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Kentucky Lake Events
"ShortcastS" 

By Steve McCadams


WORLD’S BIGGEST FISH FRY FISHING RODEO

The World’s Biggest Fish Fry Junior Fishing Rodeo is fast approaching. Mark your calendar for April 29th as youngsters ages 12 and under will return to Williams Lake, located just off Chickasaw Street, for the annual event.

Hours of the rodeo will be 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Entry forms are available at WBFF headquarters, which is located on Wood Street in the parking lot of Paris Inn and Suites. The event is free.

Kids are asked to bring their completed forms to the rodeo itself. Prizes will be awarded to boys and girls in the age brackets of 4 and under, 5-8 and 9-12 years of age.

Participants must bring their own bait and tackle. For additional information call WBFF headquarters at 731-644-1143.
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FISHING COMMENT DEADLINE

The April 23 deadline is approaching for submitting comments to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for its 2018 fishing regulations. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about fishing regulations with TWRA staff.

Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Attn: Fisheries Division-Comments, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to FishingReg.Comments@tn.gov. Please include “Fish Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.

This year, the TWRA Fisheries Division will present the proposed regulations at the August meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission. The commission will set the regulations at its September meeting. There will be a public comment period on the proposed regulations between those meetings.
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HENRY COUNTY GUN CLUB CLINIC

Henry County Gun Club, located at 1995 Goldston Springs Road in Puryear, will host a two day Appleseed Rifle Clinic at the range on April 29-30.

Appleseed events offer the best precision rifle marksmanship instruction available anywhere. And the cost is only a fraction of that for any other weekend of any kind of firearms training.

The fee schedule is: Adults: $60; Youths under 18: $20. Active military, reserves, guardsmen, and Law Enforcement Officers, as well as elected officials and disabled persons: $20 with ID. There will be a $5 per day range fee for everyone. It is a family friendly event, so bring the whole family.

Pre-registration and additional information is available at www.henrycountygunclub.com or www.appleseedinfo.org. Pre-registration is highly encouraged.

For additional info on the event contact Don Duncan at 270-753-7104 or email dsduncan@twc.com.

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NATIONAL PARKS SETS RECORD

Recently during National Park Week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that 2016's record visitation of 331 million visitors at America’s 417 National Park Service sites contributed $34.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 – a $2.9 billion increase from 2015.

According to the annual peer-reviewed economics report, 2016 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, the strong economic output is attributed to record visitation and visitor spending in “gateway” communities near national park entrances. The report also found visitor spending supported 318,000 jobs in 2016, with the vast majority of them defined as local jobs, including those in the hospitality, retail, transportation, and recreation industries.

More than 270,000 of the jobs supported by visitor spending in 2016 exist in the communities that lie within 60 miles of a park. These range from big parks like Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, which attracted 11.3 million people and supported more than 14,600 jobs to smaller parks like Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire that attracted more than 42,000 visitors and supported 34 jobs.
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FINAL FLIGHT HOST CALLING CONTESTS

Final Flight Outfitters Inc., located between Martin and Union City on Highway 431 will be hosting the U.S. Open Regional, Grand American Regional and Bayou de Chein Regional duck calling contests on Saturday May 13th.

Winners of each regional contest will be automatically qualified to compete in the annual World Duck Calling Contest held in Stuttgart Arkansas Thanksgiving weekend. Also, Final Flight will be hosting the Tennessee State Duck Calling contest. This contest is only open to Tennessee residents of which the winner will also be qualified for the World Duck Calling Contest.

For additional details call Final Flight at 731-885-5056.
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RECORD TURKEY TAKEN IN HENRY COUNTY?


Last Monday morning Cord Maddox of Huntingdon was hunting in Henry County and bagged what may well be a new state record gobbler.

According to Henry County TWRA wildlife officer Greg Barker, the bird’s weight, spurs and beard may just exceed the existing state record by a fraction.

“We don’t score turkey like we do deer as the National Wild Turkey Federation does that,” said Barker who saw the bird and did some measurements anyway and took some photographs.

The gobbler weighed 25.37 pounds and with all the formula figured in the way NWTF does it this bird may well set a new record if only by a slim margin. Barker says the existing record scored 89.50 on the NWTF listing but Maddox’s bird appears to score 89.5625 by the NWTF formula.

Stats of the gobble showed its beard measured 12 and 7/16-inches long with a left spur of 1 7/8 inches and a right spur at 2 1/16 inches.

Stay tuned for more on the potential record as NWTF officials weigh in on the decision in the days ahead.

