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Warmer weather sparks thoughts of spring fishing, but winter not gone yet

Warmer weather sparks thoughts of spring fishing, but winter not gone yet

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 12:00 pm
By: By Brent Callicott

Fishing season is here and so is warmer weather, somewhat. Hope it stays around for awhile as the weatherman has forecasted it to.
Colder weather should move back in mid-February around the 16th, give or take a day.
This also means tournament fishing is nearby and folks are getting prepared.
Here is a small list that we have to pass along to you.
Gordon Fox, president of the Reelfoot Lake Adult Bass Club, reminds us that the 20th Annual Reelfoot Lake Bass Club’s Open Buddy Bass Tournament on Reelfoot Lake will be held March 30. Registration forms are being printed and, once they are ready, I will be posting when and where you can register. This is the longest running bass tournament ever held on Reelfoot lake and very well respected and known in West Tennessee.
Rachel Hanson, senior family intervention specialist for Youth Villages Foster Care Program in Paris, wanted us to pass along a bass tournament that will be taking place April 6 on Kentucky Lake. Youth Villages is a non-profit company that works with children who are in state custody or to prevent children from coming into state custody. They are nationally known for the treatment program known as TFCBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Youth Villages also has residential treatment facilities in Mem-phis (Dogwood Villages and Bartlett Campus) that offer 24-hour-a-day treatment for children in need of a more structured environment. For more information about Youth Villages, visit www.youthvillages.org. They have a satellite office in Paris as well as   West Tennessee offices in Jackson and Dyersburg. All counties surrounding Henry County benefit from the work that is done out of the Paris office.
Youth Villages will be hosting its second annual bass fishing tournament on April 6 at Paris Landing State Park on beautiful Kentucky Lake. The web page for the fishing tournament is www.reelYV.org. The tournament last year brought in 22 boats and they are hoping to expand this year. This will be a great event to help support. The entry fee is $120 per two-man boat, with a $10 big bass pot that will be paid back 100 percent to the anglers.
The professional crappie tour Crappie Masters, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, will be hosting two national qualifying crappie tournaments on Reelfoot Lake this spring. Last year the tournament trail did not come through the Reelfoot Lake area.
The first Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters event will be held on March 2 on Reelfoot Lake and will be open to you as long as you are a member of their organization. You can sign up when registering. Tournament hours will be from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
The second tournament will be held on April 27 on Reelfoot Lake. Tournament hours are 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.. For more information on both of these tournaments and to register in advance, go to www.crappiemasters.net.
Second Baptist Church in Union City will be hosting Sportsman’s Night Out March 14 starting at 5:30 with a meal and having well-known bass fisherman and TV Show host Hank Parker as its guest speaker. Tickets are $10, with limited tickets available. For more information, contact the church at 885-5223.
Last week, brothers Grayson and Houston Smith, both of Clarksville, headed south to fish the Bass Pro Shops Lake Toho Southern BASS Open near Kissimmee, Fla. Little to their surprise, one of them made the finals fishing on the final day of the tournament. They both fished as co-anglers in this tournament and will do so the entire Southern Open Division this year. Grayson is planning on fishing the professional side next year. He will be the pro using his boat, which means they fish from the back of the professional bass fisherman’s boat.
The Smith brothers’ local connection is that Houston is a 2008 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, while his younger brother, Grayson, is a senior at UTM. Both studied engineering, so they could get their degrees and return home to work in their family-owned engineering business — DBS and Associates Engineering Firm in Clarksville.
Both like competitive fishing and fished on the UTM collegiate bass fishing team. Houston was one of the first UTM Bass team members and founder of the club. Grayson is carrying on the tradition. Grayson was the president of the UTM club for the last three years and is taking a break from holding an office in the collegiate club concentrating more on just fishing. You can follow Grayson on his fishing page on Facebook at Grayson Smith Bass Fishing.
Houston didn’t fair as well as his younger brother in this tournament, finishing 99th after two days of competition with a two-day total weight of 5 pounds, 2 ounces.
Grayson finished 12th overall and made it to the third and final day of competition. He had a three-day total weight of 13 pounds, 13 ounces. His final day he didn’t weigh in a bass.
Grayson has been working towards this by fishing the Southern Open BASS tour as a co-angler.
On day one, Grayson drew FLW professional Terry Seagraves as his first day partner and was able to weigh in the three fish  co-angler limit weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces. During the second day, he drew Clay Dyer. If you recall, I did a story on Clay late last fall. Clay is the professional angler who has a different set of challenges when it comes to everyday life compared to most folks. He is the angler who has no legs and just a small part of his right arm. He was born that way.
Needless to say, Grayson’s life will be forever changed and it is a day he will never forget. I told him there was a reason he didn’t catch fish on day thre. You fill in the rest. Grayson had 9 pounds, 8 ounces that day with Clay.
Speaking of day three, Grayson fished with Tracy Adams. Tracy fishes both the BASS and FLW tours. I fished with Tracy on Kentucky Lake during a FLW Tour event in 2006. Just after that tournament, Tracy went on to win the last FLW Tour event in 2006, which was fished on Lake Champlain in New York. He is a well known angler on the professional bass fishing tours.
Tomorrow will mark the last day of the 2012-13 duck season anywhere statewide. It will be put to rest until late next fall. It has been a year some will remember and many will want to forget.
Reelfoot Lake waters continue to slowly rise day by day with the intervals of rains we have been having. The lake is now in the 283.0 feet above sea level, which puts Reelfoot Lake eight to 10 inches above the sea level mark.
Just a reminder — BassMaster Elite Series Bass Professional Mark Menendez will be teaching bass fishing again this month. Menendez is a veteran professional angler and holds a degree in fisheries biology from Murray State University. He will conduct his fourth annual bass fishing class at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Ky. The class will held on three consecutive Tuesday nights (Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26) starting next week. The cost is $65, which includes lures. Call (270) 534-3335 to register. If you want to learn from one of the best, sign up and carpool with your buddies. You will be glad you did.
It may be in the works to have Mark come down and teach a class somewhere in Obion County towards the end of February or the first of March. Stay tuned and hope this works out.
All Tennessee K-12 students are invited to compete in the 2013 Federal Junior Stamp art competition. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency serves as a partner in the contest, which is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Entries are accepted through school (public or private), home school or on your own.
The Junior Duck Stamp Program is also a conservation program designed to teach children about waterfowl and the value of wetlands. The dividends for program participation have proven tremendous.
All entries for the Tennessee art competition are due on March 15. You can go to www.tnwildlife.org to print out a set of rules for this free competition. Keep in mind two key rules. First, the species of waterfowl you draw must be a native North American duck, goose or swan. Second, all entries must be drawn horizontally and be nine inches high by 12 inches wide.
Soon after the annual entry deadline, the artwork will be judged by a panel of experts. The judges change each year, but the panel typically includes a combination of waterfowl biologists, artists and natural resource professionals. The art is separated into four grade groups (K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12), and each group is judged independently. Once the first-place winners for each group have been selected, they will be viewed again to select a single Best of Show for the state.
To enter send your artwork to:  Joan Stevens, Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, 3006 Dinkins Lane, Paris, TN 38242.
If you have a benefit fishing tournament or outdoors type event you would like us to pass along, email me at brentcallicott@gmail.com or call me at 446-3678 so we can get this information out to our readers.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.
Brent

Published in The Messenger 2.8.13

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