As duck hunting season winding down, many fishermen making preparations
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 3:01 pm
By: Brent Callicott
There is no doubt that we are in the heart of wintertime and it has been showing its true colors the last several weeks.
The good thing is, even though a pretty good cold snap hit our area the last three days, it is a little warmer than what they were predicting a week ago for this part of the month. More cold and possible rain and snow may be on the way for late in the weekend and early next week.
Reelfoot Lake continues its very low level but many have been able to continue to hunt on the lake despite the low waters. Unloading and loading boats has been a chore for most but you have had to do what you have to do if you want to hunt no matter what the conditions are. I’m sure there has been some ice this week and will take another day or two to open up.
From the several folks I have talked with, the waterfowl hunting has settle down, “cooled off” so to speak. Not everyone has had great hunts every day but several have managed to have decent hunts every few days.
Most of what food the area refuges and private lands for our waterfowl has probably been eaten up by now. The end of the season is also near at the end of the month.
Here are the most recent waterfowl counts we have down around the Reelfoot Lake area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service folks did their mid-winter flight Jan. 6. This is what they found. At Reelfoot, a total of 30,787 were found with over 27,000 of those being mallards. They also reported 1,125 white-fronted geese.
On Lake Isom, 53,250 were counted with 45,149 of those being mallards as well. They reported 2,500 white-fronted geese on Isom.
They reported the area has lost a lot of waterfowl birds over the past several days.
Here is the predicted Mississippi River water levels for the Cario, Ill., gauge: Saturday, 19.5 feet; Sunday,18.6 feet; and Monday, 18 feet.
In this week’s column and one or two more to follow, I want to share with you the companies that help support my bass fishing hobby. These are more or less called sponsors and they are the top of the line in my book. With these sponsors I cover just about every spectrum in the fishing industry.
With these companies, I am either on the national pro staffs, regional pro staffs, field pro staffs or select angler programs.
I continue to be very blessed to be affiliated with many of the best fishing manufacturers in the industry. Many of these companies I have been associated with for many years. They run first-class operations and have the best of the best professional anglers representing their company on the professional tournament fishing trails.
I started out with Strike King Lure Company being my first sponsor and what a first class company they are. I have been with them at least 15 years. Then follows MinnKota Trolling Motors and Humminbird Electronics. They are owned by Johnson Outdoors Inc., which also owns (Cannon, Necky Kayaks, Old Town Canoes/Kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Extrasport, Carlisle, ScubaPro, UWATEC, SeemAnn, Eureka, Silva, Tech 4O and Geonav).
Then Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Columbia Sportswear, Plano Tackle Systems, Frogg Toggs, Pure Fishing, Pflueger Reels, Berkley Trilene Line and Allstar Rods. Pure fishing also owns Stren Lines, Berkley Gulp, Fenwick Rods, Ugly Stik Rods, Mitchell, Penn, Shakespeare, Spiderwire and ABU Garcia. I have access to all of these companies’ products and consider myself very fortunate.
Sponsorships are very important on the fishing tournament circuits. These companies are more concerned on how you are and will represent their companies as well as how are you going to promote their products. Their No. 1 goal is to sell products and prostaff members are their salesmen. They want their products to sell and my job — as well as anyone on pro staff of a company — is to promote their products the best I can. Sure, they want pros who are good fishermen, who win tournaments and money, but ones who know how to deal with the public and have the ability to meet and greet folks also helps.
All of these companies have the pros they feel are the right person for their products. Also, as a professional fisherman with some companies, you’re one of the people who help develop baits, fine-tuning them and getting the paint schemes right. We are also there to hold seminars and answer your questions.
For example, Strike King has at least 15 national pro staff members, as well as about 60 or so regional pro staff members all over the country.
Strike King has been gearing up fisherman for over 40 years with a wide selection of fresh & saltwater fishing lures for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, panfish, redfish, speckled trout and many others and a complete line of polarized sunglasses. Strike King baits are very dependable, being able to fish with them day in and day out.
Strike King is proud to announce a sponsorship of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail for 2011. “We are very excited to get involved with the growing and popular Crappie Masters Tournament trail,” says marketing manager Chris Brown. “We are excited to introduce our new line-up of Slab Hammer Crappie baits and we feel they will really benefit the crappie anglers on and off the trail.” Best known for their bass fishing lures, Strike King has become very involved over the last year in the growing crappie market and has developed both soft plastics and crankbaits specifically for crappie
As I have mentioned my sponsors, you can come see some of their products and more of my sponsors at the First Annual Tackle Trade Day that will be Jan. 29 at the Union City Marine located on North Second Street in Union City. This is a free event open to anyone who wants to either get involved in fishing or is a avid angler themselves. This will start that morning around 10 and will conclude around 4 that afternoon. There will be boats, electronics, baits, rods, reels and clothing on display and for sale. There will also be several attendance prizes given away all day. Seminars will also be held throughout that day on electronics from Humminbird and fishing techniques from various local and regional fishermen. Some food will be available for sale by the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club. Come and join us if you can.
This is going to be a day for area fishermen to come together, share stories, learn from one another, trade lures, see some of the newest products on the market, ask questions and get rid of that cabin fever, getting in the fishing mood. More to come or you can call me for any question about this event at 446-3678 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Wednesday.
I want to pass along to you a small tournament trail that will be benefiting Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville. The tournament is called the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament and will hold three events. All three will be blasting off out of the Birdsong Marina on the Tennessee River. The dates are as follows: April 9, June 11 and a two-day event Oct. 15-16. Entry fee for each tournament will be $200 per boat. There is a five-bass limit in each tournament. First place will pay $10,000 in each tournament based on a minimum of a 150-boat field. Payback will also be 10 percent of the field. There will be lots of door prizes at each event also. For more information, you can visit www.southernwoodsandwaters.com and you can also register the day of the tournament.
The Mark Menendez Bass Class begins Tuesday in Paducah, Ky.
This will be all about bass fishing. This class will be held for five consecutive Tuesday nights starting next week 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. You can also register the day of the first class.
For some good family entertainment and a learning experience, the eagle tours 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.
Lastly, I want to wish my mom and dad (Lanny and Patrica Callicott) a belated Happy 48th Wedding Anniversary. Their special day was this past Sunday.
Til next week’s column… catch ya on the water folks.
Published in The Messenger 1.14.11