Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

July 6, 2012

Lake trout bite

GLASGOW — Have heard several reports lately about good catches of trout in the Cumberland River above Burkesville.

That prompted contact with our old boat-builder buddy Ken Davis who I consider one of the top river fishermen in that area.

Ken admitted that the heat and high pollen count have curtailed some of his activities on the river but confirmed that Cumberland is “very fishable” these days and said that indeed big trout were being caught up from the Burkesville ramp.

You might remember our reports a few years back about Ken and his fiberglass boat building abilities, especially craft well suited from the river. Ken has now switched to aluminum and trolls with a 6 hp Suzuki. Always the experimenter, he does alot of finessing and altering his equipment. For trout, Ken trolls two No. 5 floating Rapalas with the treble hooks removed and a small single barb hook attached on the rear rung. Ken likes to start trolling above Thomas Island up river to Bakerton Island. That little Suzuki will run shallow and quietly. He picks a path among the log jams and fallen trees and catches lots of trout and white bass with an occasional walleye or sauger. He has caught his ten fish limit of trout on his last six trips. He says this is the most enjoyable method he’s found to fish Cumberland. The river is 70 degrees and Ken thinks the fish will be bunched up around cover.

Like myself, Ken is a small dog lover. He’s one unique individual and I treasure his friendship.

 

Back on the home front, the 2012 Big Bass Classic to benefit and American Heart Association will be coming up Saturday, July 21-22 out of Port Oliver on Barren Reservoir. The 31st annual charity event will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday and end at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Entry fee is $50. Based on participation of 175, there will be a $6,000 payout. Hourly big fish prizes are $350 down to $125 for third place. There will also be a $400 prize for the big fish of the tournament. You can get more information by calling Michael King at 270-791-2281.

 

Meanwhile on Barren, night fishing seems to be the best bet for bass and spinners or big worms the best baits. Todd Logsdon at Barren River Outdoors also said that some bass are still to be found in the grass early and late. Todd, who spent Monday on Lake Cumberland with family and not fishing a lick, also said that the hybrid bite has slowed with the big fish scattered in deep water. Todd had been racking up some nice catches of big hybrids in the month of June. My crappie fishing friends say that species is hit and miss with 10 or 12 on a good day and not a bite on another day. Noodlers have about quit on the cats with the low water level affecting that sport but I’m told that stream fishing has picked up.

 

Four wheeling continues to be a popular if somewhat dangerous warm weather diversion.

But a Carlisle County man found this week it can also be a very expensive sport.

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s enforcement division, this lawbreaking dude who allegedly drove an ATV inside a protected area containing federally-endangered interior least tern nests was charged June 30 with disturbing nests and interfering with an officer.

Twenty-year-old Keaton Rathermel of Bardwell\, also had his ATV seized pending court action, said Sgt. Denny Broyles of KDFWR.

Conservation officers with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife joined with special agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stake out a protected island just south of Wickliffe.

The island, a large sandbar in the Mississippi River, contains approximately 30 nesting pairs of interior least terns. Only an estimated 20,000 of these birds exist in the world; Kentucky hosts 800 to 1,000 pairs.

In Kentucky, interior least terns nest along sandbars and islands along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Louisville to Fulton County, said John Brunjes, migratory bird biologist with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. Biologists have marked critical nesting areas with signs prohibiting visitation or vehicle use.

Interior least terns nest directly on the sand in shallow indentations. The camouflage coloration of the eggs and chicks make them difficult to see.

Officers recently set up surveillance on the island near Wickliffe due to ATV riding at the location and frequent destruction of warning signs.

On Saturday evening, June 30, Broyles said conservation officers observed Rathermel drive past a posted sign onto the protected island. Officers stopped Rathermel as he exited the island. Rathermel was charged with a violation of disturbing nests. Broyles said officers added a second charge of interfering with an officer, a misdemeanor, due to Rathermel’s behavior and refusal to comply with an officer’s request after being stopped.

Officials could not immediately determine whether any nests were destroyed during Saturday’s incident. Brunjes said he has photographs taken the previous week of ATV tracks within a few feet of a nest.

“The last four nesting years have been bad ones for interior least terns because of high river levels,” Brunjes said. “This has been a good year so far there are lots of sandbars available for nesting.”

Biologists have documented and posted 18 islands this year with endangered tern nests on them. Boaters and pleasure riders should avoid all posted areas.

“We’re planning to step up enforcement to help protect these areas,” Broyles said. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing this as well. If someone is caught riding in a protected area, that person could face federal charges and jail time.”

A July 18 court date has been set for Rathermel in Carlisle District Court.

Joel Wilson is an outdoor columnist for the Glasgow Daily Times.

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