How good is the crappie fishing at Guntersville Lake? It took 20 pounds (two day total) to finish in the top 30. This is also considering the adverse weather conditions during the tournament days.
Jeff Ramsey with his step-son, Johnny Walker, won the first American Crappie Trail tournament of the year with a total weight of 31.67 pounds. They also had the biggest crappie that weighed 3.19 pounds. They caught all their fish the ole school way, single pole vertical jigging and some casting and dragging. They used a 1/16th ounce homemade jigs around stumps that were 20 to 30 feet deep along the edge of the river. The two key elements that helped them catch their fish were 1) using light braided line (either 5- or 10-pound test Power Pro Hi-Vis line) and 2) fishing very slowly around the stumps. As Johnny stated, “You had to saturate a small area very slowly”. Jeff has fished Guntersville Lake for over 50 years, and he said, “I only fish about one tournament a year and this one was close to home”
Second place went to the team of Kent Watson and Drew Morgan. Their total weight was 28.88 pounds. They spider-rigged flats near creek channels, fishing 18-24 feet deep. After the first hour in the morning “it seemed the crappie went down and you had to have a your bait a foot from the bottom”. Double bait rigs were used on four of 16-foot B’n’M BGJP rods using a minnow on top and a Crappie Magnet or Big Diddy Bites bait tipped with a small minnow on the bottom. The other four poles were straight double minnow rigs.
Tim Blackley and Paul Turner finished in 4th place after leading on day 1. They ended with a total weight of 27.47. They fished ledges that had stumps in 20 to 25 feet of water using 16-foot B’n’M trolling poles. Tied to the end of the rods were 1/8-ounce Strike King jigs rigged with a Mr. Crappie Joker in orange/chartreuse glow color and tipped with a small minnow. Key to catching the fish was moving very slowly, 0.2 mile per hour.
It seemed like every team caught some 2-pound plus fish. The general consensus of all the anglers is that Guntersville Lake has the potential to rival some of the I-55 lakes and all the teams would like to return to this lake for another tournament.