Ray Sasser: Toledo Bend ranked No. 1 for bass

Bassmaster Magazine just came out with its annual “Top 100 Bass Lakes in America” list, and Toledo Bend Reservoir is ranked No. 1. In fact, nine Texas lakes made the list, with three in the top 15.

North Texas Karters

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Ray Sasser: Dear old dad would love these gifts

Father’s Day is coming up Sunday, and I’m certain most of you have done your due diligence and have a nifty present appropriately wrapped. If not, here are some things that an outdoors dad might like:

Ray Sasser: Toledo Bend hard to beat for bass

What’s the best bass fishing lake in Texas? Some would say Lake Fork.

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North Texas Karters

Ray Sasser: Floods endanger area lakes, boaters

The May floods were a mixed blessing. The tragic side was the loss of human lives and millions of dollars in property damage. The positive side was that Texas reservoirs went from 65.8 percent full three months ago to 83 percent full, and they were still collecting runoff early this week.

Softball: A league of her own

It’s Friday morning and Alicia Mathney calmly walks out the door with her two small girls on her hips. After getting them in the car, Mathney, a successful Mary Kay independent beauty consultant, slips into the front seat to begin a long day of running errands and dropping off orders. She checks herself in the rearview mirror to touch up her lipstick one last time before driving off.

Ray Sasser: California angler wins big at Fork

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic was a muddy mess for fishing fans who planned to attend the festivities. Brent Ehrler liked it just fine. Ehrler could find only one fishing spot he was confident about. It was the only fishing spot he needed.

Ray Sasser: Anglers will have to fish hard at Fork

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic starts Saturday at Lake Fork and wraps up Memorial Day. Thirty-five of the world’s top professional anglers will find an entirely different Lake Fork than they saw last May.

Ray Sasser: Tips for dangerous holiday boating

Memorial Day weekend looms May 23-25. It’s the official start of boating season for thousands of recreational boaters. Some of the most crowded Texas lakes are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Ray Sasser: Ballpark habitat is for the birds

A reader emailed a photo last week of a hawk, asking for help with identification. What made the photo unusual to the reader was that his friend had photographed the bird before a Ranger game at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Ray Sasser: Rainy spring boosts fishing

A rainy spring was the right ticket for Dallas-area lakes. Check the water levels updated daily online at waterdatafortexas.org, and it’s apparent that most lakes from Dallas east fared well in the past six months.

Honoring an athlete

Deavonte’ ‘DJ’ Hicks, a 2012 graduate of Denton High School and a member of the Centenary College basketball team, was recently named the Northwest Louisiana Christian Athlete of the Year and represented Centenary College at the 2015 NCAA Leadership Forum in Orlando, Florida. Hicks received all-district and all-region honors while playing at Denton High. Hicks, left, is pictured with Centenary coach Adam Walsh.

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Ray Sasser: Revolting bird case exposes illegal trade

The revelation last week that a Dallas resident was ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and restitution for trafficking dried hummingbird carcasses seems revolting to those of us who keep feeders to attract the tiny, supercharged birds to our backyards.

Ray Sasser: Outdoor activities call for splash of DEET

It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing, hiking, camping, birding, looking at wildflowers or hunting turkeys — spring is a good time to be outside. Remember to be careful out there. There are tiny insects that can cause serious health problems by carrying dangerous diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

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Johnson wins Duck Commander 500

FORT WORTH — Kevin Harvick knocked Joey Logano out of the way and thought he was about to pass Jamie McMurray for the lead with 15 laps to go, but Jimmie Johnson ducked underneath both of them and pulled away to win the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Motor sports: Ryan grad making second lap of Sprint Cup career

Marcos Castro was a Ryan tennis player looking to plot a course for college and beyond. The school’s guidance counselors weren’t sure how to help. “I want a career in motor sports,” he told them. “I got a couple of laughs. It’s in the ballpark of ‘I want to be an astronaut.’

Ray Sasser / Outdoors

The Legislature is in session. Elected officials are in the process of reviewing more than 8,000 bills. How anybody could come up with 8,000 more laws than we already have is beyond me.

