by Tim Huffman
Duck Commanders Jay Stone and John Godwin are avid crappie fishermen. Jay is Duck Call Production Manager while John is best known as Decoy Technician for the Duck Commander huntin’ crew.
John says, “We try to get away at least one day a week to hit the water. We have teal season for two weeks in September and regular season from Thanksgiving until January. We get tied up but do get away some evenings for fishing. In February we hit the crappie hard.”
They enjoy fishing near their home with D’Arbonne and the Ouachita River being their top two spots. Jay says, “The lake and river are relatively deep waters. The river channel runs 40 feet deep. We usually fish the creeks and usually end up in 15 to 20 feet of water, but we fish different depths depending upon the water and season. The Ouachita River is like any other river in that the water level is important to the fishing.”
When asked about their new series of fishing poles Jay explained, “There were some things we wanted in a jig pole and have worked with BnM to come up with the new Duck Commander jigging pole. One of our options was to add chartreuse rings every foot from the tip down so a fisherman can quickly check his depth and be accurate instead of guessing the depth. You don’t have to say, ‘Oh, that looks like six feet’. Now you can be sure just by raising the tip into the air to see where the bait hits the pole. That’s important because just a little difference can put your baits under the fish instead of over them.”
Other features include a two-touch system where your fingers can be placed against the blank in two different spots. It has a rear reel seat but has an extra handle length, about four inches, out behind so if you need to reach a little further you can have a good grip without the reel being in your way. The pole has good balance.
The trolling poles are built different. “With trolling poles you don’t need everything to be bouncing with the waves,” says Jay, “because you won’t get bites. We wanted a stiff pole but a soft tip. The soft tip makes it easier to see a bite and helps when fishing shallow water with a big slab on and you need flex in the pole.”
“John wanted the ends of the poles be chartreuse so old farts could see them. So we added a two-foot fluorescent chartreuse section at the tip. It worked…we both can see the bites much easier.”
Another long pole in the series is a telescopic, or zip pole. John says, “The Panfish Pole is more economical and great for fishing off he banks. You often see the people driving from spot to spot and catching fish from the bank using these type poles. It also has a good handle to reduce slip when the fisherman’s hands gets slimy from catching fish.”
The final poles are four and six-foot spinning rods. They are the same quality you expect from BnM and what Jay and John take to the spillway.
All poles, depending upon the model, will be green or camo. John says, “Green and gold or green and chartreuse are the colors Phil chose way back with the first Duck Commander T-shirts, and the colors still work today.”
These duck chasers are good at spider rigging in bigger reservoirs and rivers. They have a lot of experience and know exactly what they are doing. Even though spider rigging is their best technique, one of their favorite ways to fish is casting. They pick the right time when spillways are good and cast to the crappie. John says, “I just enjoy feeling the rod load up. We catch a lot of fish like that but it’s a very seasonal thing.”
Another technique they recently used successfully was pulling crankbaits. Sardis Mississippi was an active fishery when they visited. The Bandit crankbait proved to be the key bait.
When asked if they get as excited over crappie fishing as they do duck hunting, Jay chuckled. “No lie, it happens to me two or three times a week right when I start going to sleep at night. I see the rod tip bend, jump straight up in the bed and try to grab the pole to set the hook. It’s bad. We are both eat-up with crappie fishing.”
To learn more about the Duck Commander’s fishing, other articles about September transition crappie, and how-to videos, visit www.crappienow.com.