Archive for the 'Angler Education' Category

Texas is a Fly-fishing Mecca

Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Alvin Dedeaux

Alvin Dedeaux

This is Passport to Texas

Few people think of Texas when the topic of fly-fishing comes up, unless you’re Alvin Dedeaux, that is.

Well, we’ve got some great fly-fishing opportunities here.

Alvin is a sought-after Texas fly-fishing guide. He’s partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help recruit new members. Anyone who goes to and becomes a new foundation member by April 12 will be entered in a drawing to win a half-day fly-fishing trip with Alvin.

I guided for trout all over the Western US, and I think what we have here in Central Texas rivals a lot of that stuff. Especially the rivers. Because, as a lot of people know, our rivers are kind of an underutilized resource. We’ve got tons of really beautiful small streams with very little pressure and really aggressive, hungry fish. And I think it rivals anything anywhere—you know, it’s just different. On top of that, we have the Texas coast. And the inshore fisheries on the Texas coast are world-class for like casting for redfish and speckled trout. So Texas is really, I think, an undiscovered central Mecca for fly-fishermen.

Learn more about the work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and how to become a member, and entered into a drawing for a half day fly fishing trip with Alvin Dedeaux at

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

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Sport Fish Restoration Program helps make fishing better for all.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re an angler or boater, you will be interested to know that every time you purchase fishing tackle or motor boat fuel, you contribute to a trust fund that helps support quality sport fishing and boating access in Texas.

It’s the Dingell-Johnson Act. Also called the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act; it is a national program.

It began as an excise tax on rods, reels, creels, and fishing lures; the tax money was used to help fund US efforts during World War II. In 1950 it was redirected, thanks to the efforts of Congressman John Dingell of Michigan and Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado.

Texas receives a 5% maximum apportionment of all of these federal taxes, and it is matched on a 3 to 1 basis with the sale of state fishing licenses.

In Texas, a little over one-third of the funds support fisheries management. One-fifth, hatchery operations; followed by boating access, aquatic education, habitat protection, sport fishery research and public outreach.

These funds help make fishing and boating better in Texas for everyone—from urban neighborhood fishin’ lakes to…well…this show.

Sport fishing is good for the Texas economy as anglers and boaters spend billions of dollars annually for goods and services. Besides, they get to go fishing. I call that win-win.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Fishing is for Families

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
A family fishing outing at the lake.

A family fishing outing at the lake.

This is Passport to Texas

Catching a fish never fails to excite, especially if you’re a child. Reeling in one of these wiggly wonders has never been easier in Texas urban areas.

That’s because places for family fishing fun are in, or near, your neighborhoods…as are the opportunities for gaining the skills necessary for catching the fish.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program brings the fish to you. Currently, eighteen neighborhood fishin’ lakes are dispersed among eleven Texas cities: from Abilene to Houston and points in between.

Stocking takes place every two to four weeks during summer and winter seasons. Which means there should be a good supply of fish to catch and bring home for dinner whenever you find time to visit!

In addition to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, state parks host fishing events where you learn about the best gear and bait to use, how to cast, and even how to cook what you catch. Some parks also loan tackle.

Fishing is a gateway activity into the Texas outdoors, and something the entire family can share together.

Find a list of the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. While you’re there, check out the calendar section for fishing events near you.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

2018 Resolutions for Anglers

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

This is Passport to Texas Resolutions Week

When I asked Karen Marks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Education team if they had any New Year resolutions for anglers that they’d like to share with me, they did, and boiled them down to three little words:

Learn. Fish. Teach.

Learn to be safe on or near the water. Understand weather and water currents, and how to safely use your gear. Learn how to hold and release fish safely for you and the fish. Most of all, learn about aquatic invasive species and how as an angler you can prevent their spread.

Fish. Get outside and go fish. Buy a licenses and follow all regulations. It’s free to fish at state parks with fishing opportunities. Use established trails to access shoreline, and pick up litter along the way. Leave every area better than you found it. And invite family and friends to join you; don’t be surprised when they jump at the chance.

That brings us to teach. Volunteer at a local fishing event, help a scout group, volunteer with Parks and Wildlife or with a local veteran fishing organization like Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.

Moreover, consider becoming a certified TPWD Angler Education instructor. Share your knowledge, skills and proper attitudes towards our fishing heritage, and help create a brighter future for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Texas.

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.