“There are a lot of fishermen who can catch more crappie than I can, but there aren’t any that love it any more than I do.”
That became apparent as Sam put his foot on the trolling motor pedal and headed his aluminum Bass Tracker into the wind trying to hold us over a school of crappie that were roaming around about 18 feet below the boat in the old D’Arbonne channel.
“We are going to find ‘em here in a few minutes,” he promised.
After a couple of hits and misses, he finally hooked on to a pound and a half crappie. In a minute, I had one. Before the morning was over, we caught a great mess of fish. We kept the good ones and let the others go and grow. The fish are hit or miss right now. We had a hit. But they haven’t bunched up for the fall and hit a constant pattern just yet. Tuesday’s weather will no doubt set them back a few days, but the bite will be back.
Sam, a West Monroe resident and member of First West, is one of many regular crappie fishermen on Lake D’Arbonne, the Ouachita River and other area lakes. You might say he’s a crappie Paladin: “Have jigs, will travel”.
“I fish in a lot of areas, but I have a passion for Lake D’Arbonne,” he says. “It’s one of the best lakes in the country.”
The West Monroe native has a passion for something else. He not only seeks crappie, he’s a Seeker of Men. And that’s the name of his Facebook page where he tries to mix his love of crappie with the love of the Lord.
“I just want to be able to reach people and if it’s through fishing, then that’s how I need to do it,” he says. “Because of that, I don’t mind sharing information and helping people find out how to catch fish. But we take care of sharing more important information too — how to have a relationship with God.”
One of Sam’s favorite stories was the day a game warden pulled alongside and checked out his catch and asked him if he had a fishing license. When he finished complying, he said, “Now it’s my turn. I want to ask you something. Are you a Christian? The warden was a bit surprised, but they had a nice conversation. A couple of months later, the warden ran into Sam’s preacher and told him of running into one of his church members on the lake. “That must have been Sam,” the preacher said. No doubt.
Sam’s relationships with the crappie and the Lord are strong. I’ve shared the boat with a lot of folks over the past 40-plus years and none was more pleasant than joining Sam’s Club! Check him out on You Tube, Seekers of Men Facebook page or his website, Seekersofmen.com
And if see him fishing the lake, say hello. He’d love to get to meet you and he’ll be glad to share a few fishing tips.