November - the Season of Thanksgiving

Everett Johnson
I think if I could have my pick of any month to be repeated all year long it would have to be November. November weather is just too beautiful for words and the tides are very favorable for shoreline wading and back lake drifting. The cooler water temperatures spark some of the best feeding activity we see all year. To my thinking November is pretty near Heaven on Earth and a fisherman's dream come true.

Along with great fishing, November also brings plenty of waterfowl hunting and I like to mix them. We get a two week chance to cast and blast during the early teal season and there are some chances during dove season, but these are really only an early season tease compared to what November brings. The best of the C&B opportunity along most of our coast comes during the first split of the general waterfowl season. Widgeon cupping over the blocks while redfish wake and wag from across the way are a real hoot in my book and if you haven't tried it you owe it to yourself to do it this month.

Of course November also ushers in the general deer season all across Texas, and though not typically part of a coastal cast and blast, Muy Grande always bats high in the line-up during this season. We'll be heading to Sonora for a few days and when we're on the water we'll enjoy the ability to stop and fish just about anywhere we choose. The bays will be uncommonly quiet as lots of our fishing buddies plan similar trips to lay in a store of prime venison.

The greatest highlight of November comes at Thanksgiving and I'm really looking forward to this one. My full clan has not had a reunion in a pretty good while so we decided that Thanksgiving would be as good an excuse as any. We'll have kids and relatives from a half-dozen states and in addition to feasting, fishing and hunting, there'll likely also be some hotly contested horseshoe, domino and washer tossing contests. A brand new granddaughter being due the first of November will add lots of excitement and another reason to give thanks for all the bounty God has bestowed upon us.

As everybody gathers around their Thanksgiving table this month, I would like to encourage they take a few moments to remember our troops in their thoughts and prayers. There will be lots of Thanksgiving tables across Texas with empty chairs; chairs left vacant by brave young men and women who are serving in Iraq; and some left vacant by those who made the ultimate sacrifice on harsh battlefields in far-away deserts so that we could continue to enjoy the blessings of peace and freedom here at home.

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us and Christmas coming next month, I think it would be a great idea to make a generous donation to one of the many charities that provide holiday meals and gifts to the children and loved ones of servicemen and women who will not be home to do it themselves this year. Unless you have a close friend or family member in the full-time military or activated from reserve forces, you may not understand the hardship their families must endure during their absence. Enlisted pay is hardly more than minimum wage which is a far cry from the pay scale most of our troops left behind when the call came to deploy.

Please take the time to contact your local National Guard Armory or get on-line and investigate how you can donate to the various charitable organizations supporting this cause. I cannot think of a better way to thank a vet or a member of the armed forces currently serving than by making their family's holidays a little merrier, and God will surely bless you for it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and fishing friends!