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Mother nature puts chill on fishing, hunting in area

Mother nature puts chill on fishing, hunting in area

Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010 9:28 am
By: Brent Callicott

Mother nature puts chill on fishing, hunting in area | Mother nature puts chill on fishing, hunting in area
 Well, old man winter has come into West Tennessee and decided to camp out for several days. This long, very cold, cold spell has put a halt not only on fishing but most of the waterfowl hunting as well in this part of the country. Not all, though, have been stopped due to the very cold weather change. Before I go any further in this column, I must say please be careful if you attempt to hunt in or on the ice. Basically, you might be on your own if you were to have any problems or an accident. This is a very dangerous situation when air and water temperatures reach the cold levels that they have. Do not attempt to walk out on any body of water that has frozen over. This would not only put yourself in harm’s way but others as well if you were to have an accident. Please use common sense. Most of Reelfoot Lake will or did freeze completely over with exceptions of a few airholes. Most area bodies of water are the same. Even the Mississippi River may start to see ice. I know there is ice upriver. I know there are some of you out there who still have the ways to hunt around ice and that’s good. The season is to short not to give a 100 percent effort when it comes to weather like we are having. The main thing is do it the safe way. Most of the others are home sitting back waiting for the warmup so they, too, can head back and finish the 2009-10 waterfowl season up. By the looks of things and long-range forecast, mother nature is not going to be to friendly to many at all. For those of you who like this type of weather, I hope you have gotten your fill. As for the waterfowl hunting, as of mid-week, I had not talked to anyone who has done any good. Even before this extremely cold air hit, the hunting wasn’t that good. Most have given up ’til the cold and ice gives us a break. I spoke with Jon Ed Powers, one of the owners of Final Flight Outfitters in the Midway Community Thursday. He said there was a big push of ducks Thursday and heard several reports of good hunts. “With everything frozen or freezing (except for rivers) the birds are looking for water they can keep open with a food source in very close proximity so they do not have to burn many fat grams flying to and from,” he said. “Rivers and lakes are the place to be now (actually the only place) if you can find any birds on them with open water.” There are those who are managing to keep just a small hole open for their hunting by different ways or means, but not many. These are the folks who are able to harvest a few ducks and/or geese each day. I have also been told by many that the waterfowl just aren’t here. Never really have been except for the later part of the first week of the season for a few days. From my standpoint, I really do not think, matter of fact, I know, the ducks aren’t anything like they were 10, 20, 30 and beyond years past. That is another issue, so I want go there right now. I was told by my grandfather, the late Harvell Denton, and others at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Reelfoot, when the freeze line moves this far south, you could normally count on the ducks and geese to move with the freeze line as well. They need water to also go along with food. The following counts were taken on Dec. 30 on the Reelfoot NWR: Snow geese, 5,250; greater white fronted geese, 2,610; total ducks, 15,500; mallards, 11,775; ringneckd, 2,050; green- winged teal, 125; gadwalls, 775; American wigeons, 275; northern pintails, 500. As for the fishing, there is none. Once the lake does thaw out, things will get good on the crappie fishing or should let’s just say. But for most of you fisherpeople out there who are chomping at the bit to fish, now is a really good time to go over all of your gear, boat, trailer, check batteries and anything else that might go into you having a productive fishing trip on your next outing after the ice melts. Also, I would like to pass along that the Reelfoot Lake Adult and Junior Bass Clubs are getting ready to start their new 2010 tournament and fishing season in a few months. If you are someone, younger or older who think they might be interested in fishing with our Reelfoot Lake clubs, you can contact any member for questions. As for information on either club, you call Johnny Garrett at 885-2903 or 885-6581, Rick Kelly at 885-2029, Gordon Fox at 885-5541 or me at 446-3678.  Please do not forget your outside pets in this type of weather. They need a good warm place to sleep and plenty of water and food. They are like a human, it takes lots of water and food for energy to stay warm. Also, the wild birds, squirrels, rabbits and any other wildlife you may have that visits your place for food. This is the time they need it most. That’s it for this week’s report. Please remember to call or write with your photos or stories so we can pass them along to our readers. Catch ya on the water folks Brent Published in The Messenger 1.8.10

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