Early week’s rains a welcome sight but much more needed for ponds, lakes

Early week’s rains a welcome sight but much more needed for ponds, lakes

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 9:36 am
By: Brent Callicott

Our area was blessed with some rains Tuesday but not near enough. We need more rain, but this should have been a good start.
Now that the 2010-11 duck season is over, the youth will still have two opportunities to hunt the next two weekends.
Also, last week’s welcomed very nice weather sent many folks to the lakes who had cabin fever chasing crappie. Friday and Saturday were really nice.
As for the rains, I received around .65-inch at my house but I have had other reports of between 3/4 of and inch to possibly one inch in isolated areas in western Obion County.
This is a reminder about this weekend’s and next weekend’s youth waterfowl hunts in our area.
There will be youth hunts held in both Tennessee and Kentucky. The two-day waterfowl youth hunts will be held Saturday and Sunday. This is for youth ages 6 to 16.
The Reelfoot Lake Zone youth hunt will be held the following weekend of Feb. 12-13.
Speaking of the very nice weather late last week and weekend, many folks headed to the lakes in search of their favorite fish. Some had luck and some didn’t.
Many folks headed to Reelfoot and several caught crappie late last week. I have not talked to many who actually caught their limits — but close.  I have also seen reports of some folks bassfishing on Kentucky Lake with no luck. Water temps on the big lake was in the upper 30s last weekend and I’m sure that has dropped since then.
I would also be willing to bet that Reelfoot Lake’s water temp is in the mid-30s by now as well.
I do want to pass along to you that one of Obion County’s own, Jake Lawrence, who fishes on the Bethel University Collegiate Bass Fishing Team, is doing well. Jake and a few of his Bethel teammates headed south and fished the Southern Collegiate Bass Fishing Series hosted by Auburn University last week. This was on the Tennessee River system near Huntsville, Ala.
Jake and his team partner, Jacob Hardy, managed to overcome tough conditions to claim third place overall in this collegiate bass event. They had a two-day total weight of 16.85 pounds. They finished just behind the first place winners from Auburn University and second place winners from University of Georgia.
I talked with Jake and here is how the tournament went from start to finish.
Bethel won both of their matches against South Alabama on Friday and Jacksonville State on Saturday, which is where schools are paired each day against each other to fish on that particular day. Jake went on to say, “After my partner and I caught a total of 6.22 pounds on Day 1, we were sitting in a respectable fifth place. Then on Day 2, we were able to put together a limit that weighted 10.63, which bumped us up to third in the invitational part of the tournament.” The team of Hardy and Lawrence were fortunate enough to find a pretty good concentration of fish in the back of Flint Creek toward the Guntersville Dam in the official practice day on a combination of laydowns and rocks adjacent to deep water.
“We caught all of our fish both days dead-sticking a Strike King Rodent in blue crawl color,” Lawrence said. “The whole key with the cold water conditions as low as 42 degrees was to fish the bait incredibly slow and keep it in the strike zone as long as possible sometimes leaving it in the same place up to 20 or even 30 seconds without moving it at all.”
Jake also informed me two weeks ago that starting this past weekend and continuing for the next 28 weekends, he will be fishing some type of bass tournament 25 of those weekends. Wow! Keep it up Jake and also study hard.
A reminder for your calendar, the Tennessee River Hunting and Retriever Club of Union City will host a two-day seminar Feb. 12-13 with trainer Al Arthur, co-owner of Sandhill Kennel. The kennel, which has produced 16 field champions and 37 dogs on the National Derby List, was founded in 1974 by his father, Hugh Arthur. The younger Arthur, who joined the kennel in 1996, is a member of Avery’s team Waterdog, which is comprised of the nation’s top trainers.
“Our goal is to strive for continuous excellence in each and every dog,” Al Arthur said. “We do this through our four-step approach: Obedience, regular exercise, proper nutrition and regimented training.”
The seminar will take place at Quail Haven Preserve, located just outside Union City, and will be open to the first 16 people to sign up. It is $125 per person. For more information about the seminar, contact Eddie Watkins at 731-693-0697.
Three youths from Obion County have been drawn to participate in the Davis P. Rice Waterfowl Hunt this weekend in Dyersburg. Luke Davis of Kenton and Jonathan Pool and Klayton Hagan, both of Union City,  who are members of the Obion County Trap Shooting Team, were drawn — along with 100 or so other kids from across Tennessee to participate in this event.
This is sponsored by our Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program, which is a part of the TWF. It is only for TNSCTP members, 15 and under only, all across the state of Tennessee. For more info on this, go to: www.tnsctp.org and the info is in the first box down of info.
News from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is that they will no longer offer fish (bass and bluegill) for stocking into private ponds and small lakes.
Due to the high cost of raising and distributing private pond fish, in addition to the need to stock more fish into public waters of the state, the agency has decided to discontinue the private pond stocking program.
Current pond fish applicants scheduled to receive largemouth bass in the spring of 2011 will be the last for the program.
Private pond/lake owners wanting fish can purchase them from fish hatcheries located within the state (visit www.tnwildlife.org), or from commercial fish producers that sell fish at many farm and feed stores located in each county. The pond owner can contact a farm/feed store in their county to check on the availability of fish. Pond and lake owners can also contact any TWRA office for assistance in locating a commercial source for fish.
Information about stocking, along with pond and small lake management information can be found at: http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/pond/pondfish.html.
Til next week…
Catch ya on
the water soon folks
Brent

Published in The Messenger 2.4.11

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