Categorized | Opinion

Free Fishing & Surging Rivers

By Josh Gowan

Alex Rutledge of "Bloodline TV" with a big spring gobbler.

Alex Rutledge of “Bloodline TV” with a big spring gobbler.

Another gorgeous spring weekend is behind us, and a ton of folks took full advantage of it! I, like many Heartlanders, am nursing a sunburn,  but unfortunately I didn’t get it out on the water! The fishing is hot at all area lakes, and this coming weekend offers a lot of fun stuff to get into in the great outdoors!
I still don’t have a personal report, and unless I start writing for Home and Garden Magazine, it may be a few more weeks! I did manage to design and build one of the nicest pool decks in all of Southeast Missouri.
I’d post pictures, but I’m afraid the big construction companies might get into a bidding war over me, which would in turn drive the cost of home construction up, and further strain our local economy, and I don’t want to be responsible for that!
On to the important stuff, this coming weekend is FREE FISHING DAY/DAYS. I have to separate them because in Missouri the entire weekend is free, and in Tennessee it’s just Saturday. (C’mon Tennessee, would one more day have really set you back that much?) Tennessee may only have one day, but man do they take advantage of it!
This Friday, June 7, the host of “Bloodline TV” Alex Rutledge will be at the Impact Center sharing stories about hunting, fishing, and living an outdoor Christian lifestyle.
This is an event to bring dad to in celebration of Father’s Day and a great opportunity for everyone in the family to gather together for a delicious dinner and enjoy stories by this well-known outdoorsmen.
The fish dinner starts at 5:30 at the Impact Center on the outer road, north of Hayti, behind the Agape Worship Center. At 6:30, Rutledge will be sharing his knowledge, faith and sense of humor with the hunting community and their families. The ticket fee for the dinner and speaker is simply a donation of your choice at the door.
For more information about this or other upcoming events at the Impact Center, visit or call Anna at 573-359-4555.
This Saturday the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its 22nd Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo on June 8th. The fishing rodeo will be held at the ponds near the refuge headquarters on Highway 157, one mile off of Highway 22, (drive past Kirby’s Pocket and turn left going towards the Walnut Log ramp, it’s on the left, can’t miss it) and is open to kids 12 years old and younger. Registration will begin at 7 a.m., and the event ends at 12 p.m. Only live bait will be allowed! Prizes donated by local sponsors will be given away during the rodeo. Hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks and cookies 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, and staff members will be there to assist with all activities.
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, please contact the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge (731) 538-2481.
I went to this event a few years ago with my son and niece, and they had a blast. They caught a ton of bream, received a goody bag upon entering, won fishing poles after the weigh-in, and we were all served lunch! It is really a great event and I personally guarantee a great time! The staff at West Tennessee Refuges really goes all out to insure everyone enjoys themselves, so go take a kid fishing!
My second family, the Chipman’s, were out on the mighty Mississippi River in the pontoon jugging for big blue catfish this past weekend.
This was their first trip of the year, and while the river was nice and high, the fishing was only so-so. They just caught a few, with the biggest being a 14 pounder. The river is going to rise another 10 feet over the next week, and more storms are brewing out west, so there’s no telling what kind of river stages we’ll deal with before this late spring is over.
Josh M. Gowan, Outdoors Writer, Crappie Angler Magazine 573-579-0212

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June 2013
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