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Early arrival of dog days of summer doesn’t mean fish aren’t biting

Early arrival of dog days of summer doesn’t mean fish aren’t biting

Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010 11:09 am
By: By Brent Callicott

Early arrival of dog days of summer doesn’t mean fish aren’t biting
The dog days of summer are here. Hot weather has settled in just a bit early, according to the weather history, but that is the way the weather usually is around here anyway. I tell folks, “If you don’t like the weather now, wait three days and it will change.”
I have a brief rundown of last weeks BassMaster Elite Bass Tournament that was held on Kentucky Lake listed below.
As for the fishing report on Reelfoot Lake, the lake is starting to show signs of needing a fresh drink of water sooner rather than later.
Water levels on the lake are still slowly dropping. Spotty afternoon showers continue to flare up in the afternoon around our area.
Water temps have now reached the mid-80s area wide on Reelfoot Lake. Some waters are still a bit cooler in the Lower Blue Basin where the lakes deepest waters are. I did also find some water that was in the upper 80s. Now that is warm.
Water color around the lake depends on where you are. The Lower Blue Basin area and the Samburg side of the lake have less visibility than other areas of the lake. Most of the Kirby Pocket area is a bit better. The Upper Blue Basin area and Walnut Log area have more of a brownish tint.
As for the fishing, the crappie bite has once again picked back up just a little. Right now there are two to three areas that the crappie bite is best, the deepest waters in the Upper Blue Basin, the Lower Blue Basin and Buzzard Slough area.
Some are still being caught on minnows and then some on jigs. The minnow/jig combo is a good combination also.
The catfish bite remains good. As I have reported in past weeks, the best method is yo-yo’s and trotline but rod-and-reel combos are doing well also. Most any type of bait that is good for catfish is working. Try dressing up your choice with the Strike King Dynomite Stinkbait paste. This works well.
Bluegill are a decent bite. Usually through at least the end of June, the bluegill bite will be good. Just search around trees looking for areas where small tree roots near the top of the water have been cleaned. Once you see that, bluegill are in the area. Waxworms and crickets would be the best choice on bait selections.
Now for the bass. As the summer heat nears and settles in, deep trees, lily pads near deep waters and logs are usually a good place to start.
I would go with the buzzbait bite early using the Strike King Double Take or the Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait. Once the sun comes up, fish the shady side of trees and logs. Lily pads also provide cool shade for the bass. I like the Premier Plus Strike KIng Spinnerbait myself. This has a very unusual skirt known as the Strike King Perfect Skirt that has tons of action. White and White/Chartreuse in the 1/2 is best, especially on windy days.
Then you can’t go wrong by fishing slow around the trees using either the Strike KIng Perfect Plastics either in the Game Hawg or Rodent. Black/Blue and June Bug works well suing a 3/0 hook and a 1/4 ounce weight. Also the Strike King Pro Model Jig in a variety of colors, mostly dark colors in the 3/8 ounce to 1/2 ounce depend once again on the winds.
Small fry are around some cypress trees. This is one key to possibly locating bass or crappie for that matter.
Reminding those of you who might want to try your luck at a one-fish tournament, Saturday the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club’s annual Buddy Big Bass Tournament sponsored by Final Flight Outfitters in Union City, will take place on Reelfoot Lake. This will be held out of the Kirby Pocket area of the lake.
For more information on this tournament, you can call Gordon Fox at 885-541, Rick Kelly at 885-2029 or me at 446-3678.
Now for the BassMaster tournament report from last week’s Elite Series tournament stop at Paris Landing State Park Marina on Kentucky Lake.
First let me say I saw several folks from the Obion County area up at the weigh-ins and I think for some it was a first and will not be the last. They really didn’t know what goes on in putting a professional bass tournament on and how it worked.
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., and a Strike KIng National Pro Staff member led this tournament from wire to wire, grabbing a check for $100,000 and valuable points toward making the cut for the year end Angler Of The Year two-tournament fishoff in Alabama this summer. But VanDam is undoubtedly on top of his game and Saturday, he gave notice to rumors of a struggle, extending his Kentucky Lake domination at the Tennessee Triumph with a four-day total of 92 pounds, 5 ounces.
The victory was VanDam’s 17th, which inches him closer to the BASS all-time mark of 19. The 20-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier was locked in from the first day of practice.
While his weight steadily decreased each day of competition, he brought in four consecutive limits that weighed more than 20 pounds. His Kentucky Lake ledger includes two firsts, a second and a third-place finish in the previous four times the Bassmaster Elite Series has visited the fishery.
“I kept hearing people say, ‘Is there something wrong with VanDam,’ and it kind of made me laugh,” said VanDam, a five-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. “I mean, I had a pretty good start to the year winning the Classic back in February.  Sometimes you are on a roll and sometimes you aren’t.
“This lake is so special to me and I knew I had a good shot here. It really suits my style. It just feels great.”
Anyone wanting to watch a recap of this entire bass tournament can catch all of the on-the-water action from the Tennessee Triumph on The Bassmasters, which airs July 4 at 9 a.m. on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins for all regular-season Elite events and the two postseason events will air live on You can also go to the see all related stories and photos from this event.
It was a typical VanDam setup that propelled him to victory. He primarily worked two Strike King crankbaits, a Series 6XD and a silent stalker in chartreuse sexy shad, which boated the majority of his weighed bass. He mixed in other lures but as in years past, the crankbaits were the main weapon of choice.
A class act person and family man, Vandam is a guy who I believe is the best at this sport. Kevin’s work ethic is amazing and always finding time for others, even with his busy schedule.
Pro Mark Menendez of Paducah, Ky., had his best finish ever on Kentucky Lake.. He finished 14th overall with a three-day total bass weight of 53 pounds 12 ounces. Not bad on a payday an
Also this past Saturday, the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club held one of their club events which was on Reelfoot Lake. Winners that were reporedt to me were 1st place in the younger age group was John Coble Garrett with 5 bass that weighed a whopping 19.96 pounds. John also won the Big Bass award with a hefty largemouth that tipped the scales at 5.44 pounds.
First place in the older age group was Joe Hamilton with a total weight of 6.96 pounds.
I also mentioned last week that Jamin Barker of Dyersburg and employee at Union City Marine fished the 2010 The Bass Federation Southern Divisional held on Lake Eufaula near Eufaula, Ala. Jamin is also a member of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club in Union City.
He was a member of the Tennessee state team and he was also fishing for individual awards as well.
The Tennessee team finished 4th overall as a team out of seven total. Jamin on the other hand finished 35th place overall out of all of the other anglers. He had a 3 day total bass weight of 30 pounds and 12 ounces.
One last thing. I am booking for fall bass fishing dates. If you are interested in needing a guide trip on Reelfoot or Kentucky Lake Bass fishing, just give me a call 731-446-3678 or e-mail me at I also plan to do on the water eagle tours this coming fall, winter and next early spring.


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