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OCCHS fishing team trying to hook a winner as season opens

OCCHS fishing team trying to hook a winner as season opens

Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 3:00 pm

The newly-formed Obion County Central High School bass fishing team starts its season Saturday with several tournaments to follow in the coming weeks and months.
They will carry nine two-man teams with a pair members of the Obion County team in each boat to this weekend’s event. They will also have a boat captain who will be in charge of making sure rules are followed as well as running the boat motor for the team members during each tournament.
They are possibly looking for a few more volunteers. If you’re interested in becoming a boat captain for the team in a future tournament and have all qualifications required, you can call one of the team coaches, Melanie Mitchell, for more information at 446-9405 or e-mail her at They just might take you up on your offer. Some gas expenses will be covered.
The Obion County team will fish sanctioned events sponsored by FLW Outdoors, which is big in high school and college fishing, as well as one of three of the largest professional tours in the country. The FLW headquarters is located just a hour up the road from us in Benton, Ky.
Here is a list of this year’s tournaments the Obion County team has on its calendar to fish:
• Saturday — the Marshall County Open at Kentucky Dam.
• March 3 — OCCHS Team Only Tournament at Paris Landing.
• April 28 — Lyon County Open at Kuttawa, Ky.
• May 12 — Murray High/Calloway County Open at Ken Lake Resort. Some members will be fishing the Tennessee State High School Bass Tournament on Nickajack Lake.
• June 2 — OCCHS Team Only Tournament at New Johnsonville
• July 7 — OCCHS Team Only Tournament at Paris Landing.
• Oct. 20 — Hosting their own sanctioned open tournament, the Obion County Central Open Tournament with the site to be announced.
The KSSAA just voted to make high school bass fishing a sanctioned sport in the state of Kentucky. Many states are doing this now because college bass fishing has become so big and now offers scholarships.
After each event, we hope to have a full report on the tournament. My hat’s off to the sponsors/coaches of the team, Melanie and Randy Mitchell, Melanie the chemistry teacher at OCCHS and Andy Salmon, who is the Biology 1 teacher at OCCHS. There are also other parents and volunteers who have and will commit lots of time to the team helping in many ways. Thank all of you. Great job!
It will be a wait and see on how the mid- to late-week rains affect area bodies of water, especially Reelfoot Lake.
Water temperatures continue to climb despite a cooldown on Sunday and Monday of this past week. Water temperatures as of the first of this past week were in the mid-50s but would be willing to say they are now closer to 55 to maybe even 60 degrees.
Water levels on Reelfoot remain above normal. How much rainfall and runoff will determine how much higher the lake goes above the normal pool level of 282.20 feet above sea level.
Crappie continue to be biting pretty well and the bass bite has picked up, too. The bite should continue to get better and better as the weather warms in the coming weeks.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has published “The Angler’s Guide to Tennessee Fish,” a new identification guide on the vast variety of fish species in the state. The new guide is currently available at TWRA offices and online by going to
Tennessee waters offer opportunities for anglers of all ages, experience and interests. Tennessee has 29 major reservoirs, 19,000 miles of streams, plus thousands of smaller lakes and ponds.
The new guide has nearly 100 species or subspecies, including aquatic nuisance species currently present in the state or may be found in the future. Each species is depicted in a photograph with most having a description of their preferred foods and habitat.
Tennessee has one of the most diverse fish populations in the nation with at least 315 species. Of the species, about 280 species are considered native to Tennessee.
Remember to “spring forward” with your clocks. Early Sunday morning will be the official time change but it is best advised to change you watches, clocks and automobile clocks the night before.
Here are the results of last weekend’s Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Tournament that was held near Columbus, Miss., on the Tombigbee Waterway.
There was some local interest in this tournament and a total of 40 teams to fish.
Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman, both of Tiptonville, claimed top prize in the tournament with seven crappie that weighed a total of 11.52 pounds. They also claimed second place in the Big Fish Award with a crappie that tipped the scales at 2.19 pounds.
Claiming sixth place were the Strike King crappie pros Tim Blackley of Hornbeak and Jackie Vancleave of Samburg. Their best seven crappie weighed 10.15 pounds and they had third overall big crappie of the tourney that weighed 2.17 pounds.
Twelfth place was the team of Roy Logan of Obion County and his partner Wade Hendren of Lauderdale County. Their seven best crappie weighed 9.38 pounds.
The overall big crappie for the tournament was 2.22 pounds.
There were 225 crappie weighed in for a total of 278.02 pounds. That comes to an average of 1.24 pounds per crappie and each team had an average of 6.78 pounds. There were a very small number of anglers who didn’t weigh in a crappie.
As most of you know, I’m what you would call a “weather nut” so to speak. I have been following and studying weather since I was a very small child.
Well, it seems that the severe weather in this area has gotten worse and worse as the past few years have gone by. Are you one that is interested in the weather ? If so, I have something for you.
On April 3rd at 6:30 p.m., the National Weather Service office personnel will hold a class hosted by the Obion County Public Library folks in Union City on Reelfoot Avenue across from Baptist Memorial Hospital. This class will cover the basic severe weather terms, watching a slide show and a short video explaining the differences in thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings.
If you are interested in this class, which is free and open to the public, you can call Bill Dahnke at the library for more information at 885-7000.
Every eye the National Weather Service people can get trained in identifying severe weather is better for me, you and them. Hope to see you there. I personally have been through at least 10 or more of these classes as well as advanced training.
I wanted to wish my grandmother, Zelma Denton of Union City a happy birthday early. Her birthday will be Tuesday. Happy Birthday Nanny….love you.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks

Published in The Messenger 3.9.12

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