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Bass Tournament madness spilling over into April

Bass Tournament madness spilling over into April

Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010 12:14 pm

In this week’s report, I have tournament results, upcoming tournament events and fishing reports to pass along to you.
The weather has finally broken old man winter’s tight grip.
Usually when warm air temperatures return after the winter months, strong southerly winds also accompany those as well.
The water conditions have changed a little on Reelfoot Lake, with mainly the water levels dropping just a bit.
I would say that Reelfoot is around six to eight inches above the normal pool levels of the lake.
The water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s.
However, the recent rains and cooler air temperatures at night may cause them to drop just a couple of degrees.
Water color has remained good around the entire lake.
Areas that have been affected by the heavy rains of a couple of weeks ago have settled down and, now, the waters there are fairly clear.
Most areas around the lake are clear.
As for the fishing reports, most are from last weekend or the first of this week.
Since then, strong winds have kept most anglers at bay.
My dad, Lanny, took the notion on Monday to head to the lake.
He fished a few hours in the warm, sunshine and windy conditions, managing to catch 21 crappie, being able to keep just 11.
Jimmy King of Tiptonville decided not to let the strong winds keep him on the bank on Tuesday.
Despite tough fishing conditions with the winds, he had over 25 pounds of weight dragging on the bottom of his boat at the end of his outing on the lake.
Overall, he ended up with a pretty good catch after it was all said and done.
Last week’s results and turnout of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club’s 18th Annual Buddy Bass Tournament was affected by the weather conditions.
Some of the bass anglers that day reported the bite being good all day with others having just the opposite and some not even receiving a single bite at the event.
Thus, meaning it was feast or famine for many local anglers on this particular day of tournament fishing.
At blast-off time (7 a.m.) last Saturday morning, 35 two-man teams tested their skills against the conditions.
Anglers woke up to thunder, lightning, heavy rains and windy conditions but by blast-off time, the weather conditions were in the process of changing for the better and the tournament was on.
By around 8:30, stormy conditions were replaced by lighter winds and clear sunshine.
Out of the 35 teams that fished the tournament, only 13 teams brought their limit of five bass to the scales.
Winners of the event at Reelfoot Lake were as follows:
1st Place — Glen Yates and Stephen Patton 22 pounds, 14 ounces, $700
2nd Place — Junior Angel and Mike Chandler 22 pounds, 5 ounces, $500
3rd Place — Keith and Jason Gilliam 22 pounds, 2 ounces, $300
4th Place — Team Ross and McBride, $200
5th Place — Billy Davis and Johnny Garrett, $150
6th Place — Team David Abshire (husband & wife ), $100
7th Place — Team Greg and Newsom, $80
The big bass award from the event went to yours truly and James Harris with a bass that tipped the scales at seven pounds, two ounces, for a prize of $210.
Gammons and Jones had second with a six pound, 14 ounce lunker and that earned them an additional $140.
There was a total of $2,380 given away in winnings in this event.
On this same day of this tournament, local Union City resident and outdoorsman Charles Miller had a really successful day on the bass. I hope to have a picture next week of his trip.
I also would like to pass along that two area crappie anglers faired very well in a recent Crappie Masters Tournament Trail event on Grenada Lake in Grenada, Miss.
This was the Mississippi State Championship and was also a two day event.
Last Friday and Saturday, Tim Blackley of Hornbeak and Jackie Vancleave of Samburg finished fourth place overall in the Pro Division of the Grenada Lake event.
In two days of competition, Blackley and Vancleave weighed in 14 crappie that tipped the scales at a whopping 32.72 pounds.
They were one of six teams that weighed in record breaking stringers.
The heaviest two-day record-breaking stringer of 14 crappie weighed 35.05 pounds, crushing the previous record by almost four pounds.
Blackley and Vancleave’s big crappie of the tournament weighed 2.49 pounds with the largest and another record set of a crappie that was weighed in at 3.21 pounds.
I asked Tim if he would share a little of their successful information on their recent tournament and he did.
“We were trolling Southern Pro Glow Chartreuse tubes two inches long on quarter-ounce jigs,” Tim said.
Tim also indicated they used the glow color because the water stays so muddy in Grenada Lake.
“We tipped with the largest minnow we could buy which were about three inches long,” Tim also said. “We were catching females moving shallow to spawn and by the last day we started to catch the males moving in to guard the beds after the female laid the eggs.”
Tim said they fished between two and four feet of water in the Yalobusha River part of the lake.
“During the three days of practice we were catching the largest fish Jackie or myself had ever caught in our lives” Tim said.
They had three over three pounds and several 21/2 to 23/4 pound fish.
“Grenada Lake is no doubt the best big Crappie Lake in the country”, Tim said. “We travel and compete in about six to eight crappie tournaments a year throughout the south just like in bass fishing.”
Tim went on to say, “It would not be possible without our sponors Bandit Lures, Southern Pro Tackle, Vicious fishing line and BNM poles.”.
Also on April 17, the Annual Walk Of Hope Open Buddy Bass Tournament will take place out of the Kirby Pocket area at Reelfoot Lake.
Entry fee is $80 per boat.
For more information, you can contact Dave Bragg 446-6759 or Travis Johnson 446-8724.
More information will be posted later on this event.
Also on May 8, the Annual St. Jude Buddy Bass Tournament will take place on Reelfoot Lake.
This event will begin at the Kirby Pocket portion of Reelfoot Lake, with all of the proceeds raised going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
If the recently-held young sportsman turkey hunt provides any indication, the forecast is good for Tennessee’s 2010 spring turkey season.
The statewide season opened on April 3 and will continue through May 16.
Tennessee’s young hunters harvested 1,285 birds across the state last weekend, a record for the two-day hunt.
There were 1,066 turkeys harvested last year and the previous young sportsman hunt record was 1,191 set in ’07 before a damaging late season freeze and the ensuing summer drought that year.
“2007 was an impactful year with the Easter freeze and the summer drought and we saw more jakes (immature male turkeys) taken the last couple of years,” said Gray Anderson, who serves as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Turkey Program coordinator. “We saw our gobbler harvest at about 70 percent in the young sportsman hunt.
“Based on that, we should see the number of gobblers increase and we are hearing reports of good quantities of birds being seen statewide. Everything that we have seen is pointing toward the positive.”
There were 32,081 turkeys harvested in the ’09 spring season.
Greene County was the state leader with 930 birds harvested during the season.
Montgomery County had 792, nearby Henry County 783, Dickson County 736 and Maury County 709 to round out the top five Tennessee counties of wild turkey hunting.
All Tennessee counties are open to wild turkey hunting including Wildlife Management Areas and refuges unless specifically listed as a area where wild turkey hunting is now allowed.
For specifics, sportsmen should check the 2009 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide which is available at any TWRA Regional Office or license agent.
The guide can also be found online at
That’s all for this week’s report. I want to invite you to send in your outdoor photos and stories to us so we can share them with the readers.
You can either e-mail them to me at or you can call me at 446-3678.
You can also drop them by The Messenger office on Jackson Street in Union City.
Or you can call The Messenger and obtain the e-mail address necessary to forward your outdoors photo for publication in the paper.
’Til next week…
Catch ya on the water folks…
Brent Callicott


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