Area receiving much-needed rains; cool-down lowering water temps
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:00 pm
Well, we missed another good opportunity at the first of this past week to receive some much-needed rain for our area ponds, lakes and rivers. Reelfoot Lake continues to suffer due to the lack of water falling, which in return has kept the lake at a really low level.
I will say that over the past few weeks, our rainfall rate has increased and, just this month alone, I have recorded 6.15 inches of rainfall at my home. Others have received more, while others have received less.
As of midweek, Reelfoot Lake was sitting at the 280.35 feet above sea level mark. The normal lake level is 282.20 feet above sea level. I get my lake information by visiting the USGS website.
Water temps have also been affected by the recent cool-down that we had earlier in the week. Two nights in the lower to middle 40s has sent the water temps dropping to the lower 70s.
Crappie fishing remains pretty good. Things are setting up for the fall and early winter fishing as it was back in the 2010 fall and winter. Water levels were low back then and exposed thousand of small to medium-sized stumps that gave the crappie jig fishermen the opportunity to fish all of the structure daylight would allow them to do in a days time.
Tie you either a Strike King Slab Hammer Tooty Fruity Crappie Tubes or a Strike King Slab Hammer Rage Tail Grubs on and have at it. These are producing good catches, especially in the Lower Blue Basin area of Reelfoot. Basically the entire southern half of the lake where the deepest waters rest.
Some catfish are also being caught. No report on bass but my advice is to tie on a Strike King Premier Plus Spinnerbait in 1/2 ounce in the Sexy Shad color and cast at tree after tree. Fish along the shoreline also.
Water levels are in the 356.70 range. Water temps have dropped after two nights in the lower 40s and are now in the lower to mid-70s. Levels have been rising and falling the last 2 weeks with bouts of rains that have moved in and moved out of the area. Some crappie were showing improvement in the bite last week. I have been told and also seen for myself shad venturing toward shallow flats up and down the lake, especially out closer to the main river channel and deeper waters in the Paris Landing sector and up Big Sandy and into West Sandy. Everyone has their own methods and colors they like to fish so give it a shot and if it doesn’t work, try something different.
Bass continue to bite well. Numbers aren’t the problem, it’s the size that isn’t as good as it was back several weeks ago. This should change as the water cools and stabilizes in the coming weeks. Right now with the water and down, as for the levels, the bass are hanging closer to deep drops and ledges. Grass is also something that is a must to look for. Look for the baitfish also and this should set you up for some bass bites.
As I reported last week, the following baits continue to put bass in the boats. Best baits are of a variety … The new Strike King Sexy Dawg, the Strike King KVD 1.5, the Strike King Sexy Frog as well as the Strike King Rage Toads. All of these will land you a few fish. Some are still being caught on ledges and drops with the Strike King 5 & 6 XD Deep Diving Crankbaits.
Lower Hatchie NWR announced dates and application procedures for the 2012 waterfowl quota hunt for Champion and Little Champion Lakes during waterfowl season on the refuge. Permits will be limited to 8 per weekend on Champion Lake and 4 per weekend on Little Champion Lake. Successful applicants are eligible for only one hunt per lake. Signed refuge permits, a signed and affixed Federal Duck Stamp, and applicable State licenses are required. To apply for a quota hunt permit, type or plainly print the following on the front of a U.S. Postal Service Postcard (Unofficial postcards will be discarded prior to drawing);
• Name (A total of 4 hunters may apply on the same card. One name on the front, 3 names on the back).
• Phone number with area code.
• Indicate one weekend preference during the waterfowl season, by date.
• Indicate lake preference (Champion Lake or Little Champion Lake) Youth Hunters: Both the youth hunter and his/her supervising adult must apply together on the same postcard to be selected for a quota hunt.
Postcards for the waterfowl hunts on Champion Lake and Little Champion Lake must be postmarked during the month of October. Submission of more than one postcard per lake will result in disqualification of the applicant.
Send postcard in an envelope addressed to the Refuge Ranger to: Reelfoot NWR, 4343 Highway 157, Union City, TN 38261 Applicants selected by drawing will be notified by mail to submit $12.50 per person (cashiers check or money order payable to the U.S.F.W.S.) Of funds collected, 80 percent are applied to defraying the administrative cost of the hunt while the remainder is deposited into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.
For more information, call Tara Dowdy at (731) 538-2481 or visit the Lower Hatchie NWR website at fws.gov/lowerhatchie and click the Refuge Brochures tab. General hunt regulations will be inside the Public Use Regulations link.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported that two boating fatalities occurred over the 2012 Labor Day weekend during the first of September.
One of the fatal accidents was on the Hiwassee River when two boats collided, leaving one boat operator dead. The second was on Cherokee Lake that left one dead and three others injured. The accidents remain under investigation.
For the second straight year, rain across the state limited the normal volume of boaters over the weekend. This is sometimes a good thing but we want everyone to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors and lakes/rivers. TWRA officers recorded two boating under the influence arrests and there were two other boating accidents reported.
The holiday period began Aug. 31 and continued through Sept. 3.
So far in 2012, there have been 21 boating fatalities in the state of Tennessee. TWRA boating officers have made 133 BUI arrests statewide, 133 too many in my opinion, which is an increase of 21 over the same period from last year.
In a few weeks down the road, I will have the opportunity to sit down with some of the best professional bass fishermen in the world to interview them and take pictures. So be looking towards the end of October that my columns will feature some of these anglers and their sponsor hosting the event.
I would like everyone to please keep in mind that with the hunting seasons starting to open up as well as some good fall fishing coming up, take the time to take some pictures and send them to us to publish in the paper from week to week. Also we encourage your stories and outdoor information to be shared with our readers. Please remember, we are here for your benefit in trying our best to inform the local folks about the goings on in the outdoors. I can be reached at email@example.com or 731-446-3678.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.
Published in The Messenger 9.21.12