Sun about to set on waterfowl season; lack of rainfall remains a concern
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 10:10 am
By: Brent Callicott
By sunset today, there will be just two days left of the 60-day waterfowl season here in Tennessee. It’s been a very up-and-down year for many, depending on who you may talk with.
Water and lack of rainfall also continues to be a problem in our area. The farmland is still fairly dry and many lakes, creeks, rivers and ponds continues to be very, very low.
Pray for rain. Reelfoot Lake continues to suffer from the lack of rainfall in a bad way.
There are some ramps easier to load and unload your boats simply due to duck hunters who have made things a little easier for others. On the other hand, there are ramps that you can’t use due to the low water conditions. This will continue until heavy rains bless our area — when that may be, who knows.
Predicted river stages on the Mississippi River at the Cairo, Ill., gauge is as follows: Saturday, 16.1 feet; Sunday, 16.5 feet; and Monday, 17 feet.
Duck season will end Sunday. There are still youth waterfowl hunts to come the next two weekends.
Both Tennessee statewide and Reelfoot Lake zones will conclude Sunday.
Goose season Tennessee statewide will also close January 30th. But the Northwest Goose Zone will continue until Feb. 13th. The Northwest Goose Zone consist of Lake, Obion and Weakley Counties and that portion of Dyer County excluding that portion south of Highway 104 and Gibson Co. excluding that portion bounded on the south by Highway 104 and on the west by Highway 45W.
The Kentucky Duck season will end Sunday also. Goose season in Kentucky will end Monday.
There will be youth hunts held in both states. In both Tennessee and Kentucky, the two-day waterfowl youth hunts will be held the weekend of Feb. 5-6. This is for youth ages 6 to 16.
The Reelfoot Lake Zone youth hunt will be held the weekend of Feb. 12-13.
It is finally here: the inaugural Tackle Trade Day will be Saturday at Union City Marine, located on North Second Street in Union City. This event will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
We have a few seminars lined up and here is a tentative schedule:
• At 11 a.m., Strike King Regional pro staffer Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs will talk about ledge bass fishing.
• At noon, local professional catfish guide and professional Gary Haynes will talk on catfishing on the Mississippi River with tips.
• At 1 p.m., local angler and “marine electronics guru” Billy Davis will share his knowledge on the Humminbird Side Image.
• At 2 p.m., local professional bass angler and avid outdoorsman Ben Parker, who will be fishing with the big boys on the BassMaster Elite Series Professional Bass Fishing Trail, will discuss bass fishing tips and Humminbird Side Image Technology with folks.
There may be more seminars added as well. All of us will be around to answer any questions anyone has related to boating, boat sales, mechanics questions for your outboards, fishing and much more.
Also, several members of the University of Tennessee at Martin Collegiate Bass Fishing team will be in attendance.
There will be nice attendance prizes given away every 30 minutes with smaller giveaways every 15 minutes. This event is free and open to anyone who may be or may not be a person that fishes.
We want to do this to possibly get folks involved in fishing as well as just sharing local knowledge with others. For more information, you can call me or call anyone at Union City Marine at 885-2903.
I will be there meeting folks and answering questions as will my dad (Lanny), a long-time outdoors radio show host, so come by and say hello.
I would also like to report that area angler Tony Hughes of Hornbeak recently fished the BassMaster Southern Open on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. last week. Tony fished and competed on the pro side/boater in this event. A two-day total of 20.14 pounds was good enough to get 49th place overall out of 194 entered fishermen on the pro side but not enough to make the final day top 12 cut. The event was won by long-time touring bass fishing pro and Elite Series angler Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala. Swindle had a three-day total weight of 80.13 pounds. This was his first ever BassMaster tour event win and for his efforts won a check worth $57,000.
Tony did not win a check as anyone who finished in the top 40 did, but did gain quality points for his efforts.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission has delayed a decision for at least two years to move forward through the regulation process and request the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a hunting season for sandhill cranes in the state.
The decision came in a vote by the commission at its January meeting that concluded Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region II Ray Bell Building. A lengthy discussion was held during the wildlife portion of the committee meetings last week. The commission heard presentations from Tim White, TWRA Migratory Game Bird Coordinator, and Jim Kelley of the USFWS. The TWRC also heard opinions from representatives on both sides of the issue.
A draft hunt plan by the TWRA had been presented to the commission at the June 2010 meeting for a 2011-12 season. This plan was approved by the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway Councils in July 2010. The commission had directed the agency to develop this plan as a result of a request made by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.
A period for accepting public comments began last fall concerning the possibility of the establishment of a sandhill crane hunting season and continued until prior to the TWRC meeting.
In closing, I would like to wish my dad a belated 69th Happy Birthday as he celebrated Tuesday. Dad, hope your day was a good one.
That’s all for this week’s column.
Til Next week,
Catch ya on the water folks
Published in The Messenger 1.28.11