Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends

There simply is no better time of year for those that love the outdoors than right now! It’s been an awesome week; I’ve only ventured away from my home and the woods I hunt once and that was to enjoy a red hot day of catching blue catfish on Lake Tawakoni with my friend and guide David Hanson and our mutual friend Kenneth Shepherd. Let me tell you about the deer hunting first.

The peak of the rut is underway right now. I expect this week will produce some of the bigger whitetail bucks of the season. It’s the time when even mature bucks throw caution to the wind and get caught up in the courting game. They will drop several pounds during the rut when their habits go from staying hidden and feeding to pursuing doe nonstop.

If you spend much time in the deer woods the next couple of weeks, chances are very good that you will see bucks that have been there all along but seldom ventured out of cover during daylight hours. You will also see “new” bucks that might travel to your hunting area from several miles in pursuit of does.

I’ve been hunting a “tight” area of woods where visibility is no more than 45 yards. This particular stand is situated on the side of a levee that separates two bodies of water, a deep, long pond on one side and a creek on the other. It’s a natural funnel area that game must use when going from one section of woods to the other. I’ve seen bucks here on all but two hunts the past week but not the fully mature mossy horn that I’m looking for. I have had a 3.5 year old 10 point that has tempted me a few times but I’ll hold out. I have plenty of patience and thoroughly enjoy just “being there.”

I’m hunting a little patch of open woods in a very secluded spot. On several occasions, I’ve been looking in one direction and then turn around and see a buck standing 20 yards away. Granted, my hearing is not as keen as it used to be but bucks are sneaky and seem to magically appear and then… they are gone. I’ll spend the next few days hunting close to home.

I keep my little electric hunting buggy fully charged and my hunting gear in my little hunting cabin on our property. When I get ready to hunt, I simply walk back to the cabin, suit up in camo, grab my pack and bow and jump on the buggy. My stand is situated about a mile away and it takes me about 15 minutes to get from the cabin to the stand. I can remember the majority of my deer hunting years when the stand I hunted was a good two hour drive from home. I’m really enjoying my “Golden Years” in the deer woods!


If there is one outdoor endeavor that I enjoy as much as hunting, it’s catching catfish. I know of no place better than Lake Tawakoni to catch not only channel catfish in the 2-3 pound range but also much bigger blue cats. Hanson’s clients have already landed blues this fall up to 55 pounds but as we headed out last week, the day after the full “Super Moon,” he said that after the passage of the recent cold front, the big fish bite will become consistent.

As we headed out to drift some deeper submerged humps, Hanson gave a prediction on the day’s fishing. “We should be able to boat a good ‘mess’ of eater size blue catfish in the 2 to 10 pound range today and maybe connect with one of the big boys but come back in a week or two and it’s a pretty good bet we will get in on some very consistent big fish action.”

Hanson called it correctly. He usually does! Using fresh shad on a short Santee Cooper rig that employs a small floater to keep the bait up from bottom, we enjoyed several hours of very good fishing. Granted, this was before the cold front and the day after a very bright “Super Moon;” the monster blues were waiting for the water to cool but who’s complaining when fish perfect for the fish fryer are biting like this!

I often remark, and sometimes raise the hackles of devout crappie anglers/eaters, that show white fillets from blue catfish weighing less than 10 pounds are my favorite. When I tell them that yellow bass fillets are my second favorite, they usually go into great detail explaining precisely why crappie are the best eating of all. I love kidding my crappie loving friends almost as much as eating blue catfish!

I’ll be sticking pretty close to home this week spending more prime time in the deer woods. I will make a one day trip down to Burk’s Quail Run near Gilmer to shoot some quail and pheasant. It will be good to trade the quietness of time on a bow stand for the action of some past passed wing shooting while walking behind a good pointer. Quail Run will be hosting a tower shoot for pheasant on Dec. 10 and at press time, there were still openings.

Contact Tawakoni catfish guide David Hanson online at www.littledsguideservice.com or call 903-268-7391

Here’s wishing you great times in the outdoors this week. Hopefully you can get out and enjoy “our” favorite time of the year!

Listen to “Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends” on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas on weekends or anytime online at www.catfishradio.com.