Warm weather adds to Cabin Fever tourney

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By Shelton Young

Over the years our Mid-KY Bass Anglers Cabin Fever Bass Tournament has been held in all types of weather. We've fished in the rain and cold. Sometimes it's been freezing rain, and I think once it was snowing!
But, I know I've never fished in shorts, tee shirt and sandals. At least not till last Sunday. At our tournament, you could've closed your eyes and thought "May" or maybe even "June."
The 80-degree, by my thermometer, "summer" temperature even had the little pop-up storms associated with the warm season.
Water temperature ran 62-63 degrees, which, if taken by itself, would indicate a definite pre-spawn trend.
And, by our usual standards, we had a major turnout. I don't know if it was the weather, the fact that it was our first tournament of the season, or because it was an "open" format, but the number of entrants was exceptional!
We had 15 boats with 29 anglers. *Yes, Tom Mattingly fished by himself!
*While I'm on the subject of Tom: He really needs a three-bank battery charger for his boat! And, Father's Day isn't that far off... and, he has six or seven kids. Soooooo!
How about it Tom, that a big enough hint? Does that, in any way, make up for the "big dump" misprint? *I'm trying to write neater now!
Good friends, pleasant weather and everyone caught fish! As a disclaimer, I didn't say they were big bass. But, after a winter, mild as it was, of not fishing, any bass was a good bass!
At the weigh-in, the heaviest bass and the heaviest bag of bass was caught by Stacy Benningfield and Joe Hickey. Their biggest went 2-pounds, 8.6-ounces, with their total bag coming in at 5-pounds, 3.6-ounces. Second was taken by Danny Marcum and Brad Taylor by bringing in 4-pounds, 7.6-ounces. The team of Billy Sanders and David Deering took third place money with a bag of 4-pounds, 3.2-ounces.
Seems those 7-plus pound small-mouth and the 10-pound largemouth eluded us all!

If you'd like to be a part of our Mid-KY Bass Anglers, we fish again on April 1. We'll launch from Green River's Ramp One at 8 a.m., Lebanon time, with a 4 p.m. weigh-in!
Till then, check out our website at www.MidKyBass.com. You can see our history, schedule, rules, pictures and a bunch of other stuff.
You may or may not find the mother-load of bass, but you will find a friendly bunch of bass anglers!
So, come on out! That's April 1, no foolin'. O.K., that was sorta lame, sorry!

April is going to be busy.
As I said, April 1 is the date for our Mid-KY Bass Anglers tournament on Green River.
Then on April 7-8 we have our Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season. This is for hunters who are 15 years of age or younger.
Now I know I'll make some "hunters" mad but, I've "heard" about adults taking kids out, shooting turkeys themselves, then claiming the kids shot the birds. Couple of things wrong here: First, it's not legal! Second, it's teaching kids' that breaking the law is O.K. Or, maybe its just O.K. to break a "little" law. So, what do you say to your kid when they break a "big" law? And, how do you differentiate between "big" and "little" laws? You're an adult. Set an example, a good example!
For those of you who like to practice your turkey calls, you can't do it between March 1 and April 7. From the KDFWR, "It is illegal to mimic the sound of a turkey in an area open to hunting if turkeys are reasonably expected to occur. But, locating turkeys with an owl, crow, coyote or woodpecker call is permitted when scouting."
How about us big kids, who are sometimes questionably referred to as adults?
Our season opens April 14 and runs for 23 days, until May 6.
There's a two-bird limit for the season. A "legal" bird has a "visible" beard.
Ever "score" a turkey? It's a pretty simple formula to follow. 10X right spur length plus 10X left spur length plus 2X beard(s) length plus weight equals score.
So, an 18-pound bird with one-inch spurs and a 10-inch beard would be: (10 X 1) plus (10 + 1) plus (2 X 10) plus 18 = 10 + 10 + 20 + 18, which gives a score of 58!
I'm told a score of 60 or better is considered to be a trophy!
If you just want to view some wild turkeys you might try the fields between the back of Wal-Mart over to Calvary Road.
I've watched several nice Toms strutting out in that field for the past week or so!
FYI, a "Tom" is a mature turkey. A "Jake" is a young male turkey. One way to tell a Tom from a Jake is to look at their fan, spread out tail feathers. If the length of al the feathers is the same it's a mature bird, a Tom. But, if the 4-6 feathers in the center of the fan are longer than those on the sides, it's a Jake.
Also, a turkey's beard is seldom over 11-inches long cause then it drags the ground and wears off. Unless it's like one I once saw!
There I was, leaned up against a tree and this turkey came walking by, backwards! I was so surprised I violated a major rule of turkey hunting, I moved! Well, the gobbler saw me move and tried to run away. But, he kept falling down! Finally he took flight and I saw what his problem was. His beard was so long that he'd trip on it when he tried to go forward.

Guess that's it for now. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I'll see ya next week!