by John Jefferson
Cover your ears: this will be a shotgun blast of several unrelated items coming at you quickly!
To begin with, Labor Day Weekend is the last major boating holiday of summer. That means increased risk of accidents. Most boaters are responsible, but the word “most” falls far short of “all.” Beware the fools that foul up a weekend of fun through reckless behavior. Just allow them enough water to keep you safe. That means get out of their way for your own survival. Odds are that with as many law enforcement agencies patrolling our waterways as there will be this weekend, the Mister Mayhems of motor boating will probably meet the constabulary. Let the law handle them. That way, you’ll live to fish another day.
And while we’re mentioning fishermen, let’s give a tip of the gimme cap to the literally hundreds of boat owners from all parts of Texas and western Louisiana that came out of the woods to help rescue people from the rising waters of Hurricane Harvey. Scenes from Houston, Orange, and other storm ravaged areas showed men in fishing and duck hunting boats of every description ferrying distraught rising water refugees to safety. “Teach a man to fish …” That was exhausting, dangerous work, but there were too many in peril to wait for over-worked government agencies. A Houston friend, Jack Raines, termed it “… on the scale of the Dunkirk evacuation.”
Several such selfless citizens died in Houston while trying to help others when their boat lost control in swift water amid downed, sparking power lines.
Call ‘em “Bubba” if you must; I call them saints.
Dove season opened September 1 in the north and central dove zones. It also opened in the south zone for just the first two September weekends. If hunting in the South Zone during those special early whitewing days, it’s a good idea to leave a wing or some foliage on birds for ID. Only two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves are legal, then.
The bull red run is beginning in coastal waters, but fishing along the coast may still be disturbed for a while by Señor Harvey. TPWD Coastal Fisheries Deputy Director, Lance Robinson, told me, “The rain from the hurricane was drawn up out of the Gulf, but the salt molecules will fall out,” he said. “It shouldn’t affect (salinity in) the inland lakes and streams.” Turbulent flooding will disrupt freshwater fishing for a short time, however. North and central Texas lakes missed most of the storm. He added, “All the fresh water will drain into the bays, lowering salinity. Salt water is heavier than fresh water, so it will be deeper with fresh water above it.”
Consequently, Robinson says salt water fish will be deeper than usual. “Trout will move to deeper water,” he said. “Wade fishing will be tough. But the salinity will come back quickly.” Finding lodging will be the problem.
And keep a watchful eye on another possible hurricane developing in the Gulf.
Picture above: HUNDREDS OF FISHERMEN AND DUCK HUNTERS throughout east Texas and Louisiana towed their boats to flood-stricken cities to help rescue stranded resident. (American Statesman photo by Jay Janner)