We get things going by taking a look inside our Texas Parks & Wildlife Sharelunker Program when Program Leader Juan Martinez drops in. Everybody knows that a 13 lb or heavier largemouth is eligible to be entered into the program if caught during the sharelunker season, but what happens to that fish once Juan comes to pick it up from the angler?
Juan takes us through that process starting with fish care and electronic tagging. What about spawning in captivity? After all, that is main goal of the program. Juan describes the spawning facility and how TPWD encourages the female to lay her eggs. We then discuss how the eggs are cared for and eventually the fry is stocked in ponds before being moved to our Texas lakes and waterways for stocking.
Lastly, we also discuss the historical weekend of March 4th, when 3 different 13 lb bass were entered into the program! A historic day indeed including one 15.18 lb lunker that broke the Lake Ray Roberts Record. Was it the warm up after the cold snap or something else that triggered the big girls to start biting all over the state? Juan gives us his thoughts.
Next up we are joined by Trophy Ridge Associate Product Manager Kevin Wilkerson. Prior the the 2014 hunting season, Trophy Ridge sent me one of their new REACT 5 pin bow sites to use. I admit, when someone told me that you only have to site in TWO of your five pins in order for all of them to be dialed in…well I was a little bit skeptical and was dang sure not going to endorse this product without putting it through the ringer.
But here we are a year later and I am here to tell you that the REACT completely changed bow hunting and shooting for me. I had more time to shoot and practice and didn’t have to tinker with my set up. Being confident that your bow is accurate is paramount, and this site does the heavy lifting for you. I know there are folks out there who love tinkering with and fine tuning every aspect of their bow- I am not one of those people. Time is invaluable and when it’s time to hunt, I want to be ready to go. Needless to say, Kevin joins us to talk about the technology behind the REACT site. Durable. Lightweight. Reliable. Do yourself a favor and go shoot one, you’ll be glad you did.
Our Texas Parks and Wildlife Desert Big Horn Sheep Program Leader – Froylan Hernandez then drops in to give us an update on the status of our Desert Big Horns. How did the drought affect numbers, what about relocation efforts, how many individual animals do we have statewide? Froylan gives us an overview before we dissect the ever controversial issue of our native Desert Big Horns and the competition they face from the introduced and invasive Barbary Sheep (More commonly known as aoudad).
Introduced by American WWII Veterans stationed in North Africa, the Aoudad has proven to be extremely adaptable. It’s numbers range in the tens of thousands in the Texas Hill Country and in the West Texas mountains which it shares with the Desert Big Horn. We ask Froylan all the tough questions regarding the relationship between the two species. What happens when they come into contact with each other? Does one assert dominance over the other? Can Aoudad spread disease to Desert Big Horns? What about TPWD’s aerial gunning program for removing Aoudad from certain areas? We get into all of that PLUS weigh the financial impact each species has on the Texas economy and jobs they create. Fascinating stuff indeed!
We wrap things up by talking pre spawn bucketmouths with our good friend and Army Bass Anglers founder Cody Roberson. A seasoned tournament angler, Cody breaks down how he attacks this time of year as big girls and roaming males are starting to move shallow. What is his favorite bait for March? We get into that, plus take a look back at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Cody also gives us the latest on the Army Bass Anglers front. Get ready for “A Soldier’s Child” which will air as part of Force on Force on the World Fishing Network this spring. It’s gonna be a tear jerker!!!