When it rains, it pours, which is just fine with area fishermen
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 8:50 am
By: Brent Callicott
As the old saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.”
That would fit the last few weeks’ forecast around our parts. For many months, we couldn’t hardly buy a raindrop and now we are getting hammered with days of endless rains.
This past rain storm added at least 1.75 to 2 inches more of rainfall to a general area across Obion County. Just here in Obion County, we have received anywhere from 8 to 11 inches depending on where you may live in the past three weeks, with some areas receiving a little less or more.
This has caused Reelfoot Lake to rise even more.
The normal lake level at Reelfoot is 282.20 feet above sea level. With this last rain, the lake continues to rise and is now safely above the normal level.
Water temperatures on Reelfoot Lake have been in the upper 40s as of late despite the cool, rainy temps.
Speaking of Reelfoot Lake, last weekend saw a national cappie tour trail come to the area.
Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters one-day national qualifier tournament on Reelfoot Lake was held Saturday. Sponsored by the Reelfoot Tourism Commission, the tournament qualified the top 15 teams to the 2011 National Championship to be held in October on the Alabama River in Millbrook, Ala.
The tournament week began with lower water conditions compared to one year ago. By tournament day, the water had risen by eight inches, at least, with recent heavy rains. Rain, wind and colder temperatures challenged many anglers.
Two local anglers, Tony Hughes and Randall Hughes, weighed in seven crappie for a total weight of 8.12 pounds to win first place and take home $4,000. The team reported they were slow-trolling stumps and got up in a light wind break to warm up. When they did they started catching fish and just stayed there. Minnows and jigs tipped with minnows were a choice of many anglers as I have found out.
Fifty-eight two-person teams tested their skills in very tough weather conditions with high winds, heavy rains and a major cooldown greeted the anglers as they hit the Reelfoot waters last Saturday morning.
The Big Crappie award of the tournament tipped the scales at 2.01 pounds.
There were 209 crappie weighed in and they averaged .77 pounds each. The total fish weight was 161.27 pounds.
Over the past several years, there have been over 100 boats to fish this event. I also understand that the rough water and weather conditions caused two local anglers to sink their boat and have to be rescued by other fishermen during the day’s events. I have also been told that they called 911 just before their boat sank and it took close to 40 minutes before they could be found. They were then pulled from the cold waters of Reelfoot Lake. More details to possibly follow on this accident of how it happened.
I do have one crappie fishing report to pass along from Reelfoot Lake. Jimmy King and David Nance, both of Lake County, managed to bring in their limit of crappie Monday.
First, on a bit of a sad note, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of a bald eagle east of Crossville in the Crab Orchard Community near the Crab Orchard School in Cumberland County.
This is the second bald eagle killed in Tennessee in less than a month. Another eagle had been recently found shot and killed in adjacent Bledsoe County in the area of Big Springs Gap Road. The birds were found about 30 miles apart. The first person who provides information resulting in the successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible in these investigations will be eligible to receive an $8,500 reward.
The week has finally come, Ben Parker has officially started his career as a touring professional bass fisherman.
This week, Ben is fishing the Harris Chain of Lakes near Tavares, Fla.
Ben is one of 99 touring bass pros who qualified for this “elite” tour.
How this will work, first of all, the winner of each of the eight tournaments will receive a nice check worth $100,000. They will also pay all the way down to 50th place.
These are four-day events per tournament with all 99 anglers fishing on Days 1 and 2. Then the top 50 will fish on Day 3 with the final top 12 fishing it out for the $100,000 check.
You can follow Ben and the rest of the touring pros by going to www.bassmaster.com website and watch each weigh-in live or visit his own website at www.parkersoutfitting.com.
After Thursday’s first day of competition, Ben was in 30th place after catching his limit of five fish for a total weight of 12 pounds, 3 ounces (8 pounds, 4 ounces behind the first-day leader, Pat Golden).
On his Twitter account, Ben posted: “Well I caught a limit on the first day of my first elite tournament. I am pleased! Day two. Here we go. Goal is a limit at 13 pounds.”
A reminder for your calendars about some of the upcoming local bass tournaments in our area.
The Gibson County Bass Club will be hosting a open buddy bass tournament March 26 at Gibson County Lake. You can register the morning of this event. I should have more on this next week.
The 3rd Annual UTM Collegiate Bass Anglers Team Buddy Bass Tournament will be April 2nd 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.
Then on April 23, the 18th Annual Reelfoot Lake Bass Club Open Buddy Bass Tournament will be taking place on Reelfoot Lake out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area on Highway 22, just north of Samburg. More to come on this tournament as well.
Avery Outdoors and The Tennessee River Hunting and Retriever Club of Union City will host a two-day seminar March 26-27 with trainer Al Arthur, co-owner of Sandhill Kennel. The seminar that was supposed to take place in Union City has been moved to Ed Watson’s 360-acre Bear Creek Farm. It is located at 1295 French Road in Mansfield, where he has constructed five ponds and courses just for training dogs.
We have a few opening remaining at a cost of 125 per person for observers only. Reservation are first come, first serve. For more information about the seminar, contact Eddie Watkins at 731-693-0697.
I want to remind you once again, I will be appearing at two local Walmart stores sporting goods department come next week. I will be there to talk fishing and answer questions on behalf of Walmart/FLW Outdoors Fishing Expo Week March 17-20.
First, I will be in the Martin store on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Then on March 18, I will be at the Union City location from 6-8 p.m. Come by either store, introduce yourself to me or just say hello.
‘Til next week’s column.. Catch ya on the water folks… Brent
Published in The Messenger 3.11.11