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Obion River journey an eye-opening experience for local outdoorsman

Obion River journey an eye-opening experience for local outdoorsman

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 12:00 pm

I continue this week with another river journey for one local outdoorsman that fished a little more on the local level.
Dan Parker of Union City took an idea that I have wanted to do with a fishing friend of mine, Gordon Fox, in fishing and floating the Obion River doing it himself.
This is something I always thought I would do someday. Well, Dan has started something he plans to continue.
I asked Dan to share his experience with me to pass along to you folks.
“I came up with the idea when I heard form some friends of mine that were kayaking down the Obion River and I asked if they were fishing and they said ‘no,’” he said. He later asked his friends if they thought if there might be some bass in the river and they said they didn’t know.
“I thought I would go give it a shot and see,” Parker said.  
He started his journey started on the North Fork just outside of Rives off of the Mount Pelia/River Road and ended at the 45 Highway bridge going toward Kenton in mid July. According to Google maps, it was around a 5.8 mile journey.
Parker said it took him about 4 hours to complete the trip as he stopped to fish along the way. “It’s a pretty good trip as far as the physical demands ,” he said. “And experience of water navigation and a life jacket would be some safety concerns if anyone is thinking about trying this trip.”
Also a dry place for your cell phone should be considered in case you needed to use it for an emergency.
He used a small plastic type kayak about 8 feet long for his journey.
Parker went on to say, “There are many structures such as sand bar breaks, dikes, channels, fallen trees and eddies that were along his fishing trip in the river. These are all good things to fish while on the Mississippi River and Kentucky Lake (with current).”
As about the catch, he said, “I did not catch any bass but I had a great time testing the waters for bass. The current is just right, not too fast and not so slow that you have to constantly paddle.”
He went on to say there are many fish to see like carp and alligator gar. He added, “ I saw wild turkey flying across the river and also waterfowl (wood ducks and teal).”
As for depth, he said there are some holes around six feet deep at the current river level of the river.
He did manage to catch a carp and a sauger. He thought when I posted the picture of the sauger I was thinking it was a pickerel, but was later told for sure it was a sauger. He was surprised to see a sauger come out of the Obion River.
“I have had the opportunity to fish a ton of different places and learn form many people,” Parker said. “The adventure of fishing the overlooked places comes from fishing with my mother as a child.
“She always took my brother (Ben) and I to ponds and creeks to fish when we were small.”
He ended his thoughts with telling me that even though he was unsuccessful in catching bass, he did have a wonderful time and I actually believe that if you switched the focus to catfish you could fill the boat up.  
“If you like bow fishing you could also mop up on carp and gar,” Parker said.
Water access
I just wanted to pass along to anyone of you who plans to use any ramp around Reelfoot Lake. The TWRA folks are doing all they can do to make sure you have access to the lake waters. If you remember, two years ago, thanks to the TWRA,  at least 4 ramps around Reelfoot Lake were repaired or rebuilt. These ramps were reworked during that years low water mark and were replaced to deal with low water type conditions our lake is currently seeing. If you have a question for the TWRA on Reelfoot Lake or anything else for that matter, you need to call the Region 1 office in Jackson at 1 (800) 372-3928.
The low water conditions are something we as humans have no control over on Reelfoot Lake as well as the Mississippi River and many other bodies of water around our part of the country. It may take some extra time on your part and taking your time in loading and unloading your boats around Reelfoot Lake on some ramps but most are to where you can use them at the present time. I would advise that when you do use one of the ramps, trim your motors as far out of the water as you can trim making sure you do not tear anything up on your boat. A pushpole, long and strong paddles as well as a cell phone is something that is a must if you plan to head out on the waters of Reelfoot.
Calling contests
 Don’t forget this weekend, Final Flight Outfitters will be hosting a duck calling contest. You will have five chances to qualify for the U.S. Open Regional, Grand American Regional, Tennessee and Kentucky State Tournament duck calling contest.
On Saturday, the Junior and Intermediate Duck Calling Contest will be at 9 a.m., the Kentucky State Duck Calling contest at 10 a.m., the Bayou de Chien Regional at 11 a.m. and the U.S. Open Duck Regional at 1 p.m. Then on Sunday, the Tennessee State Duck Calling Contest at 10 a.m. and the Grand American Duck Regional Contest at 11 a.m.
Permit-free day
Also, If you are looking for a day to introduce someone into the outdoors, then Aug. 25 will be your day (and theirs). Any Tennessee resident will be allowed to hunt that day licenses and permit free for one day while in the state of Tennessee. For more information, visit the TWRA website at
Welcome home
Last but certainly not least, I want to personally welcome home the 913th Engineering Company of the Tennessee National Guard based in Unin City. A special thanks goes out to not only the soldiers themselves, but to their families for sacrificing their family time for our freedom. There is no way these folks can be repaid enough but we can all say thank you, shake their hands, hug them and wear the Amercian Flag proudly. Welcome home !
                       — Brent

Published in The Messenger 8.17.12

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