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Mixed bag of weather common for this time of year

Mixed bag of weather common for this time of year

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 1:15 pm
By: By Brent Callicott

Mixed bag of weather common for this time of year
This past week’s weather has been a little on the unsettled side and this is mainly what you are to expect for this time of year with seasonal transitions in the weather. We have gone from a very cool start at the beginning of the week to warm and humid conditions.
Here is what I have from Reelfoot Lake.
The water level still remains rather high. I will say 10 inches to a foot above the normal levels
Water continues to pour through the gates at the spillway down at Reelfoot. This means current is fairly high in the ditches around the lake and will continue until the lake drops a few more inches.
Water temps have dropped some in the past few days. As of Tuesday, the water temps on Reelfoot were around the 65 to 67 degree mark. Look for this to change and the waters warm back up into the mid- to upper 70s.
Water has cleared up in many areas of the lake over the past several days. I know I could tell a big difference in the water conditions from last week to this week already.
Some areas of Kirby Pocket and the Upper Blue Basin remain stained but also clearing in other places. Winds aren’t helping at all with the lake trying to clear up.
As for the fishing reports, the crappie bite has slowed some but still good catches are taking place around the lake. Folks are using both minnows and jigs. The recent muddy conditions have not helped on the shallow water crappie bite with most still being caught in the Lower Blue Basin area of Reelfoot.
Catfishing has really picked up. This is due, in part, to the recent rise in the lake, heavy current in the ditches and the lake as well. Reelfoot Lake has become a really good catfishing lake, to say the least.
If you are wanting to test the catfish, load up on some chicken livers and some of the Strike King Lure Company’s Dynomite Catfish Dip. Head to one of the ditches and camp out on the downflow side of the ditch.
The bass bite has been decent. A very unsettled late winter and spring, adding to the lake conditions being up and down and not consistent hasn’t helped either. I managed to have my best day Tuesday of all year, catching several good bass with several other bass hooked and bites as well. It was a fun day.
Some bass are still being reported as on their beds and have not spawned. This is not unusual for Reelfoot. I have seen bass spawn on Reelfoot Lake as late as the first of June.
Right now, the best chance for a good bass bite is with a Strike King Premier Plus 3/8 ounce spinnerbait in white. Fish grasslines and lily pad areas as well as deep trees and underwater stumps. Also, the ever faithful jig/chuck combo or a soft plastic bait is good.
As for colors, this all depends on the water color. The more stained the water, the brighter the color lure you are fishing. The clearer the waters, the more natural the bait needs to look.
Results of the Annual St. Jude Buddy Bass Tournament sponsored by Reynolds Brothers Oil & Tire Co. and the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club took place last Saturday on Reelfoot Lake. The water conditions, as well as changing weather conditions, seem to have hurt the amount of boats that usually fish this event with only 20 two-man teams testing their skills against others.
First place went to the team of Kelley Powers and Joey O’Neill with 5 bass that weighed 21 pounds, 12 ounces, worth $400.
Second place was claimed by Guy Revell and Chad Snider with their 5 bass tipping the scales at 21 pounds, 4 ounces. They claimed a check for $240 for their efforts.
Third place was won by Bryan Breeden and Clint Wilson with 5 bass that weighed 20 pounds even. The won $160.
Big bass for the event was 6 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught by the team of Powers & O’Neill. They claimed a check for $120. Second big bass weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was caught by the father/son team of Mike Terry & Shawn Terry of Hornbeak. They won $80.
The tournament saw 12 teams weighing in 45 bass that had a average weight of 3 pounds, 13 ounces.
Also last week, some members of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club had qualified to fish the 2010 Tennessee Bass Federation Nation Bass Championship Tournament on Pickwick Lake near Savannah. This was a two-day event with anglers fishing on both Friday and Saturday. They were trying to make the top 12 overall individually as well as finish well as a team.
I am happy to report that former Obion County resident Ben Parker of Springville finished first place overall in this event. Ben had a two-day total bass weight of 36.62 pounds (10 bass). Ben has qualified now for the Tennessee State Federation Nation team as a boater.
