Weather much on the m inds of area outdoorsmen

Weather much on the m inds of area outdoorsmen

Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 10:19 am
By: Brent Callicott

I have lots to share with you in this week’s column so let’s get to work.
I will first say that last week’s rains did help bring the Reelfoot water levels up some but we have a long way to go. Long-range precipitation forecast models show a trend to possible wetter conditions from mid-January until the end of the month. Let’s hope so. There is also a possibility that we are about to go into a deep freeze with the weather. Some of the weather folks are saying we may be getting ready to experience the coldest January nationwide and in our area since the mid-1980s. This means very cold temperatures and that “white” stuff called snow. We will have to wait and see, I guess.
Water temperatures on Reelfoot Lake are in the mid-30s but will go much colder and likely freeze over if the weather folks long-range weather forecast is correct. This past December ranked as one of the top 10 coldest on record for our area.
Speaking of weather, the weather folks at NASA are saying from November 2009 through November 2010, ranked as the warmest globally in history. I think, from what I read, the 12-month period around the world was 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit above the past mark which broke the record. Interesting.
Hunting continues to be good for some and not so good for others, and getting worse. I have also been told that a pretty good push of Canada geese have settled into the West Tennessee area, which has given a new twist to the waterfowl hunting.
The projected Mississippi River stages for the Cairo, Ill., gauge is as follows: Today, 29.7 feet; Saturday, 30.6 feet; Sunday, 31.0 feet; Monday 30.7 feet.
Since the weather is cold outside with threats of frozen precipitation every now and then, this is a good time to get your boat ready for your first trip. It takes just two or three days for air temperatures into the 50s with sunshine to get many of us in the mood. So having everything in tip-top shape from your rod and reels to your boat and trailer, take the time now to prepare everything for a spur of the moment trip to the lake.
Check you air in you boat trailer tires and dry rotting rubber. This could slow your trip to the lake for sure. Also, make sure your bearings on your trailer have been lubed up good. Also, make sure your trailer lights are working properly.
Check your batteries on your boat. Check the water and acid levels in your batteries but use extreme caution. Then make sure your batteries have a good charge. Checking the wiring is also good throughout the boat including your running lights. Then move to your electronics. Electronics today are vital tools in locating structure and fish on area lakes.
Make sure you have all of the required equipment for your boat for safety reasons. Life vests, paddles, anchors, boat registration, your hunting and fishing licenses, fire extinguisher, bow rope, some type of horn and more.
Then check your trolling motor and regular boat motor. Making sure these work before leaving home helps also. Your cranking battery needs to be strong with a good charge.
Next would be all of your fishing equipment. Rods, reels, poles, hooks, weights, line, baits and anything else you may use on your trip.
One added thing … clothing. Have plenty of clothing and even a complete change of clothes with you in your boat and vehicle.
I want to share with you, mark your calendar for Jan. 29. The first — and hopefully annual — Tackle Trade Day will be held at Union City Marine on Second Street in Union City. This will be a day for anyone who may be interested in getting involved in fishing for the first time and to those who are avid fisher-people who want to see some of the newest items on the market today.
I will share more with you in the weeks to come but this should start around 10 a.m. and last most of the day. There will be some giveaways, seminars and many other things related to fishing that day.
We hope to have some special guests that day. This should be a day that all of us can learn something a little extra for our next fishing adventure.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the application procedures for the 2011 turkey quota hunts to be held on the Long Point and Grassy Island units on the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge April 8-10. Applications will be accepted at the refuge office or postmarked within the month of January.
Twenty-five permittees will be selected in February for each unit. A permit fee of $12.50 per hunter will be payable upon notification of selection for the quota hunts.
For more information or to send in your application, call the refuge office at 731-538-2481, visit their website at www.fws.gov/reelfoot or write to the office at 4343 Highway 157, Union City, TN 38261.
Don’t forget the Eagle Tours that are being offered at Reelfoot Lake and around the lake. The Tennessee State Parks systems are offering their eagle tours now and you can find out more on these tours by calling 731-253-9652.
Also the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering Eagle Tours at Reelfoot Lake. You can call them at 731-538-2481 for more information or book your Eagle Tour.
The Union City pond otherwise known as the Reelfoot Pond on Reelfoot Avenue will be freshly stocked again with trout mid-January. This second stocking will take place on Jan. 19.
Don’t forget the Mark Menendez Bass Class that begins Jan. 18 in Paducah, Ky. This will be all about bass fishing.
This class will be held for five consecutive Tuesday nights starting on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College  in Paducah. Cost will be $65 per person for this class.
I will be sharing more information about this class in weeks to come. You can call 270-534-3335 for more information about this class and register.
Mark has been a full-time touring professional bass fisherman for many years and a graduate of Murray State University. He has a long list of major sponsors with his newest being Lew’s Reels. Others include Yamaha Motors, Skeeter Boats, Strike King Lure Co., Power Tackle, Stay N Charge, Optima Batteries, SWIM, Largemouth Mofia, BioEdge.
In the upcoming weeks ahead, I plan to cover my sponsor company’s products and what they have to offer. I also have planned a personal interview with one of BASS (Bass Angler Sportsman Society) newest owners, Jerry McKinnis. He’s known for the former TV outdoors program, The Fishin Hole, and he has purchased BASS, along with two other of his friends, Don Logan and Jim Copeland.
McKinnis is a former Major League Baseball player as well as the owner of JM Productions, which produces many of the outdoors shows you see on your TV each day. BASS was founded in 1968 by Ray Scott and has since been owned by two other groups, the latest being ESPN, with McKinnis and his group the latest.
Stay tuned, lots more to come on this.

Published in The Messenger 1.7.11

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