Warm spring-like weather has fishermen ready to wet a hook

Warm spring-like weather has fishermen ready to wet a hook

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 7:35 am
By: Brent Callicott

Warm spring-like weather has fishermen ready to wet a hook | Warm spring-like weather has fishermen ready to wet a hook

This week’s warm weather, along with the sunshine, has been a welcome relief for all of us. I know many fishermen, including myself have had cabin fever and just having the warmer temps and sunshine has made all the difference in the world.
As the ice has melted away, I know many folks have taken their chances testing the crappie. Most of the fishing has centered around the areas that produced large numbers last fall — which is the area located on the southern end of the lake in the Lower Blue Basin.
I did have one report from Gene Crabtree and Larry Isbell, both of Union City. They managed to bring home 14 Tuesday but caught several small fish. They reported talking with a few others who had caught a few more fish of the keeping size. All of these fish were caught on Kentucky Lake.
Reports from Reelfoot indicate the bite is slow, but hold on, that will not last long. These warmer temps will do nothing but help the fishing anywhere.
Water levels continue their low levels on Reelfoot Lake but have come up some over the past several weeks with the rains and snows we have received. The best I can tell by looking at the water levels and talking with others, Reelfoot has come up at least 8 inches since early December.
This is good, but we need more. The extended forecast for precipitation for our area is above normal. Hope this holds true. Next week, several good rain chances will invade our area. If you plan to head out on Reelfoot Lake and fish or look at the eagles, please navigate very slowly and follow the boat trails. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a push-pole and a cell phone in the boat with you.
Water temps on Reelfoot have been in the 30s but with the recent warm spell has pushed up into the 40s, maybe even touching the 50 degree mark.
Speaking of Reelfoot Lake, this is the Bicentennial Celebration year of 2011-12. Reelfoot will be celebrating its 200th year of existence. There are many events planned so stay tuned. More to follow on this huge celebration. For more information, you can contact the bicentennial chairman David Haggard at david.haggard@tn.gov.
I have been asked to pass along information about the Youth Turkey Camp 2011 event that will be taking place March 11-12 of this year. This will be hosted by the Covenant Ranch near Paris.
The guest speaker for the event will be Billy Yargus, 2008 NWTF Grand National Turkey Calling Champion. He is a member of the Mossy Oak, Flambaeu and M.A.D. Calls pro staffs.
The cost is $50 per camper, boys ages 10 to 16. Space is very limited.
For more information or to sign up for this event, you can contact the Covenant Ranch and Jon Paul Moody at 731-642-2099 or visit their website at www.sonriseadventures.com. They would love to hear from you.
A reminder about our local professional bass angler Ben Parker, avid outdoorsman and now rookie Elite BassMaster Elite Series Bass Angler. Ben will fish two events back to back in the Sunshine State come March. He will also be sporting a new Black SUV along with his new Phoenix Boat come tournament time.
Ben is looking for possible sponsors. As I mentioned, he will be sporting and new, black SUV to pull his new boat with. If you are interested in getting a sponsorship logo placed on Ben’s new ride, you will need to contact Bill Coffee of Union City. You can reach Bill at 884-2184 or stop by Penny Hill Subs. Bill is helping Ben with this project and they are very limited on time. This all needs to be completed by the 25th or so of this month.
You can follow him by visiting the www.bassmaster.com website and watch each weigh-in live or visit his own website at www.parkersoutfitting.com.
The 2011-12 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses went on sale today. Licenses are available at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional offices, license agents and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org
The new licenses are valid through February 2012. License sales provide the primary funding for the TWRA, which does not receive any funding from the state’s general fund (i.e. state sales tax). The 2010-11 licenses expire Feb. 28.
“License dollars are the life-blood of our agency’s efforts to manage all wildlife in our state,” said Ed Carter, TWRA executive director. “I would encourage fellow Tennesseans who appreciate the tremendous wildlife viewing opportunities we all enjoy to make a license purchase as a way of showing their support for all species and allowing us to leverage available federal funding.”
Resident licenses may be purchased by: persons who possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license; persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home; military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status; students who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months. A Social Security number is required to purchase a Tennessee hunting or fishing license.
Licenses may also be purchased online at TWRA’s website: www.tnwildlife.org and charged to a credit card. Licenses may also be ordered by telephone and charged to a credit card by calling 1-888-814-8972. All licenses purchased by credit card will be charged a processing and handling fee. Effective March 1, the new fees over the telephone are $7.50 for those licenses mailed and $6.25 for those not mailed. Through the Internet, charges are $4.25 for those licenses mailed and $3 for self-prints.
To expedite telephone orders, the caller should have ready the name, address, physical description, Social Security number, driver’s license number, TWRA ID number (if renewal), and credit card number. Licenses are printed on a special tear-resistant, water-proof paper. In case of a lost license, duplicate licenses can be obtained from any real license agent for a $7 fee.
In closing, I want to pass my congrats along to the Union City Middle School boys’ basketball team. Last weekend, they won the TMSAA West Sectional Tournament championship game by beating Fayette-East for the second time in a week or so. Union City won 65-60, went undefeated for the entire year at 21-0 and will be honored at the upcoming TSSAA High School Boys State Championships. Hats off also to my 1982 UCHS classmate and good friend Ronald Ward, who is the head coach of the junior Twisters. Ronald is a great leader both on and off the court and sets good examples for these young boys. Great job to all of those involved accomplishing this great milestone.
The Super Bowl of professional bass fishing, the BassMaster Classic is going on right now.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and the State of Louisiana is hosting the 41st Classic, today  through Sunday out of New Orleans. The Classic pits 50 of the world’s best anglers against each other and the bass of the Louisiana Delta. The qualifiers fought all last year for the right to compete. Likewise, being there to watch is the dream of many fishing fans.
No way will the fans who experience the Classic online be left out. Jerry McKinnis, a B.A.S.S. owner, said it best in his Feb. 7 Bassmaster.com blog: “We intend to ‘blow out’ the coverage of this year’s big event on Bassmaster.com. Our dotcom content gang will be kicking it in like never before and bringing you fresh material throughout each day.”
The heart of the www.Bassmaster.com coverage will be live, streaming video of three days of Classic weigh-ins as well as real-time leaderboards. (Expect this to begin about 3:45-4 p.m.; exact weigh-in start times will be posted on Bassmaster.com.) But there’s no reason to wait until the afternoon to find out what’s happening. Blogs and from-the-water B.A.S.S.Trakk reports will begin within minutes of the 7 a.m. launch times. Later in the day, the online coverage will expand to include analysis, news, photo galleries and backstage B.A.S.S.Cam video reports.
To relive the sport’s premier event, fans can tune in to ESPN2 Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. and Feb. 27 at 4 a.m., 5 a.m., 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Also, ESPN Classic will present a five-hour “Classic Marathon” Feb. 25 beginning at 6 p.m.
That’s all for this week’s column.
Please remember to send in any photos, stories or information you may want to pass along to our readers.
Til next week..
Catch ya on
the water folks..
Brent

Published in The Messenger 2.18.11

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