Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club members reeling in fish, recognition
Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012 9:45 pm
By: By Brent Callicott
The Messenger 06.22.12
Several years ago, members of the Reelfoot Lake Adult Bass Club in Union City had a dream and a vision — to form a junior bass club for our area youth.
Now things are really paying off and because of the junior club and times spent by many of the adult clubs volunteers, Obion County has yet another bass fishing champion added to its name.
John Coble Garrett, rising junior at Obion County Central High School, is the new 2012 Tennessee BASS Federation Nation Junior State Champion as he won yet another state junior bass tournament. John joins already Tennessee state champion Joe Hamilton as he is the 2012 Tennessee Bass Federation champion, which he claimed two weeks ago and John claiming his title just this past Saturday. Both are members of the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club in Union City. John won the Tennessee Bass Federation Junior Championship back in 2010 and Chance Williams won it in 2011. Our Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club has produced some excellent bass anglers for sure.
The difference in the two champion titles the young anglers have claimed this year is the Tennessee BASS Federation Nation is from the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) organization in Birmingham formed by Ray Scott back in the 1960s and the Tennessee Bass Federation is from FLW Outdoors, which is located just up the road in Benton, Ky., and sponsored by Walmart.
John will now turn his attention towards the BASS Federation Nation Southern Divisional that will take place in April 2013 on Douglas Lake in East Tennessee. If he could win that, he would be heading to the 2014 BASS Master Junior Classic in February of that year. Joe Hamilton is already heading to the FLW Junior National Championship set for later this summer.
John was able to claim first place in the 15 to 18 age group bringing 5 bass to the scales that weighed 15.67 pounds.
I understand that John was one of only two anglers to bring in a 5 bass limit during the 5 a.m. til 1 p.m. time frame. He was holding claim to the big bass of the event with a 4.52 pounder until a fellow competitor weighed in a largemouth bass that tipped the scales at 8.45 pounds. That was that young man’s only bass. John said he caught 15 keepers that day, which means he had a tournament anglers dream day culling through a good catch for his prize stringer.
Others from the Reelfoot lake Junior bass Club who fished but did not place was Joe Hamilton in the 15 to 18 age group with one bass that weighed in the neighborhood of 2.5 pounds.
Matt Lamastus and Lawson Maxwell fished in the 11 to 14 age group but was unable to bring in a bass that met the minimum length limit of 15 inches.
Congrats to all four of these young anglers as they had to qualify by being tops in points in their age group in the Reelfoot lake Junior Club.
Once again, it takes volunteers to do this by traveling with these young anglers and furnishing a boat to fish in and a special thanks goes out to Johnny Garrett and Taylor “Burrhead” Williams both of the Reelfoot Lake Adult bass Club. You’re making a difference in our young kids for sure.
A reminder for everyone about the summer program that the Reelfoot Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Walnut Log community is offering.
This program is called “Feathered Friends,” a summer-long series of programs about a variety of birds. These programs will be presented every Thursday from 10-10:30 during June and July. Programs will cover a variety of subjects related to Tennessee’s birds and will culminate to a nature hike where children will learn about birding. Programs are meant for ages three to eight and will feature several interactive games.
For more information, or to make reservations, you can contact Tara Dowdy at the Reelfoot NWR at (731)538-2481, Monday-Friday at 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Area river and lake stages continue to drop or are able to hold their own right now.
Due to the lack of much measurable rainfall over the past several weeks and months, many area lakes and even rivers continue on their downward trend to even lower waters.
At Reelfoot Lake, the water levels continues to drop ever so slowly each day. As of mid week, Reelfoot’s level was in the neighborhood of 281.40 feet above sea level. This is almost a foot below the normal level of 282.20 feet above sea level, according to the USGS website.
Over at Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River System, the lake remains and has been holding all summer in the 357.50 feet above sea level range. This is roughly a foot and a half below the normal summer pool level of 359.0 feet above sea level and for the foreseeable future, this is not going to change and make be the first time in the history of Kentucky lake that the lake never hits the summer pool level mark. A spokesman for the TVA says it would take a good 6 to 10 inches of rainfall in a somewhat short period of time to get the lake up to the normal pool level. The ground is so dry that the start of any rain would soak up before any runoff would start to take place.
Gibson County Lake is also getting lower by the day. The lake down there is at least a foot and a half below it normal pool level and unloading and loading your boats is starting to be a small problem and, as the rains continue to stay away, this will only get worse.
The Mississippi River is in the neighborhood of 5 to 7 feet on the Cairo, Ill., river gauge and this is almost 50 feet below what the river was this time last year.
The other problem is, usually when one area is not receiving any rainfall, other areas are and that is not the case right now. A large area here in the midwest and Mississippi River Valley is much below the normal rainfall amounts and this all started during the late winter months. Hopefully the good Lord and Mother Nature will bless our area sooner than later with a decent amount of rain.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission has a new name.
The June meeting was their final meeting of TWRA’s governing body as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. On July 1, the commission’s governing body will be known as the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.
During the Wildlife Management Committee meeting, the names of four winners were announced to participate in Tennessee’s fourth-ever managed elk hunt to be held in October at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. The four winners, all Tennessee residents, were selected in a computer drawing from 5,799 applicants. These four Tennessee Residents were the persons selected for the 2012 hunt. The winners were announced by Gray Anderson, TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division assistant chief.
The fifth participant will be the recipient of a permit that is donated to a non-governmental organization, which this year is the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. That permit will be auctioned on eBay. The auction period will run July 19-29. Fund-raising proceeds are designated for the TWRA Elk Program.
The TWRC also voted to establish a young sportsman elk hunt following the conclusion of the regular elk hunt, which will be held Oct. 20-21 with one young sportsman to be selected. The winner from the drawing will be announced in conjunction with the Second Annual Land and Wildlife Expo in August.
That’s all for this weeks column. I can be contacted by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org ,731-446-3678 or by facebook.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.
Brent Callicott, Outdoor Fishing Report, Reelfoot Lake Adult Bass Club