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Lake life

D’Arbonne crappie like the Rattler!

Crappie Masters is coming to Lake D’Arbonne, Lake Claiborne and Caney Lake on April 18! It’s the largest crappie tournament organization in the country and draws folks from all over the country. Also, it’s the first ever Crappie Masters tournament in Louisiana, so it will be quite a big deal. On top of all the other things going on at D’Arbonne, it’s making 2015 a banner year for this area as far as fishing goes.

I’m already a better fisherman because of Crappie Masters. Now many of you will say, “Well, that didn’t take much!”. Thank you very kindly.

In doing some research on Crappie Masters and their tournaments, I was very interested in seeing that the 2014 Angler Team of the Year was Whitey Outlaw and Mike Parrott. Then I saw that the most recent Crappie Masters tournament was held in Granada, Mississippi and was called the Rockport Rattler Mississippi State Championship. The thing both had in common was Rockport Rattlers, a fishing jig that has been credited with some of fantastic catches of crappie. I had never used them, but I overcame my shy and reserved ways and emailed Charles Sablatura, President of the Chicky Tackle Company, makers of the lure, asking to try a few.

FullSizeRender-1Two days later a box of Rockport Rattlers in assorted colors and sizes arrived delivered by the U.S. Post Office and that afternoon, my neighbor and I went out to chase some pre-spawn crappie. We had fished several baits with no success when I tied on one of the lime-green rattling jig heads with its diamond cut eyes. I put on a matching chartreuse curly tail and on my second cast, I landed a fish. About five minutes later, I got another one!

We ended up catching fish on several lures, but the Rockport Rattler is now one of my go-to lures for sure. A few days later, I tried out both the lime green and the pink heads and ended up catching eight nice ones on the lure in about an hour.  It just looks good for starters and it obviously catches fish. I’m sure that it will be in the arsenal of many of the touring pros that come to our area lakes for Crappie Masters, so I’m making sure some of the crappie that like the way it looks will already have had a chance to bite one!

They also make some great looking bass lures, but the crappie won’t let me fish with them right now. They’ll have to stop biting before I chase any largemouths!rrCrappie Masters reminder:

Crappie Masters holds various activities other than tournaments in an effort to promote crappie fishing, tournament fishing and our outdoor way of life. That includes a kid’s fishing event at the D’Arbonne State Park on April 18, the day of the tournament. We will have more on that at a later date. You can learn more about the local Crappie Masters event and keep up with tournaments and results at http://www.crappiemasters.net

Weigh in will be at North Louisiana Fairgrounds 165 Fairground Rd, Ruston, LA 71270. Anglers will fish from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM and must be in line by 4:30 PM. The weigh in is open to the public. A free kids fishing rodeo will be held on Saturday, April 18 at Lake D’Arbonne State Park, 3628 Evergreen Rd, Farmerville, LA 71241. Kids will register from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM and will fish from 9-10:30 AM. All kids will receive a prize. Kids will need to bring their own poles and bait.

In case you are wondering, here’s out the payout for the event would go based on a field of 100 boats (PAYOUT: 20 places in cash plus 3 in prizes). Top 10:

  Top 10:

1st      $5,000.00
2nd    $3,000.00crappiemasterlogo
3rd     $2,000.00
4th     $1,500.00
5th     $1,200.00
6th     $1,000.00
7th     $   900.00
8th     $   800.00
9th     $   700.00
10th   $   600.00

Big fish would be $1,400.00
2nd big fish $600.00


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