After beautiful weather, just one day earlier, a crappie tournament came to town and changed all that. The Peach State Crappie Club (PSCC) held their first Veterans Appreciation Event on Friday, March 17. Club members teamed up with area vets to go crappie fishing. The weather was beautiful and a good time was had by all. (A story with pictures of the veterans event will be posted in the next few days on CrappieNow.)
On Saturday, March 18, the club members gathered at the same place for a tournament. The weather turned to clouds, wind and rain. The weather was challenging, but did not stop the hearty crappie anglers form catching some nice fish.
By the end of the day it was B’n’M prostaff angler Rod Wall and his fishing partner Mike Bridges that claimed the top prize. The weigh-in, conducted at Cliatts Crossing, validated their 13.37 pounds to give them the win in the Peach State Crappie Club tournament on Clarks Hill Lake.
“Clarks Hill is a little clearer water than I am used to,” said Wall. “I usually don’t catch as many in clear water, but I am comfortable with it. In fact, I have been fishing Clarks Hill since I was 7 years old.”
“We went into some creeks that had a little color,” continued Wall. Like good anglers do, Wall was observing what was going on with other anglers on the water. There was a BFL tournament that morning also, and he noticed that the bass fishermen were a little further off the points than normal.
“They were throwing bigger baits with big lips,” observed Wall. “This told me the bass were deeper and they also caught a couple nice crappie on the cranks as deep as 14 feet. I went to my side imaging and started seeing beds in 11 to 14 feet of water. So, I dialed in on deeper water.”
Wall and Bridges started pulling the 12-foot contour with 1/6 ounce spinners and 1/32 jig heads. “We slowed down a lot and started tipping with minnows,” continued Wall. “Early in the morning we caught them scattered. After the rain stopped we started concentrating on pulling points. If they had brush on them that was a bonus. We got hung up a lot, but that was OK. We got a lot of bucks, but they were good ones. That pattern won’t hold long , but it worked today.”
Second place went to Jason Little and Craig Chapman. They weighed in 11.52 pounds. “We were long line trolling at 1.0 mph with double 1/32 jigs,” said Little. “Black/blue/chartreuse was out best color. We were fishing in 20 to 25 feet of water and catching our fish about 9 to 10 feet deep. We mainly pulled Southern Pro jigs from A & R Jigs and used Wally Marshall poles.”
“We were in Fishing Creek,” added Chapman. “The wind was really tough so we were making long pulls, going with the wind, and using a drift sock to help slow the boat down. We probably caught around 60 fish for the day.”
Joey Clark and Chance “Watergun” Kelley claimed the 3rd place spot with 10.27 pounds.
The 4th place spot went to Tony Johnson and Scott Glenn with 10.04 pounds.
Team Gray Beard, Rick Cone and David Allen, rounded out the top five with a weight of 9.70 pounds.
Big fish honors went to Jamie Kincade with a 2.75 pound Clarks Hill crappie. “I thought it was a hybrid because of the way it ran,” reported Kincade. “The fish swam across my other 5 lines. I didn’t even fight him, because I thought it was a hybrid. Then I seen him, that’s when I got nervous. I was praying a lot.”
Kincade caught the big fish on a Junebug colored Slabaliscious Jig and a Roadrunner head. His net man was Tony Merriweather.
Pat Wallace weighed in 8.48 pounds to win the women’s title.
The Youth Angler Award went to Landon Day.
Following the weigh-in a drawing was conducted to determine the location of the clubs Classic for 2017. Youth angler Landon Day pulled Lake Eufaula from the hat to determine the location for the April 1st event.
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