Dan Druschel (left) and Gus Glasgow (right) show off four large crappies from their
First Place catch at a Pennsylvania tournament in late summer.
Spotlight on Gus Glasgow
by Darl Black
One of the top competitive crappie fishermen in Pennsylvania these days is a former bass tournament angler. After more than a decade of pursuing bass tournaments across several states, Gus Glasgow decided to turn his focus to crappie fishing four years ago.
“My Uncle Rusty introduced me to crappie fishing when I was a youngster,” said Glasgow. “We would fish marabou/chenille jigs from shore at nearby Lake Arthur. I remember it being a lot of fun because we would catch good numbers of fish each trip, compared to the very few fish caught when Dad took me bass fishing.”
However, during his teens and early adult years Gus thought he might follow in the footsteps of professional bass pros. Honing his skills and techniques, he took aim at bass. Soon he was fishing more than two dozen tournaments in several states from late spring to early fall.
“After the bass tournament season ended in the fall, I would typically fish for crappies on Lake Arthur until it iced up,” he said. “It was my way of winding down and recovering from a grueling tournament season.”
But a winter respite from fishing was not in the cards for Gus. With several friends, he founded the Western Pennsylvania Hardwater Series of ice fishing tournaments – although the erratic ice conditions of the region often shorten the number of hardwater events.
When demands of bass tournament schedules began to interfere with family and his regular employment, Gus decided chasing bass on the competitive circuit was no longer in his future. He figured he could satisfy his fishing fever with some more laid-back crappie fishing.
“I do a lot of mapping with my Garmin units on each lake I fish – it paid off in bass tournaments and it is paying off equally well in crappie events.” ~ Gus Glasgow.
However, it’s hard for an angler with competition in his blood to give up tournaments completely. Glasgow talked his buddy, Dan Druschel, into fishing a couple local crappie events for fun. In 2021 (their third season), the team fished the entire schedule of the prestigious Northeast Ohio Crappie Club schedule plus a number of independent tournaments. They cashed a check in all but one event (including three First Places), and took Lunker Award in seven events. For 2022, Gus and Dan have their sights set on participating in a couple pro-level crappie tournaments.
Rapid-fire Round with Gus Glasgow
How does crappie fishing compare to bass fishing?
Very similar. The techniques and lures I use for crappies are downsized versions of what I used for bass. The knowledge I learned during years of bass fishing also applies to crappie fishing. This is especially true when it comes to utilizing electronics to find and target fish. Both species can be found on similar structure and cover. I do a lot of mapping with my Garmin units on each lake I fish – it paid off in bass tournaments and it is paying off equally well in crappie events.
Favorite line brand? Fluorocarbon, copolymer or braid?
My line is GAMMA all the way. I have three spinning rods on the deck all the time – one outfit for casting, one for sniping with Live-Scope, and one with a slip-bobber rig. I run Gamma Torque braid to Gamma Edge fluorocarbon leader on my sniping rod and casting outfits. However, on my slip bobber rod, I run straight Edge fluorocarbon.
Favorite fishing technique for crappies?
Casting and retrieving a jig.
Hair or plastic?
Hand-tied hair and feather jigs are my mainstay. I tie my own with rooster hackle creating a tail much longer than most anglers would consider using for crappies – especially here in the northern tier. But when cleaning crappies from local lakes with gizzard shad, I routinely find 4-inch or longer shad in the gullets of larger crappies– therefore I generally go with a bigger bait.
Other than a jig, what is your next favorite lure?
A 3-inch soft plastic swimbait from B.C. Bait Company. Sometimes when I’m searching for exceptional-size crappies, I rely on a crankbait. A crankbait is useful when using [Garmin] LiveScope to trigger larger fish that don’t take a jig. It’s also great search bait for big crappies when trying to cover territory.
B’n’M makes some great rods at a very good price point. I like longer rods. I am particularly fond of their Duck Commander Double Touch Rods for slip bobber fishing.
Shimano Sedona is my reel of choice.
At the present time, I use a 2.25-inchThill Center Slider slip float. But I’m looking into having someone make custom floats for me.
I’m all in for Garmin. I am fond of the Echomap series; this year I’ll be running the 126sv. I’ve always been keen on electronics and for years I helped friends install units correctly on their boats. Last year I opened G&G Marine Electronics to provide expert installation of fish-finding units. It was natural to offer what I consider the best electronics for fishing – Garmin.
Favorite electric motor?
Your Personal Best crappie?
A 2.5-pound white crappie taken on a feather jig from Lake Arthur, plus several others just an ounce or two shy of 2.5 pounds.
Can you do well in a tournament without LiveScope?
Absolutely! I’ve learned to use LiveScope effectively after my first year of fishing crappie tournaments. It certainly paid off for us this past season. But I was very good with my electronics long before there was LiveScope, and I’m very comfortable with many features of Garmin fishfinders other than LiveScope; I attribute my success to mapping. I’m looking forward to a planned tournament in the regional circuit this coming year where LiveScope will not be permitted. I have a feeling there are some teams which are going to be lost without LiveScope – but it won’t be us.
What question did you want me to ask that I didn’t?
My favorite rainsuit! Striker brand, absolutely. I wear the rainsuit for most of season, then don the Striker Float Suit for ice fishing as well as very late fall and very early spring.
(Darl Black began his career as an outdoor writer over 50 years on a on a long-forgotten communications instrument – a typewriter. Since then, his columns, articles, and photos have appeared in dozens of regional and national fishing related publications.)