing it lacks is substrate. Substrate is hard material on which an organism can live and grow. That’s where this guy comes in.

05—[I’m] Dale Shivley; I’m the program leader for the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife

Travel to the gulf with Shively and his crew this week on the TPW TV Series, as they “near shore” reef a 155 foot decommissioned freighter called the Kinta in 77 feet of water 8 miles off the coast of Corpus Christi.

13—Basically, what we have is a huge piece of metal that will benefit the local environment. Marine organisms will begin to grow on it; fish will be attracted to it immediately; it’s been cleaned of environmental hazards and is ready to go. [ambience]

On this TV segment, witness the hulking ship begin its new life on the gulf floor, where it will improve angling and diving opportunities. Brooke Shipley-Lozano, a marine biologist with Parks and Wildlife was at the reefing, and explains what will happen to the freighter.

19— So, the water will start coming in at the stern. And then gradually the water will fill up the ballast tanks one by one from the stern to the fore, and the rear of the ship should h it the bottom, and then eventually the bow will follow suit, and it will land perfectly upright and everyone will celebrate…

Will there be celebrating? Find when you watch the segment Sinking the Kinta S the week of December 28 on the TPW PBS TV Series. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Fishing: Unusual Fish Await the Winter Angler

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014


A fishable population of snook await anglers in the Texas Gulf.

A fishable population of snook await anglers in the lower Texas Gulf.

This is Passport to Texas

You don’t have to keep your fishing gear in storage until summer. Head to the coast this winter and reel in some amazing fish!

06—Texas has year-round saltwater fishing and it’s very productive, even in the worst of weather.

While the majority of saltwater anglers cast for red fish, flounder and speckled trout, professional fishing guide and outdoor writer, Danno Wise, recommends casting a wider net, so to speak. He says there are plenty fish in the sea.

40—Down here in the Rio Grande Valley is the only place in the continental United States outside of South Florida there’s a fishable population of snook year round. They’re sensitive to cold so they’re going to go into the deeper portions of our bay systems, but because the fish will be concentrated, we have excellent snook fishing during the winter time. We also have a substantial amount of beachfront fishing which is kind of overlooked. Whiting, which is a simple kind of fish, and the pompano. Very tropical looking species; in Florida, they’re targeted very heavily. Fish such as those are plentiful and good eating, and if you want to target going out just to get out of the house, relax, and catch a few to take home to eat, those are excellent choices.

Grab your gear, some warm clothes, and head to the coast this winter to reel in more than the usual suspects.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series… funded by your purchase of fishing equipment and motor boat fuel.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.