UCES students lured outside classroom to net fishing experience
by BRENT CALLICOTT
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 3:00 pm
The Messenger 05.04.12
Two weeks ago today, I mentioned in my column introducing our young folks to fishing and being in the outdoors.
Well, Union City Elementary School did just that.
Starting last Friday and going through today, the fourth and fifth grades from UCES are being taught fishing skills and everything that goes with a simple fishing trip.
Physical education teachers Tammy Harris and Jeremy Maddox have been giving a little insight what fishing is all about and what to expect out while fishing.
Each day, the teachers and students load their bus around 1 p.m. and travel out to the newly-formed Veterans Park owned by the City of Union City. This is located at the corner of North Clover Street and Everett Boulevard in the north part of town. This park will be maintained by the Union City Parks & Rec Department.
The young anglers are being taught the basics that go with fishing.
Here is what they are learning: casting, lure selections, safety, equipment (rods, reels and line) along with treating areas with respect when in the outdoors.
For some, it is the first time to ever hold a rod/reel combo in their hands and the sad thing is, some may never do this again (and not by choice). This also may help send a message for now and down the road of what teaching others about fishing can do to be a stress reliever and a time away from the workloads of everyday life.
I was invited out last Friday to see for myself what these kids have learned, to take a few pictures and watch many of the kids as they cast their lures into the waters of the pond. It was kind of neat to see these kids testing their skills at what they have learned and studied in their classroom.
As I was about to walk around the pond to get take more pictures, a young girl yelled, “I got one, I got one.” Kids quickly made their way over — as well as Mrs. Harris and Coach Maddox — to see what she had hooked. Low and behold it was about a pound bass. The smile that child had on her face was priceless and one moment she will never forget. It was her first fish ever and for some the first up-close look at a fish just caught.
So my hat’s off to these teachers and for the Union City School System for finding somewhere to insert the outdoors in their physical education class. It will be a fishing trip for many they will never forget.
Last weekend, several team members from the Obion County Central High School Bass Fishing Team competed in the Lyon County Open High School Team Open Bass Tournament on Barkley Lake out of Eddie Creek Marina. The Obion County anglers carried six teams with 26 boats total in the tournament. John Garrett and Matt Lamastus finished in second place overall with 12 pounds, 7 ounces, meeting the five fish limit. These young anglers are also members of the Reelfoot Lake Junior Bass Club in Union City. The next event up for the Obion County anglers team will be the state tournament May 12 at Nickajack Lake out of Kimball.
Here is a report from the benefit crappie tournament for the National Wildlife Turkey Federation Wheelin’ Sportsman Outreach Program, produced by Cypress Creek Outfitters.
First place were Josh Gowan and Josh Chipman, 8.56 pounds, winning $800; second place were Jeff Riddle and Malcolm Lester, 8.36 pounds; third place, Larry and Ron Griffin, 7.86. Each had seven crappie being weighed in.
Big crappie for the event was Josh Gowan with one that weighed 1.94 pounds. Second big crappie of the tournament went to Jeff Riddle and that fish weighed 1.86 pounds.
The weather that Saturday wasn’t the best as for being windy, 15-25 mph winds from the north, cloudy, cool. There were 21 boats to enter the tournament. They were able to raise $500 for the Wheelin Sportsman’s Foundation. Dwayne Dunn wanted to thank everyone who donated and volunteered their time and effort and is looking forward to another tournament next year.
Here are the results of last weekend’s 4th Annual UT Martin Buddy Open Bass Tournament that was held on Kentucky Lake out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina in order to raise money for their team.
A total of 39 boats (two-man teams) fished this year’s event. It took a five bass limit of 22 pounds, 8 ounces caught by Jason Almond of Springville and David Fields of Murray Ky., to claim first place. They also had the big bass of the tournament that weighed 5.22 pounds.
Second place went to Eric Shelton of Erin and Adam Fewell of Thompson Station with five bass that weighed 17.8 pounds; third place was claimed by Billy LeVan of Clarksville and Matt Wilson of Ashland City with 16.21 pounds; fourth place was five bass that weighed 16.11 pounds and was won by Marshall Russey and Hunter Garrett of McKenzie.
UT Martin Collegiate team president Gracyn Smith was pleased with the turnout with the way gas prices are and thanked everyone for their support and hoped to see them back next year fishing their tournament.
On May 12, the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club will be hosting its annual Big Bass Event on Reelfoot Lake. Blast-off and weigh-in will be at the Kirby Pocket area. Entry fee is $60 per boat.
The Third Annual Wounded Warrior Bass Tournament will be held May 19 on Kentucky Lake out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina. There will be a guaranteed $2,500 given away for first place. They will also payout one out of 10 boats. So for every 10 boats that fish the tournament, a place will be paid out. There will be only a three-bass limit and tournament hours are from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. that day.
Entry fee is $110 per boat. The Big Bass Pot will be an extra $20 per boat. You can register the morning of the tournament starting at 4:30 a.m. at the ramp area.
There will be roughly 25 Wounded Warriors from the Fort Campbell Army Base paired up with 25 other people to fish this tournament.
I have just signed a new sponsorship with Adventure Products which makes the Ego Landing Net Systems. This is a must for all fishermen. This landing net system incorporates the SHUR-LINE Easy Reach pole technology. The extension pole technology enables anglers to quickly deploy, capture their game fish and retract the tool in a safe and effective manner. The technology is unique to the industry as it provides the angler the fastest and easiest method to extend and retract the pole and maneuver in tight quarters. These landing net systems will extend 108 inches. For more information, go to www.adventureproducts.com.
One last thing, this past late Saturday and Sunday afternoon, I spent a little family time fishing with my daughter Gracyn at the old Reelfoot Packing pond. We started working on our casting and, yes, it must run in the blood. She is a really good caster at the age of 7, going on 8 years old. So, on Sunday after church, she pretty much handled the ABU Garcia rod/reel combo all by herself. She was using a Strike King Mini 3 Pro Model Crankbait in the Sexy Shad color. Yep, a few casts later, she landed her very first bass. Doing everything from the cast, working the bait, setting the hook, reeling in the bass and releasing the bass back into the pond. She wanted me to remove the hooks. Great job Gracyn, daddy is proud of you and can’t wait until we spend some time in a boat together casting for a few larger bass.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.