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FISHING GUIDE AVAILABLE

The annual TWRA Fishing Guide, a 4-color brochure filled with interesting info and updated regulations, is now available at license agents and various sporting goods stores across the state. The agency was several weeks late in getting the brochures printed and distributed this year as all fishing regulation changes start out on March 1 each year!

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WILDLIFE COMMISSION UPDATE

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held its March meeting that featured five new commissioners and the first meeting chaired by Jamie Woodson.

The one-day meeting was held recently in Nashville. The new commissioners introduced were Angie Box (Jackson, TFWC District 8), Brian McLerran (Moss, District 3), Kent Woods (Kodak, District 2), Dennis Gardner (Lakeland, Statewide), and James Stroud (Dyersburg, Statewide).

Frank Fiss, Chief of Fisheries, presented an update on Asian carp that have invaded Tennessee’s waterways. Wild populations of black, grass, bighead, and silver carp have established populations in the Mississippi River, and grass, silver and bighead carp have already entered the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems.

Fiss said during his presentation that TWRA always reminds anglers that these invasive species should never be used as live bait, because this could spread them into additional waters. Control efforts are currently limited to commercial fishing.

TWRA fisheries managers lack some critical information about the movements and population dynamics of these species, according to Fiss. TWRA recently secured federal funding and will be partnering with the Tennessee Tech University to conduct research needed to learn more about future control strategies beyond commercial fishing.

Mike Butler, chief executive officer of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, presented a resolution approved by the federation’s board of directors. The resolution called for the TWRA to formulate a statewide strategic whitetail deer management plan.

The last strategic plan for whitetail deer has expired. The resurgence of whitetail deer is regarded as one of the state’s greatest conservation restoration stories.
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YOUTH TURKEY HUNT GIVES YOUNGSTERS FIRST SHOT

Young boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 16 will get the first shot at a Tennessee turkey when a special two-day opens this weekend just for them.

Each year youngsters get a couple of days to kick-start their season before the regular statewide season opens.

Tennessee’s 2017 spring turkey season opens on Saturday, April 1 and continues through Sunday, May 14.

Weather is on the minds of adults and youngsters as thunderstorms and high winds are in the forecast for opening morning. Although it will be warmer the unstable weather could be a factor.

Spring turkey harvest numbers have been consistent for a number of years in Tennessee. Tennessee turkey hunters have passed the 30,000 harvest mark for 14 consecutive years during the spring hunting season.

Hunting hours for turkeys are 30 minutes prior to legal sunrise until legal sunset. Legal hunting equipment includes shotguns using ammunition loaded with No. 4 shot or smaller. There is no restriction on number of rounds in magazine. Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows are permitted.

Firearms and archery equipment may have sighting devices except those devices utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife. Night vision scopes are illegal.

Bag limits are one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four per season. Any turkeys harvested during the young sportsman hunt count toward the spring season limit.

More information on the 2017 spring turkey season can be found in the 2016-17 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. The guide is available at TWRA offices, license agents, and online at www.tnwildlife.org.

TURKEY SEASON TAKES FLIGHT

Tennessee’s statewide turkey season opens Saturday and it appears nice weather will help kick off the first morning on the right foot.

After the Saturday opener season runs all the way through May 14, giving hunters a wide window of opportunity.

Last weekend kicked off the season for the annual youth hunt, a two day event for youngsters to have the first shot of the season. However, high winds did not work in favor of the youngsters and it was a tough weekend to hunt.
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TWRA OFFERS SEED

Mixed seed for food-plots are now available. Each year the agency offers a limited supply free of charge. For see in this area contact TWRA’s Henry County wildlife officers Greg Barker at 731-336-9665 or Steve Brewer at
615-308-5775.
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LEAVE WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials notice an increase in illegal removal of wildlife each spring. Not only is taking wildlife from nature unlawful, it can have harmful effects on humans, pets and overall wildlife populations. Animals most often taken include squirrels, fawns, turtles and even baby raccoons. Sometimes the intent is to care for a seemingly abandoned animal. Other times, it is simply out of the selfish intent of making the animal a pet.

Removing any wild animal without proper permitting is illegal and it is most often to the detriment of wildlife. Negative effects on humans and pets include the transmittal of parasites, bacteria such as salmonella, fungi and other wildlife diseases. Additionally, pets can pass these things to wildlife making it impossible for an animal to be returned to the wild.

Moving wildlife or taking it into a home can even affect overall wildlife populations. One animal significantly affected is the, Eastern box turtle. “Turtles are long-lived, slow to reproduce animals. Removing just one can impact the population of an area. Distressed turtle populations take much longer to recover than other faster breeding animals,” stated Chris Simpson, Region III Wildlife Diversity Biologist. Additionally, some wildlife also have breeding site fidelity, meaning they will not reproduce unless they are in the area where they were born or typically reproduce.

