Rains arrive, raising water levels on Reelfoot Lake; more in the forecast

Rains arrive, raising water levels on Reelfoot Lake; more in the forecast

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:01 pm
By: Brent Callicott

Rains arrive, raising water levels on Reelfoot Lake; more in the forecast | Rains arrive, raising water levels on Reelfoot Lake; more in the forecast

Reports of some good catches of crappie this past week on Reelfoot Lake. Weather has warmed compared to the last several weeks.
But this past week, Old Man Winter hasn’t been the best and has wreaked havac on area anglers at times.
Water has warmed some with this week’s heavy rains raising the water levels and Reelfoot Lake continues to rise as you read this.
Another round of pssible heavy rains Sunday into Monday of next week.
Several inches of rain have been recorded and more is in the forecast.
Ramps around Reelfoot Lake have made it little easier for putting boats in. If the forecast for the heavy rains works out, all of the ramps should be able to be used.
Crappie fishing has been decent, not only on the lower end of Reelfoot Lake in the Lower Blue Basin, but reports are that crappie are being caught on the north end of the lake and in the Kirby Pocket area as well. This is good news due to the very low waters during hot weather last year, causing oxygen levels to be low along with poor water conditons overall.
My dad (Lanny) and Ray Wilson, both of Union City, took a trip down to Reelfoot Lake Wednesday. Fished all day long. Cloudy skies, light rain, cool temps and a slight wind was the setting for the day. Dad said they managed to keep 30 pretty nice crappie with all but two being over 10 inches long.
Then, also on Wednesday, Gene Crabtree and Larry Isbell, both of Union City, crappie fished on Kentucky Lake. They managed to keep 31 nice crappie.
Both reported they caught their fish on jigs tipped with the Berkley Gulp Crappie Nibbles.
I received a report this past week from my goold friend Bill Shanklin. He carried his mother and step-father, Venita and Gene Drenning fishing at a local pond on Monday. Bill reported a very unusual feel was on one of their rod/reel combos. Once they decided to reel in their catch, a mussel had clamp on to the lead weight, holding a firm grip and making it to the shore. They did remove the mussel but had never had this happen before. I personally have had a few encounters with mussels on Kentucky Lake getting attached to my baits when I am using baits that hold around the bottom of the lake.
The Bicentennial Celebration year of 2011-12 for Reelfoot Lake is now going on.
Reelfoot will be celebrating its 200th year of existance. There are many events planned so stay tuned. More to follow on this huge celebration. For more information, you can contact the Bicentennial Chairperson, David Haggard at david.haggard@tn.gov.
Don’t forget about the Youth Turkey Camp 2011 event that will be taking place March 11-12. This will be hosted by the Covenant Ranch near Paris.
The cost is $50 per camper, boys ages 10 to 16. Space is very limited.
For more inforamtion 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.
Remember to be ready to watch our local professional bass angler Ben Parker of Springville and a native of Obion County.
You can follow Ben by visiting the www.bassmaster.com website and watch each weigh-in live or visit his  website at www.parkersoutfitting.com.
Speaking of the BassMaster Professional trail, last week, the 41st annual Bassmaster Classic took place in Louisiana, near New Orleans, on the Louisiana Delta.
Some anglers in this three-day tournament event, not counting prefishing days (4), traveled close to 800 miles by water. That’s right, 800 miles in just 3 days. Wow!
Arguably the world’s best bass angler, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., claimed his fourth Bassmaster Classic win Sunday.
VanDam’s win tied him with Rick Clunn’s 11-year-old record of four Classic trophies.
Clunn was voted a couple of years ago to be the best bass fisherman ever at the time. Not now, in my book. VanDam, known well by many as “KVD,” is by fare the best bass fisherman I have ever seen and watched. I am fortunate enough to be on the Regional Pro Staff at Strike King Lure Co. where Kevin heads the National Pro Staff there as well. I know Kevin and he is a class act both on and off the water. A true, first class individual who puts his family up front and first.
VanDam shook up a stack of Classic records on Sunday. Besides tying Clunn at four, he shattered a five-year-old Classic weight record when he brought 69 pounds, 11 ounces of Louisiana Delta bass to the scales over three days. The previous three-day, five-bass-limit mark was 56-2 by Luke Clausen in the 2006 Classic on a Florida bass factory, Lake Tohopekaliga.
Other new milestones for VanDam are a record 20 Bassmaster event wins and crossing the $5 million line in B.A.S.S. winnings, thanks to the big bump provided by his $500,000 win Sunday in New Orleans. He remains the circuit’s top all-time money winner.
He also now shares Clunn’s claim as the only angler to take back-to-back Classic wins; Clunn did it in 1976-1977, VanDam in 2010-2011. To top off the superlatives list, VanDam now has twice held the sport’s top two titles concurrently: Classic champ while being the reigning Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
The 2011-12 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses went on sale Feb. 18. 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.
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.
I want to pass along to you that I will be appearing at two local Walmart stores sporting goods departments come mid-March. I will be there to talk fishing and answering questions on behalf of FLW Outdoors Fishing Expo Week March 17-20. I will be in the Martin store March 17 from 5-7 p.m. or just after. Then March 18, I will be at the Union City Walmart location from 6-8 p.m. or just after. Come by either store, introduce yourself to me or just say hello. I will have more to report on this in the coming weeks.
A notice for you bass fishermen, as the winter months wind down, the tournament season will crank up. One to put on your calender is the 3rd Annual UTM Collegiate Bass Anglers Team Buddy Bass Tournament. This will be April 2 out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina. Entry fee will be $100 per boat plus a extra $10 Big Bass Award Pot offered. More to come on this event but if you need more information, you can contact the president of the UTM Club, Grayson Smith, 931-237-4627.
As I end this week’s column, I ask you to be in prayer for a dear friend of mine’s family, John Westmoreland of Union City. John went home a week ago this past Wednesday to be with the Lord.
I had the opportunity to work with John almost five years at White-Ranson Funeral Home here in Union City. John was a person who always had a smile, a kind word to say and a laugh we all will never foreget. Rest in peace, my good friend John.
Til next week’s column..
Catch ya on
the water folks
Brent

Published in The Messenger 2.25.11

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