Locals compete in tournament at Chickamauga Lake
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 3:01 pm
By: By Brent Callicott
Some members of the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club from Union City competed last Saturday in the Tennessee State Junior Bass Tournament held on Chickamauga Lake out of the Dayton Boat Dock area near Dayton.
There were a total of 28 youths from across Tennessee who competed.
Four members of the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club qualified for this tournament by accumulating points in the previous tournament year.
First-place honors in the 15- to 18-year-old age group went to longtime Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club member Chance Williams of Shawtown. He had three bass that tipped the scales at 9.98 pounds and also claimed Big Bass with a nice 6.22-pound largemouth. As you may recall, Chance recently signed a letter of intent to continue his fishing career by fishing for Bethel University in McKenzie. He is 18 years old and will be a freshman at Bethel next year.
Third place in the 15- to 18-year-old age group of the tournament went to John Coble Garrett of Union City. He had five bass that weighed 8.78 pounds. Jo Hamilton of Obion County, also representing the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club along with Garrett, claimed eighth. There were 16 young anglers who competed in the older age group.
In the 11- to 14-year-old age group, the Reelfoot club only had one entrant to represent the group. Matthew LaMastus finished in fifth place out of 12 anglers with one bass that weighed 3.28 pounds.
Congratulations to all of these fine young people who had a chance to fish this state event.
I want to personally thank each of the adults who took the time and carried these young fishermen to the other end of the state to compete in this tournament. For sure, they are making a difference in our youth’s lives today and for the future.
There will be several fishing events going on this weekend, especially tomorrow in and around our area.
Saturday, the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge will help celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week by hosting its 20th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo. The fishing rodeo will be held at the ponds near the refuge headquarters at Walnut Log on Highway 157, one mile off of Highway 22.
The fishing rodeo is open to children ages 12 and younger. Registration will begin at 7:15 a.m., with fishing starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until noon. Please bring your own fishing pole. Only live bait will be allowed.
Hundreds of door prizes, donated by local sponsors, will be given away during the rodeo. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and drinks will be provided at no cost while supplies last. The staff at West Tennessee Refuges invites you to join us for a day full of family fun. You will experience excitement, amusement and entertainment as youngsters experience the joy of fishing — some for the first time.
For additional information concerning the fishing rodeo or directions, contact the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge at 538-2481.
Also Saturday, Reelfoot Lake Tourism will be hosting its 9th Annual Reelfoot Lake Catfish Tournament. Fishing times are from 6:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., with registration being from 5:30-6:30 at the Reelfoot Lake Tourism Council, located at 4575 State Route 21 East, Tiptonville. Entry fee for the tournament is $100 per boat, which does include the Big Catfish award.
For more information, you can contact them by calling (731) 253-2007, e-mail email@example.com or visit their website at www.reelfoottourism.com.
The 12th Annual Steve McCadams “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo returns to Carroll Lake in the morning for a fun-filled day where even little fish bring on big smiles.
Young anglers ages 15 and younger are invited to participate in the free event, which will benefit the American Cancer Society. Each year, McCadams teams up with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the big event is fast approaching. More than 3,500 kids from five states have been introduced to the great sport of fishing since the rodeo’s conception.
The event will coincide with National Fishing Week across America. And, Saturday is Free Fishing Day in Tennessee. Carroll Lake is located one mile east of McKenzie and five miles west of Huntingdon on U.S. Highway 22.
For additional information, log on to www.stevemccadams.com or call (731) 642-0360.
Speaking of fishing in Tennessee for free, every year on the second Saturday in June — also tomorrow — the TWRA allows all residents and non-residents to fish without a license. Children who are 15 years of age or younger may fish without a license for the entire week starting on Free Fishing Day and continuing through the following Friday. Children younger than 13 may fish without a license at any time of the year.
The TWRA sponsors many Kids Free Fishing Day events and stocks thousand of pounds of catfish to help make the events quality experiences for young anglers.
Also, bass fisherman, the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club’s Annual Big Bass Tournament will be held on Reelfoot Lake next Saturday, June 18, and will be out of Kirby Pocket.
This tournament format is different than most with you (per boat/team) being able to weigh in only one bass during the tournament. The largest bass by the end of the tournament hours will be crowned as Big Bass Champion for this event. Usually this tournament also will pay out a few other places and is all based on the amount of entries for the tournament.
The blast-off will be 6 a.m., with the weigh-in just five hours later at 11 a.m. This is to protect the health of the big bass that are caught.
Entry fee is $60 per boat/team. You can register the day of the tournament starting at 5 a.m.
Here and there
Tennessee turkey hunters again posted another successful spring season as the harvest for 2011 nears 34,000 as reports continue to trickle into the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The spring turkey statewide season came to a close May 15. The harvest number stands at 33,968. The harvest is below the 2010 record harvest of more than 37,000 birds, but this year’s harvest ranks as the state’s all-time third highest.
“It was another strong year for our turkey harvest,” said Gray Anderson, TWRA Turkey Program coordinator. “We can’t expect to have record harvests every year, but we are at a stable point.”
Ninety percent of the harvest were gobblers versus jakes this spring. This tells the TWRA people that hunters are getting mature birds and the State of Tennessee has a healthy population.
Maury County again was the top county with 949 birds being harvested. Greene County also had a strong year, finishing second with a harvest of 896.
Dickson County, a past leader for the spring season, was third with 852. Rounding out the top 10 counties were Montgomery, 821; Sumner, 774; Rutherford, 710; Henry, 709; Hardin, 628; Hickman, 613; and Hardeman, 609.
BassMaster Elite Series rookie Ben Parker will complete his first season on the BassMaster Tour after the next two weeks’ events. He is fishing this week in the Diamond Drive Elite Series bass tournament, held on the Arkansas River near Little Rock. This is tournament No. 7 on an eight-tournament season with the Elite Series trail.
Dates for this week are Thursday through this Sunday.
Ben was sitting in 72nd place (out of 99 anglers ) after six events and before this tournament. He is also ninth place in the Rookie of the Year points out of 15.
Usually they will take the top 83 Elite Series anglers in points to be able to qualify for next year’s BassMaster Elite Series tour.
He will then travel over to the State of Alabama for the last tournament, No. 8, the Dixie Dual, June 16-19 at Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala. This tournament should fit into Ben’s style out of any he has fished so far.
Reelfoot Lake continues to be above the normal level as we speak, but is dropping little by little each day. As of mid-week, the lake is between a half-foot and a foot over the normal level.
Water temperatures are in the upper 80’s and water remains fairly clear.
There are no reports to pass along as the hot weather has most folks staying inside where it is cool.
I know that catfish and bluegill should be doing well on Reelfoot right now with this hot weather. Bass should be fair and, with the falling lake, fish are having to get back to their normal habitat. Crappie are also still being caught, but the best overall area will be down in the Lower Blue Basin on the south end of Reelfoot.
on the water, folks.
Published in The Messenger 6.10.11