Also fairing well in this event was Rick Kelly of Union City. Rick finished 13th place overall and will also qualify for the state team. Rick had a two-day total weight of bass that was around the 25 pound mark.
Ben and Rick will now turn their attention to the regional tournament TBA later that will be fished March or April of 2011 possibly somewhere in Kentucky. Great going guys!
Other members of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club members who fished were Bryan Hale, Bill Coffey, David Rhodes, Tony Hughes, John Sturdivant and Jamin Barker. The team overall finished second place in a combined weighed competition during the tournament.
There were a total of 122 individuals to fish this championship tournament.
You can learn more about Ben Parker by visiting his website at
The Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club will sponsor their annual Bluegill tournament on May 29 on Reelfoot Lake. The entry fee for this tournament is $35 per boat. A possible $500 in paybacks are in store for this tournament. This will be out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area with times being blastoff at 6 a.m. and the weigh-in will take place at noon that day. For more information, you can contact Rick Kelly at 885-2610, Gordon Fox at 885-5541 or Taylor Williams at 538-9243. There will be a 10 fish limit on this tournament.
Also, you need to go ahead and mark your calendars for June 4th for a very special event.
The New Harmony Baptist Church near Paris will be hosting their annual Outdoor Feast. This year’s guest speaker will be one of my good friends, Randy Howell, touring BASS Elite Series Bass fishing professional. Randy has been fishing professionally for many years and is from Alabama.
This event starts with a free meal beginning at 6:30 p.m. with many door prizes and the TWRA will be on hand for deer scoring.
The church and this event will be located at 7050 Highway 69 A South, Paris, Tennessee 38242.
For more information on this event, you can call 731-593-5276 or 731-593-3207.
Then on June 19, the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club will be hosting their annual Buddy Big Bass Tournament. This will be held out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area. More information will be posted at a later time.
The BASS Bassmaster Elite Series Professional Bass Tour will again be paying Kentucky Lake and Paris a visit come June 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. Ninety-three of the top bass fishermen in the United States will be fishing their seventh stop on tour in the Paris Landing area of a eight-tournament qualifying tour.
This is a great event to attend which is filled with fun and great fishing fellowship. What is nice is this is free and open to anyone.
Daily blastoffs will take place in the 7 a.m. time frame and the weigh-ins will take place roughly starting around 3 to 4 p.m. each day. This is a show and production in itself.
Not only are each of these anglers fishing for $100,000 at each event, they are also trying to qualify for the BassMaster Classic next year and the year end Angler Of The Year (AOY) two tournament shootout that will take place on Lake Jordan in Wetumpka, Ala., and the Alabama River in Montgomery, Ala.
The 2010 Tennessee Spring Turkey Season is drawing near to a close come Sunday.
This year’s season has seen over 33,800 turkeys harvested.
As been reported, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are continuing investigating the shooting of a bald eagle in the Reelfoot Lake area of Lake County, and a reward of up to $3,300 is offered to anyone for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the eagle. The reward is provided from contributions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Mid-South Raptor Center. The injured bald eagle was discovered in Lake County about five miles north of Tiptonville, close to the between Reelfoot Lake and Mississippi River.
Remember, anyone with information concerning the eagle that was found shot a few weeks ago is asked to call special agent Matthew Bendele with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, in Memphis at (901) 380-3577 or Lake County wildlife officer Rob Dougherty with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 1-800-372-3928.
That is all for this week’s report. Please, if you have any outdoor related information, stories or photos that you might want to pass along to our readers, simply send me a e-mail at , call me at 731-446-3678 or drop it by the Messenger office on Jackson Street in Union City. We would love to share them with everyone.
‘til next week’s report…
Catch ya on
the water folks.


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