Mother Nature delivers summer heat and humidity; lake levels dropping
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 3:01 pm
By: By Brent Callicott
Well, we knew it was going to happen sooner or later. We are now in the full summer mode — hot and humid.
The reason for such high humidity is for the large amounts of rain that we experienced over March, April, May and some of June.
The hot weather mixed with a moist ground produces humidity. This is where the evaporation process is taking place and, until the grounds really dries out, humidity levels will remain high.
Water levels at Reelfoot Lake continue to drop ever-so-slowly over the past few days. By my calculations from the information I have received off of the USGS website, Reelfoot Lake is about 2 inches above normal and probably by Sunday or the first of next week, it will be at the normal 282.20 feet about sea level mark. At the first or middle of this past week, the lake was sitting at 282.45 feet above sea level.
I’m still hearing some reports of crappie being caught on the Lower Blue Basin part of the lake. Even some nice limits have been caught using jigs and some minnows. Keeping minnows alive in this kind of weather is a chore, to say the least. One thing you can do is freeze small bottles of water and put in your live bait keeper — otherwise know as a minnow bucket.
Some bass are being caught but the key is baitfish. You have to find baitfish to find the bass. Lily pads and some trees are best — some of the larger laydown logs also. At this time of year, it is wise to fish the shaded side of the object you’re are fishing. Fishing early and late is best.
Also, my father-in-law Dr. Bill (Pap) Horner and longtime family friend Dean Fisher, both of Union City, and their friend Markey Davis of Derma, Miss., have been searching for crappie in Mississippi this past week. They are fishing Sardis Lake and plan to have fished Grenada Lake also before returning to Tennessee.
The fishing was pretty good despite the very hot weather. Crappie was on the main menu for the trip.
The limit in Mississippi has the crappie at 12 inches or larger in order to keep them. That is a pretty large crappie. Just think of the really nice fish they had to throw back.
I have been asked to pass along that the Obion County 4-H Shooting Sports team shot in Paris back in May at the Tennessee State Junior Olympics. Team member J.T. Ragsdale had a third place finish in the J1 category.
Also shooting at this competition were Jonathan Pool and Klayton Hagan. Klayton finished highest overall alternate in the intermediate advanced group.
The team will also be taking eight shooters to the SCTP National Competition at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill.
Here is some news from the TWRA.
Application period for all Wildlife Management Area (WMA) 2011 Big Game Quota Hunts is continuing through July 27.
Applications are available and will be accepted from any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office or online. Mailed applications will not be accepted. The applications must be received by midnight July 27.
Sportsmen are reminded to read the application form carefully, fill out all requested information, double-check the form and take it to a license agent, where it will be entered into the system. When applying at any TWRA license agent, there is no fee for current Annual Sportsman License holders, Lifetime Sportsman License holders or seniors possessing a Type 167 permit. For all other applicants, there is a non-refundable $10 permit fee for each drawing entered plus a $1 agent fee.
Hunters may also apply over the Internet at the TWRA website. There is no fee for current Annual Sportsman License holders, Lifetime Sportsman License holders, or seniors possessing a Type 167 permit. All other applicants, in addition to the $2 Internet usage fee, will be charged a non-refundable permit fee of $10 per drawing entered. The $2 usage fee is collected by the company that maintains the Internet site. (It is not a fee that is charged by the TWRA.)
TWRA’s priority drawing system gives priority points (this year a maximum of six points) to hunters based on the number of years they have participated without being drawn for a hunt. Applicants who were successful last year will start over with a priority of zero.
When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed to verify the information, such as hunt codes and their TWRA ID number on their receipt, is correct.
Local folks may have noticed work has begun on the new walking track and picnic area surrounding the former Moose Club pond just off the Highway 51 bypass on the north part of Union City.
This pond will be available for fishing just as the the former Reelfoot Packing pond is but with added park equipment.
Lots of nice things on tap by the City of Union City to make the pond have a family type access at all times for your enjoyment.
As I end my column, I want to pass along a few tips to you on beating the heat while you fish and taking care of yourself.
Staying hydrated in this kind of weather like we have been having is simply following a few steps.
Have something to drink when you first get up in the morning (water or some type of sports drink). This is usually the best for you.
Carry a plastic water bottle with you during work hours and when you are away from home for long periods of time.
Try to drink something before, during and after exercising, especially in hot weather. Drink water every 15 minutes as you exercise or work out in the heat.
Remember to drink before you get thirsty. If you get thirsty, that is already a sign of possible dehydration.
Try to limit caffeinated and sugary beverages. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and can cause you to lose fluids quickly. In addition to having extra calories, the fructose, or natural sugars, in fruit juice can slow your body’s ability to absorb fluids.
Monitor your fluid intake, factoring in foods. Most of what we eat contains some water, especially fruits and vegetables. Packing ready-to-eat fruits in sealable plastic bags can be a great way to restore fluids and vitamins during outdoor activities.
Alcoholic beverages are not recommended at all. As a matter of fact, do not drink them when you need something cold and are thirsty. This will not replenish what your body needs.
Also, wear light-colored clothing and light as in weight as well. One of my sponsors, Columbia Sportswear has tons of different type of materials that not only help keep you cool on a hot day but also protects you from the sun. One of the latest they have out is the Columbia Freezer Wear.
This is very very light and your body can breathe, which helps keep the body cooled down.
Make sure you also check on your outdoor pets. They need lots of water and it’s not a bad idea to have a very small kids pool full of water for them to get in and cool off. Make sure they have adequate shade. This is very, very important.
Til next week’s column,
Stay cool and catch ya on the water folks.
Published in The Messenger 7.15.11