Archive for the 'Freshwater' Category

TPW TV–Casting Call with Neighborhood Fishin’

Friday, March 17th, 2017
Effie Dukes at her Neighborhood Fishin' pond.

Effie Dukes at her Neighborhood Fishin’ pond.

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program creates convenient and close-to-home fishing opportunities for city-dwellers by stocking urban lakes.

Our goal with the neighborhood fishin’ program is to bring the focus back to the outdoors.

Effie Dukes and her husband David took the bait. In a segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show next week, viewers wait along with them at East Metropolitan Park in Travis County for the stocking truck to arrive.

I think they’ll be coming momentarily, because they said between 9 and 9:30. Yeah, look. They’re coming with the fish.

Marcos de Jesus is a natural resource specialist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says the fish they stock are big, healthy, and fun to catch. As Effie and David discovered.

What we try to do is to actually bring fishing close to home. Most people in Texas are moving into bigger and bigger towns. Having these opportunities in your backyard, basically, is what it’s all about. [Effie] Yeah! Got a big one! [David] That’s what I’m talking about.

The Neighborhood Fishin’ Program provides an outdoor experience with fishing at its core. Perhaps her successful experience means the program reeled in Effie Dukes as its newest recruit.

It’s a big catfish. And I caught it with a net. With the help of my husband. With a rod and reel that I don’t know how to use. [laughs]

Catch the segment, Casting Call, next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show on PBS. Check your local listings. The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Using Baits and Lures to Your Advantage

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Baits and lures are an angler's friend.

Baits and lures are an angler’s friend.

This is Passport to Texas

Nothing beats live bait for catching fish. Yet, manmade lures have been around a long time—because they work.

For example, take the spinner bait. The spinning blades are designed to catch a fish’s attention as they move through the water. The flashing silver looks just like a tasty minnow.

Steve Campbell worked in Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife, specializing in angler education.

Another popular lure is the top water lure. Because it floats on top of the water, it works best in calm waters where it is visible to fish below. To use a top water…cast…wait for the bait to settle, and then pop your rod tip; repeat until you get a strike.

The crankbait is a fun lure to work with. It has a kind lip that extends from the front of the lure.

This lip causes the bait to dive down through the water as you crank on the reel. As soon as you cast your crankbait, turn the reel quickly a couple of times so the lip will catch the water and pull down. Stop reeling, and the lure begins to float back up. Your goal is to imitate an injured fish darting through the water.

Lures come in all shapes and sizes, and your tackle dealer can help you select the right lures for your next fishing trip.

And remember: while natural bait is best, it’s always a good idea to keep a couple of lures on hand when you get tired of feeding—I mean catching—the fish.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Baits and Lures

Monday, January 30th, 2017
Making baits and lures work for you.

Making baits and lures work for you.

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan to go fishing, you’ll need to bring along live bait, man-made lures—or both.

Let’s talk baits first.

Steve Campbell worked in Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife, specializing in angler education.

Nothing beats natural bait for catching fish. Some good, all around freshwater baits are: kernel corn, hot dogs and live critters, such as worms, minnows and crawfish.

If you’re on the coast, can hardly go wrong with using live shrimp. Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater angler, you need to keep your bait alive.

You’ve got to keep bait alive for it to be effective. Make sure you keep your bait cool and moist and out of direct sunlight.

Most anglers keep live bait in their coolers. Just don’t get it mixed up with the tuna sandwich you packed for lunch. And if your bait came from a bait shop or another body of water, do not release the unused bait into the waters you are fishing.

It can interfere with the plants and animals that live there naturally. Dump the bait in a trash can or on land, away from the water.

Tomorrow we learn about several lures and how to use them to your best advantage.

We record our show in Austin at the Block House. Joel Block engineers our program.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Habitat Improvements for Better Fishing

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Enjoying a day of fishing at Possum Kingdom.

Enjoying a day of fishing at Possum Kingdom.

This is Passport to Texas

Collaboration can bring about positive outcomes. Consider the teamwork between Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Brazos River Authority, and other supporters and volunteers. Together they made habitat enhancements at Lake Granbury, Possum Kingdom Lake, and Proctor Lake.

The work was designed to improve habitat for a variety of fish species, and to provide better fishing overall.

The enhancements include artificial structures made of recycled plastics, and natural structures made of recycled bamboo and Christmas trees. These items were vetted for safety, and deployed to create new habitat and improve areas with existing habitat for popular sport fish and prey species.

Environmental conditions such as golden algae, drought and the natural reservoir aging process can affect fish populations. The enhancement projects offer improved areas for spawning and feeding, in addition to providing cover from predators to help fish grow to maturity.

GPS coordinates and maps of the locations of the habitat improvement projects In Lake Granbury, Possum Kingdom Lake and Proctor Lake are available on the TPW web site.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Rainbow Trout: a Winter Angling Treat

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
Rainbow trout in hand.

Rainbow trout in hand.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re an angler who likes to eat what you catch, then now’s the time to reel in a rainbow trout.

We stock them at a catchable and eatable size. They are good fighting fish; they’re relatively easy to catch. We usually stock them in smaller bodies of water, so they’re a good fishing, catching opportunity and good eating opportunity as well.

Carl Kittel is a program director for Inland Fisheries, and oversees winter trout stocking in Texas, which began this month.

We’ve been stocking [rainbow] trout around Texas for almost 40 years. One interesting note about trout is that we often say there are no established populations of trout in Texas, but actually, way out west in the Davis Mountains there’s a small, tiny stream at high enough elevation that there is a reproducing population of rainbow trout.

That’s why we stock them in winter; most of Texas is too hot for the. Inland fisheries will distribute more than 290-thousand rainbows in 150 locations.

And we have a special program; we actually stock somewhat larger trout in urban areas in our Neighborhood Fishin’ Program. And that’s something that you can specifically look for on our web page.

With the winter holidays here, it’s is a great time go fishing with the kids. Find the stocking schedule on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series and funds rainbow trout stocking in Texas…

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