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Lake life

The lowdown on Crappie Masters

In less than two weeks, the biggest crappie tournament to ever hit Louisiana will be held on Lake D’Arbonne as the two-day Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship is held February 26-27 out of D’Arbonne Pointe.

One thing’s for sure, this year’s Crappie Masters tournament on D’Arbonne will have a new champion. Last year’s winners, John Godwin & Jay Stone of Duck Commander (and now Fin Commander) fame, won’t be able to fish because of previous commitments.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 8.17.11 PMHere’s some more scoop: It will take 12-14 pounds a day (7-fish limit per team per day) to win the tournament. There will be lots of two pound-PLUS fish. The three top patterns will be long lining, spider rigging and sitting on brush piles along the channel with either jigs or drop-shot-rigged minnows. The winning jig colors will be bluegrass, black/chartreuse and solid chartreuse with orange or pink heads. And some of the better fish will not be caught on the channel. The water is warmer this time of year than you think. Some of the fish will be on the move heading to the shallows.

How do I know all that?

One of last year’s champs, Godwin, told me so. I’m not one to argue with a man who totally understands the worth of a ham samich and mustard-fried crappie filets! Fishing should be great, barring any crazy weather changes. As Godwin says, the fishing at this year’s event should be “funner than chuckin’ rocks at a sign”.

Okay, Godwin doesn’t have a crystal ball, but his crappie knowledge and familiarity with the lake makes him a good one to get predictions from. It won’t be long until we know how close he comes. Thanks for your for the predictions for lakedarbonnelife.com readers!

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Meanwhile, back at the boat dock…it’s going to be a really busy couple of weeks. Crappie anglers from all over the south have been hitting the lake and the CM contestants are getting geared up to practice hard the week before the tournament.

Add that to the regular spring crappie fishermen and bass anglers and it’s going to be busy out there.  Please, please, please keep safety in mind all the time and bring your patience. And let’s welcome these visitors to the lake and respect what they are trying to do.

Local businesses are gearing up for the big couple of weeks as well. The Union Parish Tourist Commission, Union Chamber and Lincoln Tourist Commission put up the money to bring this nationally-respected organization to the lake and the economic return on that investment will be great. And one more note: most of these tournaments are won by the local fishermen. It isn’t just for touring pros — it’s for everybody who thinks they can catch seven good crappie two days in a row!

One of the side benefits of the tournament is an event for kids. You can see more information about that above.

And for more information on the tournament, go to



Jerry McCready of Crappieholics and Brannon Lee White of TaterBugs show some of the new stock here in town  just in time for the tournament.




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