Three casts, three Crappie…What does that say about the fishery?
A guilty thought passed through my mind as I made the first cast. I chose to fish alone today. That twinge of guilt was lost as soon as a Crappie tugged on the Road Runner. While fishing is a sport to be shared; you can really give more thought to your angling when you go solo.
The bite slowed as the moon sank past the horizon. It was time for a plan “B”. This was an opportunity to explore a sandbar that I’d spotted up river, last week. After a short boat ride; I dropped the trolling motor and fired up the Humminbird Side-Imaging unit. Sure enough, the backside of the bar revealed a quick drop. No fish, but a good spot for later. It was still nearly five feet deep in the back of the flat where the stumps resided. Bingo.
I quickly missed a fish that struck my side-poled Road Runner-Minnow rig. Realizing that most of the stumps were below the waterline, I stowed that rig to keep it out of “trouble”. My mission was to cast the Road Runner for a horizontal presentation in the stump field.
Then things got interesting. The next cast resulted in a fine Crappie. Two more casts and I released two more Crappie. I carefully maneuvered around the stumps as I released the third fish. The forth cast was a miss. The fifth cast caught another Crappie. The sixth cast was a zero. I’ve never bagged three Crappies on three casts, with an artificial lure before. That speaks volumes for the Road Runner and our fishery. But how long will the fishery withstand the heavier pressure? I have to admit that my fish are running a little smaller than last year.
Last month’s Crappiemasters Alabama River tournament netted a two-day weight of 30.12 pounds. That’s less than last year’s record 31.69 pounds. But it looks like this week’s Grenada Lake tournament will break the Alabama record. Several teams had over 19 pounds for seven fish during practice. Double that for a two-day weight and you have 38 pounds!
I have to give the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks their due. They quickly realized that Grenada was getting fished pretty hard. Anglers were traveling from all over the country to fish the trophy lake. The MDWFP lowered the bag limit to 20-Crappie and increased the size limit to 12-inches. They even lowered the number of rods per angler, to six. The results are amazing. The Magnolia Crappie Club’s March Tournament set a record for seven fish with 19.42 pounds.
Will the Alabama Department of Conservation & Wildlife keep up with the fishery and the demand, on the Alabama River?
Have a blessed weekend. -TJ