Area college anglers among those fishing in tourney this weekend
Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 12:00 pm
By: By Brent Callicott
The Messenger 07.27.12
This week, a record 71 colleges and universities from across the United States sent teams of anglers to compete in the 2012 Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship Wednesday through today in Little Rock.
Competition continues Saturday and Sunday as members of the Top 4 teams battle individually for a lone berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Competition began with a full field fishing the Arkansas River Wednesday, followed by another contest with all of the anglers yesterday on Lake Maumelle. Today, the field will be cut to the Top 5 teams, which will fish a mystery location. Saturday and Sunday, the members of the Top 4 teams compete individually in a bracket format on unknown waters as they vie for the one available Bassmaster Classic berth.
The reason I made mention of this event is we have two universities from right here in West Tennessee that are fishing. The University of Tennessee at Martin has the team of Alex Derry and Ryan Lackey fishing, while Bethel University in McKenzie has Dewey Swims and Cody Ross fishing. This is a big honor.
To follow this tournament or any tournament on the B.A.S.S. trail, you can go to www.bassmaster.com to follow the action.
Much-needed repairs are being made on the ever-growing water leaking problem at the old Reelfoot Packing pond which the City of Union City has control of. This pond has grown in popularity over the years and provides some local fishing for those who have no other way out of town to other ponds, lakes and rivers. The pond has two major leaks and will be repaired this week, we hope, or sometime early next week. The City of Union City also has plans to install a well just for the pond instead of using already treated water to keep refilling the pond. These are both good moves for the city. Things should get back to normal down there in another week to two weeks.
Water levels reached their highest in months this past midweek, with the lake peaking out at 358.90 feet above sea level. Normal summer pool is 359.0. But, by this time of year, the TVA folks usually start the lake levels down toward the winter pool level of 354.0 feet in the middle of the summer like in July. But understand that the lake over last fall and winter never reached the 354.0 mark. It stayed in the 355 feet above sea level range. There are lots of numbers here, but they are important to share.
Water temps have risen to the upper 80s (88-89 degrees).
Water is mainly clear up and down the reservoir right now.
The crappie bite remains decent with some being caught off of jigs and trolling crankbaits, the Strike King Rage Tail Slab Hammer Crappie Grubs and Slab Hammer Tooty Fruity Tubes. Also, as for the trolling, try the new Strike King Slab Hammer Crappie Cranks 3 XD. These baits will get on down to depths where the big ones live.
Water levels are dropping daily/weekly. As of the middle of this past week, the water levels have dropped down to 280.75 feet above sea level. The normal levels on Reelfoot Lake according to the USGS website is 282.20 feet above sea level.
Water temps are close to 90 degrees, if not already there. They could be in the lower 90s.
There are no fishing reports at all, due to the heat I guess. I’m sure some are catfishing and bass fishing early and late in the day.
I have also been told that some nice bass are being caught down at Crockett Lake out from Rives. The water is clear and once you are able to get out in the main area of the Lake, fish around grass and pads. Just use caution boating in and out to your fishing spots.
Local bass angler Ben Parker, who fished the BassMaster Elite Series last year, is now fishing the three BassMaster Northern Tour Opens this year. In his first tournament, Ben fished back in the middle of June the James River in Richmond, Va. He placed 29th place overall with a two-day total weight of 18.10 pounds. Just last week, Ben fished tournament No. 2 on the Detroit River in Detroit. He had much better luck in this event and finished in 12th place with a three-day total weight of 52.9 pounds. Next, Ben will travel back up to the northeastern part of the United States to fish the Cayuga Lake near Seneca Falls, N.Y., Aug. 16-18. You can follow the weigh-ins live by going to www.bassmaster.com.
From the TWRA
Well, it’s done. The Tennessee Wildlife Re-sources Agency’s governing body, now named the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC), held its first organizational meeting last Saturday evening. For many years, the TWRC has been known as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. The commission assumed its new name July 1. The commission held a brief meeting to elect its officers for 2012-13.
William Brown of Chattanooga (District 4) was named chairman, a position he held of the TWRC for 2011-12. Dr. Jeff McMillin of Bristol (statewide) was the TWRC’s secretary for 2011-12 and will now serve as vice chairman. Jeffrey Griggs of Lexington (District 7), also a member of the TWRC, was elected as the TFWC’s secretary. Besides naming its officers, the commission also set upcoming meetings. The next meeting is Aug. 23-24 in Nashville at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Other meetings scheduled are Sept. 27-28, also in Nashville, and Oct. 25-26 at Reelfoot Lake State Park near Tiptonville.
Twelve of the board’s 13 voting members were previously announced. The final appointment came from the speaker of the Senate this week and is James Stroud of Brentwood, named to a term through Feb. 28, 2015. Two members each are appointed by the speaker of the House and the speaker of the Senate, while nine appointments come from the governor’s office to represent the commission’s district across the state. Dr. McMillin is the other appointment by Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey.
The prior appointees by Speaker of the House Beth Harwell are Tom Rice of Nashville to a two-year appointment and Jim Ripley of Kodak to a four-year appointment.
The TFWC has nine members appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to represent the commission’s districts. Along with the three officers, four others were also serving as TWRC commissioners and received appointments. They are Julie Schuster of Pegram (District 6), Harold Cannon of Lenoir City (District 2), Jim Bledsoe of Jamestown (District 3) and Trey Teague of Jackson (District 8).
The new commissioners receiving six-year appointments by the governor are Clayton Stout of Johnson City (District 1), Jamie Woodson of Lebanon (District 5) and Bill Cox of Collierville (District 9), who previously served on the TWRC from 2001-07. The 13 voting members of the commission are joined by the governor and the commissioners of Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Conservation, who are ex-officio non-voting members.
That’s all for his week’s column. ’Til next week,
Catch ya on the water, folks.
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