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Don’t forget to take your camera and scales to document fishing trip successes

Don’t forget to take your camera and scales to document fishing trip successes

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 3:00 pm

Last week, I mentioned that now is the time to introduce a youngster or anyone into fishing.
This week, there are two things I want to add to what I said and what you need at all times on every fishing trip — handheld fish scales and a camera of some type.
I used to never think anything about having a camera with me or even back when Dad and I fished together as he was teaching me what I know today.
Today, I have both in my boat with me at all times. Matter of fact, I have a simple and inexpensive digital camera I keep in my boat just for fishing pictures. Another thing that comes in handy is a small tripod for a camera. If you are alone, you need this and I use mine just about every time out.
I practice the catch-and-release method. When I catch my bass, I simply take a quick couple of pictures and send the bass right back in the water where it came from. Pictures are priceless. Once you take your pictures, you can then carry the camera in and have enlargements made of your catch. I have what I call a “wall of fame” in one of my rooms at home that has several pictures of 6, 7, 8 and 9 pound bass I have had my pictures taken with.
Then when you introduce someone and they catch that special fish, you take their picture and do the same.
Having a couple of sets of fish scales in your boat is also good advice. By having two scales, if one were to break or something happens to the scales, you have a backup. I actually have three scales in my boat and all are within one or less ounce of each other. It is very important to make sure your scales match up and are not way off with their weights.
Speaking of youngsters, the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club from Union City has recently completed its first two tournaments of the year so far.
Their first tournament was held on Crockett Lake near Rives. Not many fish were caught during that day but there were winners. John Garrett won first place in his age group (15-18) with five bass weighing 8.49 pounds. He also claimed the overall big bass of the tournament with a 3.80 pounder as his kicker fish. First place in the 11-14 age group was Matt Lamastus. He had one bass that weighed 2.77 pounds.
Then, this past weekend, the junior club fished its second event of the year and was held on Garrett Lake between Dresden and Paris. John Garrett was the first place winner in the 15-18 age group in this tournament also. He had five bass that weighed 5.95 pounds. First place in the 11-14 age group went to Lawson Maxwell with five bass that weighed 6.20 pounds. Lawson also claimed big bass of the tournament with a bass that weighed 1.80 pounds. One of the club’s spokesmen, Johnny Garrett, said “lots of bass were caught and many had a good day.” One other note to pass along about Lawson Maxwell. He is from Covington and, since they do not have a junior bass club down there, his parents take the time during each tournament and each meeting to drive him to Union City or wherever the tournament may be. Lawson would be exempt from driving to the meeting since he lives outside the circle of being mandatory for you to be there. His parents said he loves coming to the monthly meetings. Now folks, that is commitment from the parents and Lawson. My hat’s off to folks like this putting their children first. There are others who drive for their kids, including Brennan Barker and his parents. They drive from Newbern as well. Jamin Barker is a boat mechanic for Union City Marine and active in both the Reelfoot Lake junior and adult bass clubs.
The Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club has some new members this year fishing for the first time. Matthew Cummings, Brennan Barker, Clayton Hagan and Stone Hale are all new. Congrats guys and parents for taking the time to gets these youngsters involved in the outdoors.
Meanwhile, the Reelfoot Lake Senior Bass Club is about to send six of its members to the Federation Nation Tennessee State Bass Tournament that will be held on Pickwick Lake May 4-5. They will send three boaters and three non-boaters. Boaters mean they will supply their own boats while the non-boaters will fish with other club members from across the state in their boats. Boaters include Jamin Barker, Rick Kelly and Bill Coffey. Non-boaters include Jerry Gammons, Brett Taylor and David Rhodes.
Several area fishermen picked up checks after a recent Crappie USA Tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes.
On April 13-14, Crappie USA held a 2-day $10,000 Super Event on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes at Paris. Nearly 200 anglers from 10 different states were competing for not only the $10,000 in cash and prizes but a chance to advance to the prestigious Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic. This year’s classic will be held Oct. 24-27 on the Barkley/Kentucky Lakes at Cadiz, Ky.
First place team event earned $2,500 in the semi-pro division with a two-day weight of 25.26 pounds.
Roy Logan of Troy and his partner Wade Hendren of Ripley took second place overall in the semi-pro division after weighing in 24.47 pounds, which earned $1,100. Their big crappie weighed 2.29 pounds. Overall big crappie of the event weighed 2.37 pounds
Steve Coleman of Tiptonville finished fifth place and earned $500 for his 22.80 pounds. Steve also added $250 for taking the Ranger Cup award in the Semi-Pro division. Most of the time, Ronnie Capps is alongside Steve during these events.
Tony Hughes of Hornbeak and Randall Hughes of Finley finished 17th with 18.85 pounds. Their big crappie of the event weighed 1.86 pounds.
Lack of rainfall in our area is starting to show on some area lakes, Reelfoot Lake especially. The lake is near pool level right now. You can see on the large cypress trees where the water has really dropped over the past several weeks. We could use some rain for sure. Right now our area has seen about 10 plus inches of rainfall. Last year at this time we had closer to 22 or 24 inches, depending on where you may live.
Just take it a little slower on Reelfoot Lake than what you might have over the past couple of months.
I would like to close mentioning that on May 19, a Saturday, a Wounded Warrior Open Bass Tournament will be held on Kentucky Lake out of Paris Landing. This will be a tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Program. I will have lots more on this tournament next week.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks….

Published in The Messenger 4.27.12

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