Tennessee’s small game hunters can take to the woods and fields on Saturday as that’s the opening day for quail and rabbit seasons. Both seasons have a wide window of opportunity as they run all the way through Feb. 29.
For rabbit hunters, the long season ahead looks decent as there appear to be decent numbers scattered across the state when habitat can be located.
Quail hunters, unfortunately, are in the same boat as they were the last several years at this time. Not much reason for optimism. Sightings of coveys remain low across West Tennessee. Bottom line is the birds are just not out there.
Daily bag limits are the same as last year with five daily for rabbit hunters and six daily for quail hunters.
DUCKS UNLIMITED BANQUET ARRIVES
The Paris-Henry County Ducks Unlimited Banquet will be Saturday night at the Paris Convention Center, 1510 E. Wood St.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.
A single ticket is $50 and couple is $75. Greenwing will be admitted free with a paying adult. Sponsor level donors are $250 and couple is $275.
For additional information, contact Michael Culley at 731-336-3866 or Ethan Lee at 731-415-3999.
DOVE SEASON CLOSES
The second segment of Tennessee’s three-segment dove season closes Sunday. The third and final segment opens Dec. 8 and stays open until Jan. 8.
YOUTH QUAIL HUNT
Kentucky Lake Quail Forever will be hosting its second annual Youth Quail Hunt Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4-E Kennel and Preserve located at 1100 Green Allen Springs Road, Huntingdon.
KLQF members will bring pointing bird dogs, serve as guides, teach how to make lures from quail feathers, how to raise a bird dog, practice using a trap thrower, review hunter safety rules, enjoy a delicious lunch, and members will teach the fine sport of hunting quail.
The event is free and open for the young hunters who have completed a hunter safety course. This free event is possible thanks to a grant awarded by the NRA Foundation. To sign up, call Clint Ellis at 731-693-9146 or Ken Creamer at 731-441-3886.
LOW LAKE LEVELS AWAIT YOU
Fall fishermen and recreational boaters are reminded to use caution these days on Kentucky Lake. TVA has the reservoir down to its low ebb level of winter pool, which means you need to pay close attention to channel markers and not take shortcuts across open water sandbars.
Lake levels earlier this week dropped below winter pool elevation and were around the 354.6 range a few days but have since risen a few inches. Elevation at present is around the 355 range.
Water color has been relatively clear in the Paris Landing sector and a good color for fishing across the entire reservoir.
Surface temperatures have danced around the 59-degree range on cooler mornings and rebounded to 62 at midday.
Crappie action has been fair with a few more boats on the lake lately in pursuit of the fall bite. Some fish have been taken in deeper venues such as 18 to 22 feet at times. When TVA lowered the lake a few inches lately it appeared to pull crappie back to deeper zones.
However, some boats were stalk- ing the midrange depths of 8-12 feet and finding a few. Some fish were taken in 5- to 7-foot depths at times but quite scattered.
Not many fish have been concentrated in either deep or shallow areas for most fishermen. An occasional limit has been reported by a lucky angler or two but overall, crappie have been scattered and anglers have really had to knock on a lot of doors to get answers.
Anglers vertical fishing chartreuse/pink, blue/chartreuse and some motor oil colored skirts sporting metal flake have accounted for a few fish this week. Tipping jigs with minnows continues to work well, too, as does Berkley Power Bait in chartreuse and white nibbles.
The fishing scene has had a few pretty nice days at times when light winds and sunny days greeted anglers. And, the fall colors are on parade, providing a beautiful backdrop to autumn anglings.
Unfortunately, a few windy days with a cold front or two has stirred up the things, too. Upsetting the apple cart have been the occasional north to northwest winds that chilled the air and restricted access to open water areas for many anglers.
The overall crappie bite has been fair but not quite living up to its late fall reputation.
Meanwhile, bass anglers are stalking shallow stickups and gravel banks with both topwater, spinnerbaits and shallow running shad colored crankbaits. Some boats were flipping craws around boat docks, too.
Other boats continue to toss worms and crankbaits out on the main lake ledges in a summer pattern presentation.
Seems the most fish have been taken by those tossing Strike King’s Redeye Shad or Bill Lewis Rattle Trap style lures around long sloping flats at the mouth of big bays or out on the main lake itself. A few bass are chasing shad on the shallow flats and watch for the hordes of gulls to help you locate the schools of baitfish.
The late fall fishing scene is underway and the scenery alone is almost worth the trip. Kentucky Lake is beautiful this time of year.
Today — Archery deer season closes.
Saturday — Paris-Henry County Ducks Unlimited banquet, Paris Convention Center, 1510 E. Wood St.
Saturday — Muzzleloader season opens.
Saturday — Quail and rabbit seasons open.
Sunday — Second segment of dove season closes.
Nov. 10 — Kentucky Lake Quail Forever youth hunt, 4-E Kennels, Huntingdon.
Nov. 10-11 — Reelfoot Lake early duck season.
Nov. 16 — Deer muzzleloader season closes.
Nov. 17 — Deer gun season opens.