updated 3:49 PM UTC, Jul 23, 2020

Sports

Covid breathes life into recreation

Mike WilliamsCaleb Fortenberry | TCB Avid birdwatcher Mike Williams from Sugarland, and originally from England, has been to nearly 75% of the Texas State Parks. Mike and his wife set up in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park last Wednesday to photograph birds in the Walnut Ridge Unit in Jasper. “The best way to social distance is to go into the middle of nowhere,” said Mike.

By Caleb Fortenberry
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Texas Parks & Wildlife District leader for the East Texas Pineywoods, Rusty Wood claimed that the fish & tackle and licensing sales have increased dramatically this year. He predicts the Hunting licensing will follow a similar path. Wood said people were, “recreating a lot more.”

With the increase of concern with Gov. Greg Abbott’s facemask covering, Texas State Parks are still open to the public with few exceptions to normal rules.

  • Facemasks are required in all state buildings.
  • Six-foot minimum social distancing is required.
  • No groups larger than 10 are allowed to visit together, unless they are from the same household.

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park Superintendent Charles Hubbard explained, “We actually have been relatively steady.”
“If you’re thinking about coming camping. Make your reservations about three weeks in advance,” Hubbard suggested for weekend campers. “Middle of the week as of now, Monday through Thursday are relatively empty as far as camping.”

Hubbard mentioned that Abbott has the parks facilities only open to 75% and the reasoning is not as much for camping space, but confined areas such as restrooms.

“You can come out here to a facility that we operate and recreate in a safe manner,” said Hubbard. “Covid has breathed a new life into outdoor recreation.”

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Pineywoods fishing report 07/15/20

N1509P50004CFile Photo

From Texas Parks and Wildlife

B.A. Steinhagen – FAIR. Water stained; 86 degrees; 0.23’ low. Black bass are fair only on the edges of the hot summer days searching vegetation edges, mid-depth points, and some river structures on jigs, worms, and crankbait. Crappie are fair with minnows on the structure edges and above brush piles. Sunfish are fair with jigs and crickets. Catfish are excellent day and night on cut and prepped bait.

Harris Country Market

Bob Sandlin – GOOD. Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.23 high. Black bass are good on finesse baits, swimbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms in 10-25’ near creek channels, submerged timber, and boat docks. Plastic frogs are still effective early near grass lines, and lily pads. Crappie are good on minnows in brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on cut bait, live bait, and chicken liver in 10-20'.

Caddo – GOOD. Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.62 high. Largemouth bass are good in shallow water near trees and vegetation fishing plastic creatures and frogs. Crankbaits, jigs, and TX rigged plastic worms in deeper areas near structure, and vegetation lines are productive as well. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber in 12-22’. White bass are good on jigs and small crankbaits in the main lake. Chain pickerel are fair. Catfish are good on prepared bait and live bait in 12-20’ fishing channels and timber edges.

Conroe – GOOD. Water stained; 85 degrees; 0.50’ low. Black bass are good with better success on overcast days. Still seek deep structures like points, drops, and channels. Crankbaits, soft plastic worms, and live shad. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs under docks and marinas usually on the deeper end. Hybrid striped bass are decent finding schools with fish finders. Catfish are good on cut bait everywhere. Sunfish are fair with live worms or crickets.

Fork – EXCELLENT. Water lightly stained; 83-85 degrees; 0.39 low. Largemouth bass are good on blue plastic worms, bladed jigs and crankbaits near deep structure, points and humps in 10-22’. Plastic frogs are effective in grass patches and lily pads. White and yellow bass are good in the deeper water of main lake points, flats, and humps. Crappie are excellent on jigs and minnows in 18-25’ in brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are excellent on cut bait and live bait in 10-20’.

Houston County – GOOD. Water lightly stained; 86-87 degrees; 0.23’ low. Black bass are fair early morning and evenings using swim baits with several 5+lbs catches this week. Also successful are black and blue Senko, watermelon red off points, and spinners, and divers. Crappie are fair in 12 to 14 feet of water using live minnows and moving among brush piles. Bream are good using live worms in shallow structure. Catfish are good on juglines, and over 15+lbs using hot dogs and perch plus shad.

Lake O' the Pines – GOOD. Water stained; 85 degrees; 0.28 high. Largemouth bass are good on diving crankbaits, swimbaits, jigs, and TX rigged worms in 10-25’. Crappie are excellent on jigs and minnows in the standing timber areas along the creek channel and brush piles 12-20’’. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, chicken liver and cut bait in 8-25’.

Livingston – FAIR. Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.03’ high. Black bass are fair using jigs, weighted worms, crankbait, and topwater. The best habitats have been points and working vegetation. Striped bass are fair moving around the bridge. Crappie are good with jigs working vegetation and above some structures deeper than 10-foot depth. White bass have emerged as good with minnows and Alabama rigs working points and cove barriers. Catfish are fair on live baits and stinkbait.

