Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 320.96 Water Temperature:
88  degrees - top
degrees - bottom



  Monitor schedule to change for area football coverage
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Are you ready for some football?
For more than a decade, The Monitor has been providing coverage of Friday night football games in every Sunday issue, and that will continue this year, starting with the Sunday, Aug. 30, issue.
The Monitor’s print time will change from early Friday to early Saturday morning, in order to include Friday night football game stories and pictures. This schedule will continue all 11 weeks of the football season, through the Sunday, Nov. 8, issue.
Papers will be delivered to Post Offices in Mabank, Kemp and Eustace in time for Saturday delivery, and will be on area newsstands early Saturday morning.
Malakoff and Trinidad subscribers will have their Sunday issues delivered on Mondays during football season.
The Monitor’s football coverage kicks off with the annual Football Preview, which will be included in the Sunday, Aug. 23, issue, providing complete coverage, schedules and season outlooks for the Panthers, Yellowjackets and Bulldogs.
Keep up with your favorite team in The Monitor, providing the best sports coverage first – winner of the Texas Press Association’s first-place plaque for Sports Photo three straight years.

Live lining for monster saltwater stripers
Special to The Monitor
ATLANTIC OCEAN–Imagine fishing with live bait bigger than most of the fish you catch. Get ready to catch some really big striped bass with this technique.
Few moments in saltwater fishing can match the sight of a big striped bass smashing a live menhaden on the surface!
Hooking a striped bass is one of the great experiences you can have as a saltwater angler, and the techniques are really very simple.
The angler’s job is to let the bass run with the bait for a short count, put the reel in gear, let the line come tight so the circle hook will wrap around the striper’s jaw, and then enjoy the exhilaration of the first great run as your quarry attempts to make good an escape!
There is nothing more exciting in fishing than a surface pursuit like this, and it is common when live lining menhaden, also known as bunker or pogies. If you want to get in on the fun, now is the time from the mid-Atlantic states north through New England.
You don’t need a lot of specialized gear, and as techniques go, this is probably the easiest one you’ll ever learn.
Just keep one thing in mind. You will have the opportunity to catch very large stripers – and they are all females – the future of the stock should be treated with respect. If you plan on taking one home to eat, release the rest.
Use only circle hooks, so the fish will be hooked around the jaw area and easy to release. Using a Dehooker to remove the hooks without taking the fish out of the water is a definite plus for fish survival.
Catching live bait is the first step, and there are two ways to do it.
If you have a castnet designed for menhaden, and know how to use it, you’re way ahead of the game. If not, you’ll need weighted snag hooks and a moderately heavy spinning outfit to fill the live well.
When you locate a school of menhaden, which is usually not too hard – they tend to move slowly with their tails slapping the surface – use your net or start snagging them. Do not overfill the live well, no more than one bunker per gallon of water, if you want to keep them alive and frisky.
A typical live lining rig consists of a three-way swivel tied to your line with a 30-inch-long leader of 50-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to a 9/0 or 10/0 circle hook.
Attach a large coast lock snap to the last loop on the three-way, so if you need to use a sinker, you can simply clip one on without having to re-rig.
While you’re catching bait, watch your depth finder for marks that could be large stripers trailing the school. Also, watch the bait school to see if they are nervous or are being pushed by feeding bass.
If a striper rushes the school, the bunker nearest the attack will splash loudly or even jump out of the water. These are signs that there are stripers charging the baitfish, and you should start your fishing right there.
There are several ways to hook a live menhaden. The most basic is to run the hook through the nostrils on the front of the head, which will allow the bait to swim relatively freely.
Another method is to hook the baitfish in the underside of the tail, just behind the belly area. This method will allow the bait to swim along with the school, but when you put your finger on the spool to prevent it from going any further, it will struggle against the line, sending out vibrations very different from the rest of the baitfish nearby.
The key to getting a hungry striper to hit your bait out of a school that could have several thousand others in it is to make it stand out, and this method does the trick rather well.
The last method is to hook the bait in either area, but add a four- or five-ounce bank sinker to the clip on the three-way swivel.
Frequently, stripers will stay below a school of menhaden, even close to the bottom in water as deep as 50 to 60 feet. Getting a baitfish down can coax a bite out of a bass that is already full, simply because it is an easy mark.
If you have any baitfish die, put them on a weighted rig, toss them out and let them lay on the bottom. The biggest bass are often the laziest, and will not hesitate to play the roll of scavenger, scooping up dead bunker that other bass have injured or killed, but not eaten.
If there are no bass around the schools of bait, fill your live well and go hunting. Areas of structure a mile or two off the beach, well away from the bait pods, are commonly used as resting areas between feeding periods by large bass.
Check some out, and if you encounter bass marks on the depth finder, drop a bait.
Chances are they will take advantage of your generosity. Why swim back inshore to chase live bait when there are a few “stragglers” out here, even though those stragglers are on the hook on the end of your line?
Live lining with bunker is a deadly method for catching big striped bass. Just remember that catch and release is the way to go.


