Muzzleloader deer season to open; crappie fishermen reeling them in

Muzzleloader deer season to open; crappie fishermen reeling them in

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 3:02 pm

Muzzleloader deer season to open; crappie fishermen reeling them in | Muzzleloader deer season to open; crappie fishermen reeling them in

Tennessee’s muzzleloader deer season opens Saturday and goes through Nov. 18 in all three of Tennessee’s deer hunting units, according to the TWRA.
The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is three. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day.
For the exact boundaries of the different deer units, hunters can refer to the 2011 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and at all TWRA offices. The guide can also be viewed at TWRA’s website at
Muzzleloading firearms of .40 caliber minimum — plus long bows, compound bows and crossbows — are legal hunting equipment for this season.
Resident hunters, ages 16 through 64 must possess — in addition to other appropriate licenses — an annual big game license for the equipment used. Lifetime Sportsman license, Junior Hunt/Trap/Fish, Adult Sportsman license and Permanent Senior Citizens license holders are not required to purchase supplemental big game licenses.
In addition to private lands, including public hunting areas, several wildlife management areas (WMAs) will be open to hunters during this muzzleloader season. Hunters need to refer to the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Guide for a listing of these WMAs or go to TWRA’s website.
Now that we are right in the middle of the fall season, crappie reports are starting to come in. Water temps have cooled down area-wide and this has helped, plus it’s just that time of year.
During this time of year, we experience weather pattern swings from warm to cool back to warm and then cold. You never know and I have told many not from this area, if you just hang around 3 or 4 days, things will change.
Charles Cavender and Bill Fussell made their yearly crappie fishing trip a few days back down to Arkabutla Lake located in both Tate and DeSoto counties in northern Mississippi.
Cavender reported they had Mother Nature throw them a curveball or two while on their trip, with rain, wind, fog and cool weather.
They had a overall good trip in catching crappie — which is the main reason for going — with many of their catch being in the two-pound range, if not larger.
They both advised that if you plan to go fishing there, the length limit is that they must be at least 12 inches long or longer to keep and this is strictly enforced on that lake.
Most of the fish they caught were in the 7- to 9-foot depth range and water temps around 60 degree or maybe just a bit warmer. That has probably changed by now.
Also, Cavender gave me a report on the water in Crockett Lake. He said it’s not really any trouble putting a boat in right now but slow-going is advised. He also said the water is very, very clear.
He said if you have questions about the lake, do not hesitate to call him at 446-9184 and he will try to answer them or help you in any way he can. Thanks Mr. Charles and Mr. Bill for your report.
Last weekend, the 2011 FLW Outdoors Everstart Series National Championship was fished on Kentucky Lake out of the Paris Landing Marina.
I reported we had at least two locals who were of interest in this event who qualified through their respectful divisions. Karl Cassens of South Fulton and Howard Poitevint of Bainbridge, Ga., and a former resident of Obion County back in the early-1970s when he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service down at Reelfoot Lake, both fished on the co-anglers (non-boater) side in this event.
Howard was able to claim a check for $420 in this tournament with a two-day total weight of 13.05 pounds, finishing 36th overall and missing the final day cut by 16 places. Karl didn’t fair as well with a two-day total of 4.08 pounds and he finished in 110th place.
It was a honor for both of these great fishermen to be able to qualify for this tournament and a goal each had before the season started. Winner in the co-angler division was Troy Anderson of Galesville, Wisc., and he had a three-day total weight of 41.19 pounds and by doing so he won a fully-rigged Ranger boat, motor and trailer and $5,000.
Winner on the professional side was Paducah resident Dan Morehead, who has been professionally bass fishing for many years. Dan won $50,000 and a fully-rigged Ranger Bass Boat with a four-day total weight of over 61 pounds. This is Dan’s home lake and one he has spent countless hours on. Of all the tournaments and championships he has fished, this was his first overall championship in his career.
Weather conditions weren’t the greatest with post-front conditions, north winds, cold, frost and some rain for most of the tournament.
Reelfoot Lake water levels came up just a couple of inches with our past rains late last week. Might have come up just a little bit more with this past mid-week rains also.
This can’t do anything but help with navigation around Reelfoot Lake while out on the water.
Joe Hill, Jimmy Counce and Ron Cooper all crappie-fished on Kentucky Lake Tuesday, fishing four hours.  The caught several crappie and managed to keep 44. Most were caught on jigs tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles. Great going guys.
Also, Gene Crabtree and Larry Isbell, both of Union City, caught their limits of crappie on Kentucky Lake Tuesday. They to were fishing with jigs tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles.
Both reported very good grades with several in the pound and a half to two-plus pound range.
Water conditions are good at Kentucky Lake.
Speaking of water, a reminder that the statewide zone duck hunting seasons will be held Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 3-Jan. 29 (2012). The Reelfoot Zone will be held Nov. 12-13 and Dec. 3-Jan. 29 (2012). The seasons will maximize the number of weekends open to duck hunting and will end on the latest date allowed (the last Sunday in January).
This is good because it will give young hunters who are in school more opportunities to hunt and really, that is what it is all about.
There is a six-duck bag limit. For more information visit the TWRA Web site at
Speaking of Reelfoot Lake, the 200th Anniversary Bicentennial Celebration is still going on and I have been ask to pass along that the Bicentennial Committee will hold a auction of donated specialty items, including duck hunts, artwork, books, folk art and many more very nice items.
The items will be available for viewing all day Nov. 12 at the Tennessee State Park’s Ellington Hall and Visitors Center located on the southern most end of Reelfoot Lake itself. The auction will begin at 6 p.m.
Anyone and everyone is invited.
I want to end my column this week by wishing for a speedy recovery for a dear lady I had the privilege of meeting a year and a half ago. Mrs. Vera Terry of Troy — an amazing 102 years of age — is recovering from a heart attack she had around two weeks ago. She is at home resting and hopefully getting better. She is the first person I have ever met that was at least 100 years young. So to you Mrs. Terry, we hope you are much better soon and our prayers are ongoing for you daily.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks

Published in The Messenger 11.4.11

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