April Beckons

Spring is here! All you need do is check the parking lot at your favorite boat launch to verify the fact. The hardcore grinders have had the water pretty much to themselves the past several months and we all need to be on our toes and best behavior as the spring boat traffic increases. There will be some newbies, for sure, please be patient as they get up to speed with their boat launching skills and learn to navigate the bays. If you happen to see somebody struggling to get their boat in the water, please give them a hand. Good citizenship and safety on the water are paramount to everyone enjoying their fishing days.

By the time you read this the TPWD commissioners will have made their decision whether to extend the five trout limit from the middle coast northward to the Louisiana border. As with any regulation proposal, extending the limit to include all Texas coastal waters is not universally popular but, as I wrote last month, support for the measure from anglers and fishing guides over the past year or so has gained more traction than many predicted it ever would. The model for conservative seatrout bag limits has been proven on the lower and middle coasts. Hopefully – if the commission gives the proposal a favorable nod – upper coast fishermen will see similar improvement in their waters. If passed, the regulatory change will take place September 1, 2019.

We just wrapped up the Houston Fishing Show this past weekend. As much as consumer trade shows might serve as accurate bellwethers to indicate the health of the industries they represent, it would appear that 2019’s recreational fishing market is off to a very good start. Attendance was brisk and many exhibitors were of the opinion that attendees, “brought their billfolds”…always a sign of a healthy economy in general and that interest in outdoors sport runs high in the community. Of note were the number of exhibitors selling high-end fishing rods and technical fishing apparel. Not only have the demographics of inshore fishing in Texas changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, the participants have greater discretionary income and are willing to spend it on fishing.  

Time flies! The CCA Texas State of Texas Anglers Rodeo turns 30 this year! Tournament director Bill Kinney says CCA’s first summer-long tournament drew 3400 registered anglers. They expect to top the 50,000 mark this year. STAR is perhaps most famous for the Tagged Redfish Division’s truck/boat/outboard motor/trailer packages.

While those are some truly incredible prizes, and certainly worth joining STAR to win, the most noble and notable prize categories are the Youth Scholarship Division that topped $6.5M in college scholarship awards during 2018.

But wait, there’s more! Tournament anglers who register prior to the end of April will also be eligible in the Early Bird Drawing that has another list of great prizes, tops of which is another boat/motor/trailer package.

Register early and get the kiddos registered too!