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Old Man Winter’s grip on region continues

Old Man Winter’s grip on region continues

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2010 10:04 am
By: Brent Callicott

Old Man Winter’s grip on region continues | Old Man Winter’s grip on region continues

BRENT CALLICOTT
  In this week’s column, I will touch on the area fishing as well as the upcoming 2010 Bass Master Classic in Birmingham on Lay Lake.

But first, winter is still holding a tight grip on these parts. With another snowstorm that hit our area the first of this past week sending water temps falling a few more degrees. 

At Reelfoot Lake, the crappie fishing remains good, really good when you talk to some folks. Most folks are able to get out and fish in between winter storms and cold fronts. Old Man Winter hasn’t been that kind at all for the last 2 1/2 months.

Most of the best crappie fishing on Reelfoot Lake remains in the Lower Blue Basin area of the lake. Most folks are catching most of their crappie using minnows fishing anywhere from 5 to 15 feet deep. Some folks are doing much better than others. This all depends on where you are fishing, how fast you are fishing, the depth and time of day, just to name a few of the “what to do to catch crappie” question is.

On the better weather days, get in line. Folks are showing up in the great numbers on the better days to fish as the weather is concerned.

Remember, this coming weekend is the final of two youth waterfowl hunts that will take place — this one being on Reelfoot Lake only.

I received a nice hunting report from my good friend, well-known fisherman and hunter as well as a member of the Strike King Lure Company working staff, Crispin Powley of the Buchanan area. He took seven youth hunters this past Saturday on a duck in the Big Sandy area. Crispin said they managed to kill 25 with 20 of them being greenhead mallards.

Crispin went on to say they had a wonderful time and I personally want to thank Crispin for taking the time to carry these youth out on a great hunt. Folks, this is what it is all about.

As I mentioned earlier, the 40th Anniversary Bass Master Classic will be in Birmingham next week. 

Just so happens, my good friend and long-time touring fishing professional Mark Menendez will be one of the 51 competitors in this event fishing for $500,000 and possible new sponsorships on the line. 

I have mentioned Mark in other columns and he is the closest to a local guy fishing this event we have had in several years. Mark makes his home in Paducah, Ky., along with his wife Donna and children Caroline and Max. 

Mark is also a friend and mentor to the local Reelfoot Lake Adult and Junior Bass Clubs. He is always there to help in anyway he possibly can.

You qualify on a points system and hoping to make the cut for this possible lifetime career changing tournament. 

Mark, who has been fishing professionally for 17 years, has seen the ups and downs of the tournament fishing trail. Now with the economy the way it is makes it even more tougher to keep sponsors and recruit new ones. Luckily, he has landed a few new ones that couldn’t have come at a better time. In total, Mark has around 13 to 14 sponsors.

Mark unveils his tournament boat with a new look and new wrap. Fishing fans will be treated to the ride of the future. The Skeeter FX 20 powered by a 250hp Yamaha SHO 4-stroke outboard will feature many sponsor logos highlighted by a new name in the fishing world.

“My wrap will feature a new a name in the fishing game. Largemouth Mafia (www.largemouthmafia.com) is a social Web site that will be featuring content and contests of every type concerning bass fishing. I will be writing tips, ‘How to Articles’, and other never seen before attractions to the Internet. This Web site will be a great source of information for fishermen,” said Menendez, a 2009 Elite Series Champion.  “I am also proud to say that the fans will be able to autograph this rig, as always. I started this tradition at the beginning of the Elite Series several years ago. It has been a hit everywhere I travel. To see a young fisherman’s face light up from when I ask for their autograph on my boat is absolutely the best in rewards for me and my sponsors.

“The fans will also get to see a familiar face. Barkley will have his picture on the sponsors of my boat. He will be with me in spirit as always. It will be nice to be reminded of all the support I have at home.” 

Folks, this is what type of guy Mark really is, a fan of the fans.

Mark has won over $900,000 so far in his career. Just coming off of his best season ever, I was able to ask Mark a few questions on a recent interview before he headed south to Birmingham.

I asked Mark what it meant to make it to the BassMaster Classic and just missing out the last two seasons by just a few ounces each year.

“Making the Classic is everything for the professional angler,” he said. “It keeps one current in the sport with fans, sponsors and the media. This was a reward to me for being the first guy out of the classic two years in a row.”

I asked Mark what it would mean winning the BassMaster Classic.

“To win the BassMaster Classic would fulfill all of my fishing dreams for sure,” he said. “I have been very fortunate to reach every goal I have set for myself in the profession. This would also mean a great deal to my business.”

Mark went on to say that the speaking seminars in a given year would increase to his already busy schedule. He loves seminars because he loves to teach and educate folks like me and you, techniques and tactics of the bass fishing sport.

I asked Mark how many classics.

“This will be my fifth classic so far,” he said. “I know going in what the pressure is like and even had the opportunity back in the 2003 Classic of leading on the first day of competition.”

My last question for Mark was one that is asked to several or most every professional bass fisherman. What is more important to you, winning the BassMaster Classic or the Angler Of The Year Award? 

“To me the classic is the No. 1 goal in the sport,” he said. “This event resonates more with the fans and the AOY award is a fisherman’s award.”

You can learn more about Mark Menendez by going to his new Web site at www.markmenendez.com 

One thing on a personal note I will say about Mark is a family guy, a class act around all fishing fans and a great educator of the sport. They don’t make many Mark Menendezes. I am glad to call him my friend.

A reminder that on Feb. 20, the Central Baptist Church in Martin will be hosting their 3rd annual Sportsman’s Banquet at the church at 6 p.m. The speaker will be John Coleman, an avid outdoorsman and taxidermist from Dyer. Admission is free and for more information, call 731-587-5311 or email sportsmanbanquet@yahoo.com.

Remember to send me your photos or e-mail me your story or outdoors outing. We would love to share those with our readers.

‘til next week..

Catch ya on 

the water folks.

Brent
Published in The Messenger 2.12.10

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