By Josh Gowan
We were awfully fortunate here in the Heartland to get a fantastic weekend of weather, at least most of us. A lot of folks to our east and south didn’t fare quite as well.
If finally became good and hot, and any worries about this year’s mosquito hatch being low has been quelled! The flux capacitor for my outboard finally arrived via space-snail from one of the moons of Jupiter, so I should be back out collecting first-hand outdoors reports by next week!
I know a lot of you were expecting to hear a riveting tail of my triumphs at the flying carp tournament down in Caruthersville, Mo., but the increasingly rising Mississippi River has made it nearly impossible to coral Asia’s favorite dolphin, so the tournament has been pushed back to September.
I’ll get an exact date when it becomes available, hopefully it won’t coincide with opening day of Missouri’s archery deer season, because I’ve been shooting my Elite “Answer” daily, and I’m dying to get in a tree!
The river stage is projected to be at 32 feet at Caruthersville, 30 feet at Cape Girardeau, and 26.5 feet at Memphis by the 14th. We really need the rain up north to slow up so we can enjoy the river and target some big blue catfish, as well as getting the water out of the newly planted fields behind the levee.
The blocking tournament is just around the corner, and high waters doesn’t really play in to mine and Chippy’s game plan! On Aug. 10 the “Blocking on the River” tournament will be held on the river at Caruthersville. The rules are pretty simple, 15 blocks (or jugs) per boat, two people per boat, and catfish must be alive when weighed in at 1:00 p.m. at Reynolds Park. There was already a big fish fry supporting this event, and turnout and payout has been great the last few years. When we won this tournament two years ago, first paid $2,600! There are a ton of teams from all over the region that come try their luck on the river every year. There is a band and party at the ramp the night before (where boats will be lined up as far as the eye can see) and food and drink vendors on hand, as well as raffles, and all sorts of kids activities. It’s really a great, community sponsored event that everyone enjoys, so come on out! For more information, call 573-333-4660.
Our Minn Kota trolling motor expert here at Grizzly, James Mills and his wife Rita, hosted his daughter-in-law and granddaughter at Blue Bank on the edge of Reelfoot Lake this past week. James said they enjoyed some good, live music from a group called “Dirt Road Express”. They had a great time at Blue Bank and the employees bent over backwards to help in any way they could. The weather was perfect and they watched some beautiful sunsets from the dock.
His 9-year-old granddaughter Haylee caught her biggest fish ever, a 4-pound catfish, and recieved a ton of attention from the other folks staying at the resort, and enjoyed soaking it all in! Brother James said there’s nothing quite like having good food, good weather, good fishing, and quality time with a wonderful family!
The guides over at Blue Bank are still catching some good stringers of bream, the catfish are jumping in the boat, and a few guys are still catching some crappie from the deep water.
Over on Kentucky Lake the fishing is fantastic. The guys at Kick’n Bass are catching a ton of bass on main point ledges in 13-30 feet of water. Grizzly Jig Pro Staffer Kevin Murphy has been catching crappie pulling Bandit 300 series crank baits in the Blood River area, and he said pink was the optimal color.
I’d like to welcome the folks down in Millington, to the weekly audience. I appreciate all the readers, and don’t hesitate to call your local paper The Millington Star and let them know you enjoy the outdoors column. If you have pictures of a prized catch or kill, or a good story, e-mail them over to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
Josh M. Gowan, Outdoors Writer, Crappie Angler Magazine, www.joshgowanoutdoors.com