Fish responding to warmer than normal spring conditions
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 3:00 pm
Warm weather means above normal fishing conditions and catches, which may be a little earlier than normal due to the above normal temperatures we experienced this winter around these parts.
Most lake waters have been above to much-above normal all winter long and now into the early springtime. This has done nothing but help the fishing be ahead of its normal so-called biting schedules.
We all keep wondering if one last possible cold weather spell is in the works, but at the present time, it’s not looking like that will take place anytime soon.
I just hope this is not the trend for the summer months as for above normal air temperatures.
Water temperatures might have cooled down with the rains but not much. Water temperatures have been running in the upper 60s, just touching 70 degrees. By now some lower 70s might be found. Sunshine, warm nights and days have helped get things where normally they would be in mid- to late April. As I stated above, I hope it doesn’t turn off cold anytime soon.
Water levels are running around a foot above the normal level which is 282.20 feet above sea level.
Bass and crappie are doing well all around Reelfoot Lake. Some bluegill are also being caught, primarily because of the warmer-than-normal weather and water temps.
Crappie are being caught in a variety of ways by either using minnows and/or jigs. Some crappie are starting to show up in shallower waters. But at the present time, most of the catching is either coming from the Upper Blue Basin area in the Walnut Log area or the Lower Blue Basin, which holds the deepest waters Reelfoot Lake has to offer.
Good stringers of bass are also being caught fishing grass, some fresh lily pad patches and trees. As the weather has warmed, spawning has gotten on the minds of the bass and I wouldn’t be surprised that on the next full moon with these warm temperatures, you might see the bass start to spawn, which could last a few weeks depending on the weather of course.
Tie you on a Strike King Premier Jig tipped with Strike King Rage Chunk or Craw and have at it. This is always a favorite of mine, especially in the spring. Also, a 1/2-ounce Premier Elite Plus Spinnerbait in Sexy Shad color would be a good choice as well.
Speaking of warm weather, my good friend and longtime professional outdoorsman on the waters of Kentucky Lake, Steve McCadams of Paris said in his 38 years of spending countless hours on Kentucky Lake and the Big Sandy River area, he has never seen waters this warm before for this time of year, which in return will cause the spawn to start very very soon.
“In my 38 years as a guide here on Kentucky Lake I can never recall recording 62 to 64 degree surface temperatures before mid-March but I did it on this past Wednesday,” McCadams said, adding that up the Big Sandy, he received word that some areas were already reaching the 65 degree range.
Now folks, that is just how warm it has been and coming from someone who has spent all of that time out on the water, he should know.
Two things are happening Saturday around West Tennessee.
First, the Gibson County Bass Club’s annual Johnny Mullins Memorial Bass Tournament will be held tomorrow on Gibson County Lake. Blast-off is 7 a.m. and the weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. Payouts will be awarded first through sixth place and for first and second Big Fish award.
For more information, visit www.gibsoncountybassclub.com or call Richard Hamm (731) 662-4378, Mike Williams (731) 613-1593 or Tommy Stewart (731) 613-8384. Non-members are invited to participate.
Come and see some giant bass weighed in. I will be fishing in this event with longtime friend and fishing buddy Bryan Breeden. Win or lose, we will have fun.
Then, the much talked about Calvary Baptist Church in Union City Wild Game Supper will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and this will be held in the Mac Building there on the church grounds. Jon Paul Moody, director of the Covenant Ranch in Paris will be the guest speaker. Calvary Baptist Church is located at 2250 East Reelfoot Ave. here in Union City and to make reservations, you can call the church office at 731-885-6579.
Second Baptist Church in Union City will be hosting Sportsmen’s Night Out with Rick Burgess on Thursday at the church. This event will be sponsored by Final Flight Outfitters in Union City. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the church office. RIck Burgess of Rick and Bubba Morning Show will be here to share a message. There will be a meal, door-prizes and, possibly, a special appearance by Smokey the Mascot from UT. Meals are offered at either 5:30 or 6:15 p.m.. The program begins at 7 p.m. For more information, you can contact the church off at 731-885-5223.
The annual Reelfoot Lake Buddy Bass Tournament will be held April 7 on Reelfoot Lake out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area.
You can pre-register up until April 4th and pick up a entry form at Reynolds Brothers in Union City, some area Walmarts an.
Cypress Creek Outfitters will host the first annual Reelfoot Lake Legends Crappie Tournament benefiting the NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsman Outreach April 21. For more information, you can call Dwayne Dunn at 731-446-0048 or e-mail at email@example.com .
News from the TWRA
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency presented results of road-based thermal imaging surveys that were conducted in the winter of 2011 to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission during the commission’s March meeting that was held at the TWRA Region II Ray Bell Building.
Personnel from the TWRA surveyed all regions of Tennessee based on randomly-selected 10-12 mile routes with just under 300 routes completed. Regional estimates range from 6.8 – 29.4 deer/square mile with a statewide average of 13.4 deer/square mile.
This generated a post-harvest estimate of 586,000 deer in Tennessee. It marked the first time the agency has estimated the population and the results will provide solid management guidance in the future for TWRA wildlife biologists. TWRA biologists have spent the last five years investigating new ways to estimate Tennessee’s deer population.
That’s all for this week’s column…
Catch ya on the water folks.
Published in The Messenger 3.23.12