First Hayes Open fishing tournament set to blast off this Saturday morning


CELINA-A good field of participants are expected to blast off here at Pleasant Grove Recreation Area this Saturday morning for First Annual Hayes Open.


The tournament was recently renamed in honor of well-known local fallen angler James “Cobby” Hayes, who passed away this past summer at the age of 70, and was for the past five years formally known as the Dale Hollow Sportsman’s CITGO Harris Oil Fishing Tournament.


Tournament director Stephen Headrick expects several seasoned anglers to compete for the guaranteed $3,000 first-place prize during the two-day event.


“We’ve got around 25 boats pre-registered,” the owner of Punisher Lures and Dale Hollow 1-Stop told the HORIZON Monday. “That’s a good number to have committed this early in the game.


“We hope this first one in honor of Cobby will be a good one this weekend.” On top of the significant purse up for grabs, fishermen will have the chance at winning other prizes.


“Besides big money, the guys will have shot at some good door prizes including several All-pro rods and some Solar Bat sunglasses,” Headrick said. He said the payout will be determined by the number of boats and given away by percentage.  Other money donated by area businesses and organizations will be used to pay those who weigh in the biggest largemouth and smallmouth each day.


Those winners will receive $250 each for the largest of each species per day. The separate awards will be awarded due to the fact the tournament will feature all species of bass which thrive here in the clear waters of Dale Hollow. 


Anglers will have the opportunity to weigh in five fish of any species to compile the largest bag, but the five fish must conform to the rules set for the lake. 


Smallmouth must follow the Dale Hollow slot limit, which allows one fish under 16 inches per day per person and one fish over 21 inches per day per person.  The only exception to the lake rules on smallmouth is that the small fish must be at least 12 inches long.


Largemouth must be over 15 inches and on Dale Hollow an angler is allowed no more than five per day. 


So, theoretically a fisherman could weigh in all largemouth, but the pristine waters are sure to produce a football-sized bronzeback to knock one of those ‘green fish’ off the podium.


Also, the lake holds an abundance of spotted bass, otherwise known as ‘Kentucky bass,’ that will be fair game this weekend. They must at least be 12 inches long to be eligible for the weigh-in.


Headrick wanted potential participants to know blast-off order would be determined by the order fishermen registered for the event and he emphasized that the order would be the same both days.


“We won’t reverse the order on the second day,” he explained. “This rewards the guys for signing up early.”


The tournament will blast off at 6:30 a.m. both mornings with check in at 3 p.m Saturday and 2 p.m Sunday. It will feature a $150 entry fee.


For more information, call 931-243-2636 or 931-243-6133.


Muzzleloader opens Saturday

CLAY COUNTY-This year’s muzzleloader season will begin Saturday morning and has been changed for the first time in many years.


In the past, there were two separate week-long segments, but now the season will be one continuous 14-day hunt starting this weekend and continuing through Sunday evening, November 20.


During this time hunters may harvest a total of four does and any buck up to their statewide limit of three.


For more information about deer hunting here in Clay County or anywhere in the state, visit the TWRA’s website at

If you have something you would like to see discussed in the Outdoor Notebook or have a picture of your trophy for publication, please contact Thomas Weaver at 243-4710 or email:  [email protected], or drop them by the HORIZON office just off the square.  Pictures will be returned.