If you’re bored for the next few weeks, it’s not a lack of activity – it’s a matter of imagination. Hunting and fishing are in full swing, football season is in full swing, the holiday kitchen is upon us and summer has finally ended, giving way to autumnal weather.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is that fisheries biologists from Texas Parks and Wildlife are stocking water bodies across the state with rainbow trout, and instead of having to travel west and toss bait into a mountain stream, I can just drive a few minutes down the road from home out and come back with a mess of trout for the pan.
The first stocking in our area will be held on November 23 at Buena Vista Park Lake, and follow-up stockings will be held every two weeks through March 1st. Amsler Park is the only other body of water in McLennan County that has trout. Other bodies of water within a short drive of Waco include:
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- Bell – Nolan Creek, Carl Levin City Park Pond and Miller Park Pond
- Bosque-Meridian State Park
- Limestone – Kosse City Park Pond and Springfield Lake.
There is no minimum length for trout, but each angler is only allowed to catch five trout per day and most fishing waters have a limit of 2 rods per angler. A valid freshwater fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 17. No licenses and endorsements are required when fishing in a Texas State Park.
Catching rainbow trout isn’t that difficult – if you’ve caught sunfish you already have the skills and equipment needed to catch trout, although fly fishing is also effective.
Light tackle is the way to go when catching trout, and light line, small hooks and split shot weights will meet the need. I use a no. 10 circle hook or a no. 6 shank hook, plus a slip cork to top it off to give you a simple but effective setup.
Top producing natural baits for stocked rainbowfish are fish kibble, grain corn, salmon eggs and worms. Good baits for trout are small spinnerbaits, jigs, tied flies and swimming baits.
Rainbow trout are fierce fighters, beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Look for a recipe or two over the next month.
Deer in the Crosshairs
Deer hunters are finally waking up to what truly feels like hunting weather, and while temperature has less of an impact on deer behavior and mating than reducing daylight hours, 90-degree days certainly have an impact on how much hunting they feel do.
I’ve spoken to a number of Centex hunters who have refrained from pulling the trigger, wanting to save their markers for the big one that could be coming into the clearing at any moment.
The key to a good turkey
Millions of people will be browsing the grocery store for holiday turkey over the next week, but what most of us put on the table for Thanksgiving doesn’t very much resemble wild turkey. Factory birds are genetically engineered to have a disproportionate amount of white meat, so we end up with big-breasted, scrawny-legged birds — and not even trying to get a morsel of meat off those little wings.
Wild turkeys are slimmer than their factory relatives because they are constantly on the move in search of food and avoiding predators. As such, they require a little extra work to get them table-ready.
Whether you’re pickling them in salt water, injecting butter and spices, or cooking them in roasting bags, keeping the meat moist is the key to a successful turkey meal. You can broil them, fry them, smoke them, or roast them in the oven – just keep them from drying out.