Martin Creek – GOOD. Water clear; 87 degrees; 0.51 low. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms in 12-18’. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in 12-18’ in timber and brush piles. Catfish are good on cut bait and prepared bait in 12-25’.

Naconiche – FAIR. Water slightly stained; 83 degrees; Largemouth bass are good moving out from standing and fallen timber with worms and jigs, and vegetation with topwater, jigs, and worms. Crappie are fair on jigs seeking shade. Sunfish are fair on jigs and crickets. Catfish are good on dough balls, cut and live bait.

Raven – FAIR. Water stained; 82 degrees; Largemouth bass are fair consistently working vegetation spots shallow and deep with a variety of topwater early, worms, and crankbait. In this heat, fish until 10 am, and after 6 pm. Sunfish are fair on power bait pellets, crickets, and cutworms.

Sam Rayburn – FAIR. Water stained; 82 degrees; 0.97’ low. Largemouth bass are fair with all success coming early, late, and now at night. Fishing lights have helped attract some bass. The best habitat is still vegetation edges with topwater, worms, and jigs. White bass have slowed with minnows seeking depth. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs vertically fishing thick vegetation, and among structures less than 20 feet deep. Catfish are good on live and stinkbait.

Colemans web Bannner 1

Toledo Bend – FAIR. Water slightly stained; 84 degrees; 1.09’ low. Many of the black bass stayed shallow, with success coming between 2-8 feet on wacky-rigs and topwater. Striped bass are slow with minimal movement. White bass are good schooling late in the afternoons in the many creeks and caught on spoons. Crappie are slow due to the mayfly hatch and should return to normal numbers in 2-3 weeks. Channel and blue catfish are fair on stinkbait.

Tyler – GOOD. Water clear; 84 degrees; 0.26 low. Black bass are fair on Carolina rigged worms, skirted jigs, jerk baits and drop shots fishing dock structures, and vegetation edges. Crappie are good on minnows in brush piles and timber. Catfish are excellent on punch bait and live bait. White bass are good in 25’ -40’ on rooster tails and slabs.

Wright Patman – GOOD. Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 2.57 high. Largemouth bass are good on crankbaits, spinners and swim baits along creek channels, timber and vegetation edges. White bass are good on jigging spoons and slabs. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows near structure and brush piles. Catfish are excellent on cut bait, live bait, and chicken liver.

 

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Yellowjackets swarm in for summer workouts

Chester Athletes 070220JANA RAYBURN | TCB Yellowjacket senior Carson Thomson puts in work during the voluntary summer workouts to get stronger as Bradley Davison spots him.

By Jana Rayburn


CHESTER – Yellowjackets head football coach Raymond Woodard and head boys’ basketball coach Dylan Varnon know that to be competitive in district play, they have to be stronger and in shape. 

The athletes must feel the same, because they are showing up in record numbers to put in time in the weight room, in the gym and on the field. Along with the girls’ coaches, Woodard and Varnon have been telling their boys that continuing workouts in the summertime will enable the team to be much more successful come fall. 

Woodard said that building strength in the weight room is his main focus. Varnon said that at least 75% of the male athletes are showing up, and he is very happy with the turn out.

J. Michael Risinger BannerVarnon said Carson Thomson has done an awesome job of stepping up as a leader in all areas. “Thomson has been great at encouraging others to push themselves in the weight room and during conditioning drills,” he said.

Jack Rayburn has stepped up as a leader in basketball drills. Rayburn is the first to show up and the last to leave, Varnon said. Both Woodard and Varnon believe that the culture is beginning to change, and the athletic program is moving in the right direction. These coaches know that when the athletes start winning games, they will be even more motivated to continue putting in the work. 

Workouts for all incoming seventh through twelfth grade athletes continue throughout the summer on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Athletic Director Megan Nichols at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

KentGore Web 28

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Colmesneil kids win fishing tournament

kids fishing iconReed Best, Cooper Graham, River Squier COURTESY OF COTY SQUIER

SAM RAYBURN – Colmesneil kids got to enjoy some fishing out at Lake Sam Rayburn and bring home some money last weekend. On Sunday, June 14, the Little Anglers Big Bass Showdown at Umphrey Pavillion on Lake Sam Rayburn took place. Payouts were dispersed every hour. Three young Colmesneil anglers took home some money and created some great memories.

Cooper Graham took fourth place in the first hour with 2.44 pounds, winning $250. Reed Best took first place in the sixth hour with 2.29 pounds, winning $500. River Squier took first place in the second hour with 5.05 pounds, winning $1,000 and Overall Big Bass Angler.

Both Squier and Best have fished on the Colmesneil High School Fishing Team and fish often on Lake Sam Rayburn. They both took home nice checks to add to their fishing winnings.

All the kids did a fantastic job. They were so proud of each and every fish. The tournament was such a great wholesome family environment.

There are two more Little Anglers events scheduled for the year: one at Toledo Bend Lake on Sept. 27 and another at Sam Rayburn on Oct. 25.

For more information on the event and how to enter your Little Angler, visit their website at https://www.littleanglersbigbassshowdown.com/
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