The 2nd annual Fish On Texas! Family Fun Day is slated for Aug. 31 at Brazos Park East from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and it promises to be a bigger and better event than last year’s success.
The party will feature fishing, vendor booths, seminars, free raffles, games, bounce houses, contests with cash prizes, wildlife demonstrations, barbecue, and more. Headquarters will be by the horseshoe pits, where visitors will sign in and get their raffle tickets.
Fish On! is a social media group that has created both an online community as well as hosted similar events to bring folks out to meet each other in person. They focus a lot of their efforts on bringing more people into the sport of fishing – especially kids – and provide a supportive platform for people with questions who are new to the sport, lifelong anglers, and folks in between.
Organizer Andre Bravo says a lot of vendors have signed on in support, and urges visitors to bring some cash along in case you’re interested in buying from someone who doesn’t use electronic purchases.
Cal-Tex Wildlife will be on hand to help educate about snakes, reptiles, and other wildlife in our area, and will have some hands-on opportunities. They’ll be bringing along some non-venomous snakes to teach identification, characteristics, benefits, and other aspects of the snakes. Too many people see a snake and automatically try to kill it, but with some up-close experience delivered by qualified and knowledgeable instructors, a lot of people’s fears go away with understanding.
The event is for members of Fish On!, but it’s easy to join. Just visit their Facebook page, like it, and you’re automatically in the family. Bravo said that they’re looking to get some horseshoes and washers for people to use at the pits, but anybody who brings their own is certainly welcome to play.
”Birds gotta fly, and fish gotta eat”
It’s August in Texas, and it’s hot. Triple-digit temperatures are more common than not, and heat and health warnings are popping up like they do every year. If you’re fishing or golfing in the middle of the day, you’re probably nearly by yourself.
But fish gotta eat, and if you’re able to time a trip during the cooler parts of the day, you can take home a bag of fish without baking yourself half to death.
Lake Whitney striper guide Clay Yadon (Reel Deal Striper Guide Service) says fishing is improving and looks to get back to normal soon. “We had a strange period after the flooding when they dropped the lake so fast,” he said. “It took a lot of oxygen out of the water and scattered the fish out of their normal patterns, but it looks like things are getting back to normal and the fish are bunching up again, roaming and hunting for meals.”
He’s catching fish on live bait in 24 feet of water along channel edges and over humps. His big fish on Saturday weighed 14 pounds. Yadon expects the current trend to continue and then the fish should start moving into shallower water through September, when the topwater bite should kick in.
Typically in early November, the gulls will show up, and fish will start building eggs and putting on calories throughout the winter in advance of the spring spawn.
Guide Michael Houston (817-487-7121) has also been fishing Lake Whitney, but has been targeting catfish “The fishing is on fire,” Houston said. Look deep around main lake points in 27 to 35 feet of water.” He’s using small chunks of shad for bait.
Houston added that he’s also catching some fish shallower near brush piles in 4 to 7 feet of water, and he’s seeing a lot of white bass surface-feeding early and late in open water.
Catfishing legend Danny King (dannykingbait.com) offered up some advice for those looking to take home a mess of cats for dinner. “It’s chumming time,” he said. “Take some soured wheat or range cubes and go to where you want to fish. Scatter out your chum like you’re feeding chickens and go back to a cool place to wait until late afternoon, then fish into the night.”
King says he normally chums at least two places in case one doesn’t produce, and he says to not be too conservative with the chum. “Don’t be afraid to use a whole bag of range cubes in one spot,” he said. “It will keep fish in the area for two or three days.”
Taking license with wildlife
2019-2020 hunting and fishing licenses are currently on sale at sporting goods stores/departments, feed stores, hardware stores, bait shops, by phone, and online. If you’re willing to do a little research, you can find some places that give you an incentive to buy your license through them, like Brazos Feed & Supply on LaSalle Avenue in Waco. If you purchase your license there, owner Gary Payne will enter you into a drawing for a high-quality deer feeder.