Archive for December, 2009

Rainbow Trout: Good for Beginners

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

For an inexpensive, entry-level fishing experience the entire family can enjoy, it doesn’t get much easier than winter rainbow trout fishing in Texas.

In fact that’s one of the fish we use at the Expo each year to allow kids to catch their first fish.

Carl Kittle oversees the TPW trout-stocking program. The agency will distribute up to 275-thousand fish to 120 sites—including additional urban locations—between December and March.

We’re excited about having a number of new ponds online for our neighborhood fishing program. We actually stock slightly larger trout and we stock frequently—every other week—at specific sites that are set up near urban centers to provide opportunities for urban anglers.

If you prefer to get away from the city for your rainbow connection, then state parks provide the perfect escape.

A number of our state park ponds will get stocked with trout. For those ponds and lakes that are located completely within a state park, the license will not be required. The limits will still apply: five fish per day, and there is no size limit on trout.

Anglers fishing in locations other than state parks must have a valid license.

Find the trout-stocking schedule at

That’s our show…with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program… helping to fund fish hatchery management and operations in Texas.

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

Resolutions for Anglers

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

This is passport to Texas

We’re on the threshold of 2010, a time when a lot of us make resolutions to do better and be better in the New Year. If you’re wondering what to resolve this year—we have a suggestion:

Today we have so many things competing for our time, and fishing can be such a wonderful activity…resolve to take a child fishing.

Gary Saul is with Inland fisheries. He says while grownups take kids fishing to stir their imaginations—we get just as much satisfaction from the experience.

When a child catches a fish…to watch them reel it in…to pick it up and to look at you and then get excited about when are we going fishing again… it’s great fun.

And if you’ve resolved to remain faithful to a budget in 2010, you’ll be glad to know it’s free to fish state parks. Some locations even have a tackle loaner program. So resolve to take your kids fishing soon—a good time will be had by all.

Woo…you’ve got a bass. Whoa…that’s bigger than mine…I think. Did ya get him in? Woo, okay. Get a catfish? No, it’s a bass. Whoa…my dad gonna be happy.

Our show is made possible with a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti

Winter Trout Stocking

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

The annual arrival of colorful, fun-to-catch rainbow trout gets underway this month and continues through March.

They’re a good fish to catch and a good fish to eat.

Carl Kittle oversees the TPW trout-stocking program.

Each winter we try to create an opportunity for fishermen. Right now we’re doing over a hundred and twenty sites, with about two hundred seventy to two hundred and seventy five thousand rainbow trout being stocked almost all over the state.

It gets too hot in Texas to support a natural population of rainbow trout, so anglers have to get ’em while it’s cold.

You can catch them with live bait. You can catch them with corn or some other bait; and certainly, they’re great on spinners and even fly-fishing. What about a cane pole? A cane pole and a worm is one of the best ways to catch trout.

Kittle says although relatively easy to catch, rainbow trout can offer a challenge to anglers.

In that they are aware of people above the water, and they can see out of the water if the water is clear. So, sometimes you have to be a little bit cautious about letting the fish see you from above while you’re fishing.

Having to hide from prying fish eyes below the water’s surface is just plain creepy.

They’re nice eyes. They’re nice little fish—no reason to worry about them.

Find the trout-stocking schedule at That’s our show…with support from the SF Restoration Program… helping to fund fish hatchery management and operations in Texas.

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

Winter Fishing in Texas

Monday, December 28th, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

Don’t wait for the summer sun to get your fishing gear out again; you can make some great catches this winter!

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

While you’ll find the usual Texas fare of redfish, flounder and speckled trout, professional fishing guide and outdoor writer, Danno Wise suggests casting your line to make some other great catches.

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.

Winter fishing season usually lasts between early December through March. Just remember some warm clothes and a waterproof jacket for that ocean spray!

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas Time Off

Friday, December 25th, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

We have something in common with early Texans.

Christmas, and the month of December—in large part—was the time when Texans gathered.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites. Unlike today when a short trip by car or plane will get us to our holiday destination, travel was difficult for early Texans.

And so when you traveled, you tended to stay. People had time at Christmas to do that—to travel and spend weeks.

Which makes the few days that most of us get off at Christmas seem like a rip off. And early Texans made good use of this block of time.

It was then that they celebrated not only Christmas, but other special events, and planned weddings for the month of December.

Since Texas was mostly rural in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and there wasn’t a lot of farming that could happen in December…

It almost gave 19th Century and early 20th Century rural Texans an excuse not to work. And thus to play a bit more, and socialize a bit more, than they had time to do many other months of the year.

How will you spend your Christmas Holiday? Tell us at

From all of us at Passport to Texas, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.