Ray Sasser: Bank on shoreline fishing this spring

A reader emailed last week to say that he did not have access to a boat and wondered where he could fish from the shoreline.

Five gymnasts qualify for regionals

Five entrants from Achievers Gymnastics Center earned berths at the USA Gymnastics regionals in Wichita, Kansas, this month with their performances at the recent USAG Texas meet.

North Texas Karters

Ray Sasser: The lure that caught a 15-pound bass

There was a story earlier this year about a 15-pound largemouth bass caught in California. Lots of big bass have been caught in California, including most of the documented 20-pounders.

Ray Sasser: Take care not to kill your lunker

Bass fishing has changed dramatically in 30 years, and it’s partly due to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker program. The ready availability of high-quality fish-replica mounts also deserves credit.

North Texas Karters

Ray Sasser: Pilot Point man lands Ray Roberts lunker

After a slow start, March is living up to its reputation as the best month to catch a big Texas bass. March 7 produced three big bass for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker program.

Ray Sasser: Low water calls for etiquette lesson

Recent snow followed by rain helped North Texas lake levels just slightly, but a lot more water must run under the bridge before we attain anything approaching normal water levels for many lakes.

Ray Sasser: Conditions could yield record haul

Cabela’s King Kat Tournament is Saturday at Lake Tawakoni. The venerable lake east of Dallas is where the eye-popping tournament record was set in 2013. Brothers Danny Miles of Irving and Paul Miles of Lake Dallas brought in a five-fish tournament limit of blue cats that weighed 239.8 pounds.

Ray Sasser: Show’s the real catch at Classic

The Bassmaster Classic runs today through Sunday on Lake Hartwell at Greenville, South Carolina. This is the original pro bass championship tournament, and has undergone a variety of tweaks since 1971, when Ray Scott came up with the idea.

North Texas Karters

Middle school basketball roundup: Myers advances at tourney

The unbeaten Myers A-team eighth-graders, behind the scoring of Ky’lie Pitts, totally dominated the Lake Dallas Lady Falcons in the opening round of the postseason district tournament Thursday night.

Ray Sasser: New site helps campers scout spots

A new camping website, www.Hipcamp.com should be a hit with Texas outdoors enthusiasts. The name is intended to draw a younger audience that can freely interact with other hip campers while they narrow down the best Texas campsites.

North Texas Karters

Community Calendar

Ray Sasser: Anglers, Corps resurrect ramp

Thanks to a cooperative project between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local anglers, a boat ramp is open at Lake Lavon. For months, low water has effectively shut down boating access to the popular lake east of McKinney off U.S. Highway 380.

Ray Sasser: Pesky feral hogs always fair game

Most hunting seasons are over, but there is no closed season for feral hogs. These pesky animals are widespread across Texas, and they cause an estimated $500 million of damage each year to croplands,...

Williams aims for 19th major after reaching Aussie final

MELBOURNE, Australia — It wasn’t until Serena Williams forced herself to relax, and not focus too intently on a milestone Grand Slam title, that she rediscovered the art of winning the biggest events in tennis.

North Texas Karters

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DRC

Soccer: Sisters score spots on national teams

When Kimya and Vida Raietparvar began learning the game of soccer, their dad, Tim, saw bright futures for each of them — futures that couldn’t happen without learning the fundamentals.

Rodeo: Armes wrestling

Bray Armes isn’t much of a gambler, but he loves Las Vegas. He returns to the desert next week with his third qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It is a business trip for the steer wrestler from Ponder, and he takes care of business quite well in Nevada.

High School Football Playoffs Scores, Pairings

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Motor sports: Johnson wins at TMS amid brawl

FORT WORTH — A wild race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday led to a brawl on pit road and a wide-open event next week that will determine the four drivers who will race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship at Homestead.

North Texas Karters

Golf: Spurgin scores hole in one

Benny Spurgin recorded a hole in one Tuesday while playing at TWU.

Gymnasts compete at qualifier

Lily Hernandez, Audra Nivens, Addy Pharr and Ellyn Huff led a list of gymnasts from Achievers Gymnastics competing last weekend in a District 2 qualifying meet leading up to the district meet in October.