If someone finds an obviously sick or injured wild animal they should contact a wildlife rehabilitator or call TWRA. TWRA maintains a list by county of rehabilitators that can be found at tnwildlife.org. Individuals that find what they believe to be an orphaned animal should leave the animal alone. The vast majority of the time, mothers collect their young.

Even animals that have apparently fallen from a nest or tree are most often cared for by their mothers. In addition, laws forbid the movement of wildlife. A property owner that traps a nuisance animal cannot move the wild animal to another location. This law is in place to keep wildlife disease from spreading to unaffected populations.

Should someone know of an individual removing wildlife or harboring wildlife illegally, they should call their regional TWRA office. “There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have a wild animal in their home,” stated wildlife officer McSpadden. “Please help us with our mission and leave wildlife where it belongs.”

For more information regarding wildlife rehabilitators visit: http://www.tn.gov/twra/article/wildlife-rehabilitators-educators.

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LABRADOR RETRIEVER TOP DOG

The Labrador Retriever does it again! In a press conference today at its new pet care space, AKC Canine Retreat, the American Kennel Club (AKC®), the nation’s largest purebred dog registry, is announcing that the intelligent, family friendly Lab firmly holds on to the number one spot on the most popular list for a record-breaking 26th consecutive year.

The Lab's eager to please temperament is just one of many reasons why this ideal family dog takes top honors year after year. They also excel at dog sports (like dock diving), make fantastic K-9 partners, and have even been known to save lives. On top of all that, they're also pretty cute.

While the Labrador Retriever continues its reign as America’s dog, the Rottweiler has been slowly but surely rising up the list over the past decade. The confident, loyal and loving Rottie was the eighth most popular breed in 2016, its highest ranking since landing at number two in 1997. The Rottweiler has risen nine spots over the past decade and is poised for a comeback.

“The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”
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DUCKS UNLIMITED FILMS

Ducks Unlimited is launching another season of its acclaimed online film series, “DU Films,” in March. Watch a preview of this year’s series, as well films from previous seasons, at www.ducks.org/dufilms.

This series is a departure from traditional outdoor shows. Each film features thrilling hunting footage but also tells a story about waterfowl hunters who are passionate about hunting and giving back to the resource. DU Films presents all of this through breathtaking waterfowl footage and intimate conversations with hunters across North America.
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REFUGE AREAS REOPEN TO BOATERS, ANGLERS AND WILDLIFE VIEWERS


The seasonally closed roads and bays at the Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge will re-open as of Thursday, March 16th. These areas have been closed from November 15 – March 15 to lessen disturbance to wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds on both these refuges.

You’re encouraged to visit the refuges to enjoy a variety of wildlife-dependent recreational activities including fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography. Please keep in mind that the refuge is open during daylight hours only.

Locally, popular areas reopening on the Big Sandy unit will be Swamp Creek and the Sulphur Well basin up Big Sandy River, along with Bennett’s Creek over on the Tennessee River sector.
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BIG DOG PREDATOR HUNT RESULTS

Last Saturday’s 17th Annual Big Dog Predator Hunt had a big turnout. There were 90 teams participating and several ventured to the Paris area from distant towns.

Taking first place team honors with three coyotes weighing a total of 105.4 pounds was the team of Randy Coe and Mike Catlett of Camden. Prize for the biggest coyote went to Jimmy Jackson and Shane Koch of Paris for one weighing 42.8 pounds. The small dog prize went to Jamie and Jessica Bethune of Munford for one weighing 22.2 pounds.

“This was our largest turnout ever so we were glad to see the participation level increasing,” said event spokesman Randall Bowden. “It was a windy day and that works against coyote hunters but they still managed to take 40 coyotes and one was a solid black coyote, which is unusual!”
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BOAT SALES INCREASE

The National Marine Manufacturers, representing the nation’s recreational boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturers, says it expects unit sales of new powerboats to increase between six and seven percent in 2017, reaching an estimated 250,000 boats sold last year as consumer confidence soars and manufacturers introduce products attracting younger boaters. In addition to unit sales of new boats, recreational boating industry dollar sales are expected to rise between 10-11 percent from $8.4 billion.

In fact, as one of the few original American-made industries – 95 percent of boats sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. – recreational boating is seeing some of its healthiest gains in nearly a decade, a trajectory the NMMA expects to continue through 2018.

