Opening Cast – January 2023

Opening Cast


Dan Dannenmueller


Richard Simms


Tim Huffman


Matt Mullikin


Terry Madewell
Kenneth Keiser
Brent Frazee
Larry Whiteley
Vernon Summerlin
Brad Wiegmann
Lindsey Lucas


Phone: 334-285-1623

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Cover Photo Credit

Jigs are always every crappie angler’s “go to” lure. However. this month Keith Sutton explains why you would be wise to include spoons in your crappie arsenal.

Photo by Keith Sutton

The Opening Cast

by Richard Simms


If you haven’t come up with your own yet, I am going to suggest a New Year’s resolution. Resolve to “Get out of your fishing rut.”

We all do it. Whatever species we fish for we generally do it one way – a way that worked wonders once upon a time and we loaded the boat with fish. But the day will come, if it hasn’t already, when that special lure fails you or that special sweet spot on the lake goes sour. Yet you will continue banging your head against the same wall thinking, “It worked once. It will surely work again, someday.”

I remember one particular day decades ago when I took a fishing novice out with me bass fishing and I was doing exactly that – fishing in my same old rut because, “It worked the last time.” But today it was failing me miserably.

From the back of the boat the novice pointed across the lake to a distant shoreline and said, “Why don’t we go try over there.”

I knew it was a shallow, muddy shoreline that was totally devoid of cover. But I was in a foul frame of mind since I couldn’t catch anything, and I was in no mood to try and give the fellow a biology lesson. I said, “Sure, why not.”

We began casting spinner baits. Lo and behold, we caught a bass – and then another – and then ANOTHER! On my depth finder I could see huge schools of bait and it became clear that the bass were herding schools of bait into the shallow water and gorging themselves, occasionally mistaking our spinnerbaits for food.

I never told my novice friend, but I felt humbled, and grateful. He forced me to get out of my rut and son-of-a-gun, it worked.

We all need to do that whether it be new lures, new techniques or new water. Reading about those things in CrappieNOW can help you do just that. Peruse this issue or past issues and find one “out of the box” technique, lure or lake you’ve never tried before. Resolve to try it. The first one may not work, but keep it up and I’m willing to bet you’ll find something new to add to your box of magic crappie bullets that will pay dividends for years to come.

You’re welcome – and Happy New Year!




Richard Simms, Editor

“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”

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