‘Major’ news on water is flooding

‘Major’ news on water is flooding

Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 9:09 am
By: By BRENT CALLICOTT

Six months ago, our area was in what the weather folks were calling a major drought.
Now, we are getting ready and are witnessing historic flooding along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers as well as other major bodies of water in our neck of the woods including Reelfoot Lake.
By the time you read this column, Reelfoot Lake alone will reach extremely high levels and it could be close to record high water levels.
The problem is for the amounts of rainfall our entire part of the country has seen, there is no place for it (the rain) to go.
In general, our area has seen anywhere from five-10 plus inches of rainfall in three days. Mix that in with already saturated soil and you have major flooding.
All creeks, streams and rivers are bank full with many spilling out of their banks.
Folks have had to be relocated who live and work all up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Please remember those who have been affected by the recent storms and those who might be affected by the floods and high waters.
Also remember, never cross a flooded roadway. It is very dangerous.
Water color is stained in places and really good in others at Reelfoot Lake. There are some areas that are just flat out muddy. Water temperatures are in the upper 60s to lower 70s.
Speaking of Reelfoot Lake, I have the results of the 18th Annual Reelfoot Lake Bass Club’s Open Buddy Bass Tournament that was held last Saturday out of Kirby Pocket on Reelfoot Lake.
The weather ended up being OK but the winds were a factor in this tournament as has been the case over the past several weeks.
There were 40 boats that represented a two-man buddy team in each testing their skills out on the Quake Lake (Reelfoot.)
Of the 40 boats, there were only 10 limits of five Bass brought to the scales with just around have of the field bringing their catch to check their weights.
After it was all said and done, it took at five Bass total weight of 22 pounds, seven ounces to claim first place honors.  The Hornbeak duo of Mike Terry and Lee Blakley winning first place overall and they also claimed first place in the Big Bass award with a Reelfoot Lake largemouth weighing in at six pounds 13 ounces.
A total of $2,750 was paid out in this event.
Jamin Barker of Newbern and John Coble Garrettof Union City (3rd place 19 pounds, 7 ounces) $350, Mike Terry and Lee Blackley both of Hornbeak (First Place in tournament and Big Bass with 22 pounds seven ounces and a big bass of six pounds, 12 ounces) $990, Steven Patton of Troy and Glen Yates of Hornbeak (second place 20 pounds 12 ounces) $550.
I would like to also say that my dad ran some figures on the tournament.  There were 76 Bass weighed in with a total weight of 268 and a half pounds which averaged out to be 3.53 pounds per bass.That’s a pretty good average but that is down compared to past years believe it or not.
Gordon Fox, longtime president of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club said, “We couldn’t put this long running event on if it wasn’t for our wonderful sponsors.”  
Fox went on to say, “Several of our sponsors have been with us since the first year we decided to try this tournament and we as a club say thank you to them.”
Fox went on to say with the economy the way it is, sponsors have always come through and have been very gracious to the club in help hosting the event.
I want to personally thank Gordon Fox and his wife, Melody, as well as the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club members for running such a smooth tournament. Lots of time and effort are put into this event by all of these folks.
I have also been ask by tournament organizers that the annual St. Jude Open Buddy Bass Tournament will not be held this year on Reelfoot Lake due to scheduling conflicts.
A spokesman for the event appreciates the interest shown in the past and plans to have the tournament again next year.
Staying on the subject of bass fishing.
As you know in the past, I have kept you up to date on a local Obion County young fisherman who attends Bethel University on a fishing scholarship, Jake Lawrence.
Well, Jake and his teammates have something to be proud of. They won the Southern Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.
With 17 schools competing, Bethel won the tournament on Lake Pickwick at Florence, Ala., with a total weight of 55.26 pounds. Auburn placed second with 51.13 pounds and Tennessee (50.29) was third.
Bethel accomplished the win in its second year of competition, going 6-0 in the tournament series.
And the Southern Collegiate wasn’t the only title Bethel brought to McKenzie.
Jake Lawrence, who is a graduate of Obion Central and charter member of the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass in Union City, won the Big Smallmouth and Largemouth titles, joining teammates Jacob Hardy from Paris as Anglers of the Year. The pair was also named to the 10-man All-Southern Collegiate team after the completion of the 41-boat tournament.
Besides Lawrence and Hardy, Bethel also had Jacksonians Cody Ross, Dewey Swims and Zach Parker, McKenzie’s Jason Arnold, Randall Morris from Dresden and the lone non-West Tennessean, Matthew Roberts from Iowa representing their team.
The national title is Bethel’s second after the men’s soccer team won the NAIA title in 2008.
Also, Obion County’s Ben Parker is set and ready to fish his fifth tournament on the BassMaster Elite Series come May 5-8 Bassmaster Elite Series event, the Pride of Georgia out of LaGrange, Ga.
The 99-angler Elite Series field arrives for the May 2-4 official practice. The lake is off limits until then.
Good luck Ben, our community is behind you my friend.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be hosting FLOW 2011, a conference designed to provide inspiration, tools, resources and personal contacts to help in the effective participation of water allocation decisions.
The conference will be held May 2-4 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. Scientists, agency staff, legal experts, advocates, economists and researchers currently or potentially involved in water allocation or development decisions will be in attendance.
The conference will feature workshops in the areas of science, policy, public dialogue and valuation in depth.
Former TWRA Executive Director Gary Myers will be at the conference.
Remember this weather season has been very unusual in the fact of high winds, heavy rains and severe storms.
Please remember to watch the weather before you plan your next trip out on the lake.
Let your friends and family know where you plan to go and when you plan to return home.
Til next week
Catch ya on
the water folks
Brent

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