“With the U.S. boating industry having one of its strongest years in the last decade, and manufacturers saying, ‘we’re back!’, it’s likely we will reflect on this period as a golden age for our economy and our industry,” notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Economic indicators are working in the industry’s favor—a continuously improving housing market, strong consumer confidence, growing disposable income and consumer spending, and low interest rates all contribute to a healthy recreational boating market. Looking ahead, 2017 is likely to bring new dollar and unit sales gains on par with or better than 2016, and this trend will likely continue through 2018.”
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SQUIRREL TAILS OR FISH TALES?

How does a squirrel’s tail turn into a fishing tale?

Wisconsin based Sheldon’s, a lure manufacturer of the poplar Mepps spinners continues to ask hunters to save their squirrel tails. The tails are used for their hand-tied, dressed hooks of their world-famous, fish-catching lures. They've been recycling squirrel tails for over half-a-century.

“Squirrels are good eating and we can reuse their tails for making the world's #1 lure,” explains Mepps Communications Director, Josh Schwartz. “Consider harvesting squirrels for the 2016 hunting season.”

Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

Schwartz reminds everyone, "We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails."

For details on the Squirrel Tail Program, either visit our web site www.mepps.com/squirrels or call 800-713-3474.

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TURKEY SEASON 2016

    Turkey time is about over for Tennessee sportsmen, at least as far as the spring season goes.

    The statewide season began back on the first Saturday in April. Young turkey hunters got an ever earlier start when the special youth hunt allowed for a two-day hunt the last weekend in March.

    It has been a pretty good season overall according to local turkey hunters. According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency harvest numbers are similar to last year as the season winds down.

    Tennessee turkey hunters have surpassed the 30,000 harvest mark for the 14th consecutive year. With less than a week remaining total harvest numbers stood at 30,376 as compared to 30,002 for the same period last year. 

    According to TWRA data Maury County is on pace to be the top harvest county again this year with its current harvest at 895. Rounding out the current top 10 counties are Montgomery (828), Greene (715), Dickson (700), Sumner (653), Wilson (605), Stewart (553), Henry (548), Robertson (546), and Rutherford (506).
   
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COUGARS IN TENNESSEE

Cougars in Tennessee you say? The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that it has created its page on its website with information on cougars for the public.

Recent cougar sightings have been confirmed at four locations in Tennessee and the TWRA is taking a proactive stance in making information available. The cougar has not been seen in Tennessee since the early 20th century until recently. Cougars primarily inhabit the western region of the United States and extend to the east as far as the western edge of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and close to the eastern borders of Colorado and Texas.

The information can be viewed on the TWRA website (www.tnwildlife.org0 and click on the “Cougars in Tennessee” icon located on the top of the front page.
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  HUNTER ED SIGN-UP REQUIRED ONLINE

Registration for a Tennessee Hunter Education course will be required to be made on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.

On the TWRA website, those wishing to register for a class will click the “register for a hunter education class” link. Once clicking the link, there will be directions to search for hunter education classes closest to your area.

Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class to ensure a spot in a particular class. For those persons without computer access, they are encouraged to visit a local library or call a TWRA regional office for further assistance.

Advance registration provides more time for instructors to devote to students. It also provides a quicker method for the registration process.
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 FIRST FALCON TRAPPING IN 50 YEARS

The first Peregrine falcon has been trapped in Tennessee in more than 50 years on the banks of the Mississippi River by a Carroll County resident. Tennessee was awarded one permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing the trapping of one Peregrine falcon for the use in falconry beginning in 2011 in selected West Tennessee counties.

Brian Brown, of Clarksburg, made the historic capture. He used a Dho-ghazza net and lured the Peregrine he has named “Belle.” He brought the bird to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Nashville for the proper processing.

Peregrine falcons were the primary bird used in falconry for hunting in the 1800s. The population of Peregrine falcons, through state and federal conservation efforts, has recovered enough since their near-extinction in the early 20th century to allow for a limited take of these birds for the use in falconry. Tennessee was allowed to issue a pair of permits this year.

“This is a true mark of success in our conservation to reestablish the population of these birds,” said Walter Cook, TWRA Captive Wildlife Coordinator. “Once again, this was an effort supported and carried out by falconers.”

Belle is believed to be one of the few trapped recently in the southeast. A Peregrine was trapped in the Jonesboro, Ark. area during the prior week. Brown plans to have Belle go through a brief training period prior to her being used as his hunting bird.

Belle weighed just under two pounds on her visit to the TWRA. Peregrines have a body length of 13 to 23 inches and a wingspan ranging from 29 to 47 inches. The Peregrine is famous for reaching speeds of more than 200 mph during its characteristic high speed dive.

The Peregrine's range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It is the world's most widespread raptor.
  

   Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.

 
 


 


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