Lady Panthers split opener
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Mabank’s Lady Panthers split their first two volleyball matches of the season at home Tuesday, dropping a five-game marathon to Wills Point and knocking off Athens, 3-0.
The Lady Panthers were scheduled to play in the Garland Invitational tournament Friday and Saturday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank Lady Panthers Maegan Olivarez (14) and Torrie Garrett (10) go up to block a shot by Wills Point Lady Tiger Precious Spencer (15) during the fifth and deciding game of Wills Point's narrow season-opening win over hosting Mabank Tuesday.

Tuesday, the Lady Panthers will travel to Crandall for a non-district match against the Lady Pirates, opening with 5:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
Next weekend, Aug. 20-21, the Lady Panthers will play in the Eustace Lady Bulldog Invitational, before returning home to host Greenville and Caddo Mills in a dual match Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Against Wills Point’s Lady Tigers, the Lady Panthers took a quick two-game lead, winning both games 25-13, but then faltered, dropping the third game 25-23 and the fourth game 25-20.
In the deciding fifth game, both teams were tied at 14 before the Lady Tigers gritted out a 16-14 win to secure the match.
“The girls played well for their first matches of the season,” veteran coach Stacy Shelton said later. “They were up on Wills Point and lost focus. This is just inexperience, and hopefully will improve with time.”
The Lady Panthers came back to knock off the Athens Lady Hornets in three straight, 25-18, 25-21 and 25-23.
“They came back and played well as a unit against Athens,” Shelton said. “They got behind and came back to win the match. This shows that they know how to come back and win.”
In sub-varsity action, the Mabank junior varsity also split their matches. The Lady Panther JV fell to Wills Point 2-1, dropping the first game 25-14, but coming back to win the second game 25-16. In the third game, the Lady Tiger JV secured the match with a 25-21 win.
Against Athens, the Lady Panther JV won 2-1, dropping the first game 25-19 before winning two straight, 25-23 and 25-20.
In freshman action, the Lady Panther frosh defeated both Wills Point and Athens.
Against Wills Point, the Mabank freshmen won two straight by identical 25-18 scores.
Against Athens, the Lady Panthers won the first game, 25-23, dropped the second, 25-22, and then roared back to win the third game 25-7.


Upcoming games

GBC co-ed softball

Aug. 18
7 p.m.
Impossibles vs Replacements
8:05 p.m.
Rebels vs Longhorns
9:10 p.m.
Xtreme-Tanksley vs Dictators

Aug. 25
7 p.m.
Replacements vs Xtreme-Tanksley
8:05 p.m.
Rebels vs Impossibles
9:10 p.m.
Longhorns vs Dictators


Aug. 18
MHS @ Crandall
KHS @ Edgewood
EHS vs Athens-Ennis

Aug. 20-21
MHS @ Eustace tourn.
KHS @ Eustace tourn.
EHS hosts tournament

Aug. 25
MHS vs G’ville-C.Mills
KHS vs Brownsboro
EHS @ Ennis

Aug. 27-29
MHS @ Tyler tourn.
KHS @ Wills Point tourn.
EHS @ Tyler tourn.

Aug. 15
KHS vs Malakoff (scrim)
EHS @ Venus (scrim)

Aug. 20
KHS vs Edgewood (scrim)
EHS @ Elkhart (scrim)

Aug. 21
MHS vs Canton (scrim)

Aug. 28
MHS @ Kaufman
KHS vs Brownsboro
(@ Van)

Aug. 29
EHS vs Grace Community
(@ Tyler All Saints)

Sept. 4
MHS vs Athens
KHS @ Parish Episcopal
EHS vs Dallas Life Oak

Sept. 11
EHS @ Edgewood


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