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Lake life

Two crappie tours to hit the ‘Bone

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Start saving your entry fee money, crappie anglers.  Lake D’Arbonne will be hosting two major national crappie tournament circuits in the spring of 2017. One is a household name, or should I saw boathousehold name around here. The other one is a new kid on the block. Both should be super tournaments! And both give local fishermen a chance to battle thump for thump with the best in the country.

The Louisiana State Championship Crappie Masters tournament will make it’s third annual trip to our 16,000 acre lake in Farmerville on February 24 & 25, according to Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. The lake should be back up and stabilized from this Fall’s drawdown and be ready to go for the event. Look for weights to be good this time of year and it will probably take a limit of near two pounders to win it, like earlier this year. This tour has  been good for Lake D’Arbonne and D’Arbonne has been good for the circuit, drawing fishermen from several different states. You can find Crappie Masters online on their web site and on Facebook.

D’Arbonne will also host one of five national tournaments on the newly formed American Crappie Trail on March 31- April 1. The fish will be moving out into shallow water for spawning for the most part by this time and if we don’t have an early spawn, it could take another big catch to win this one as well. This new tournament circuit is paying cash prizes and the winner will also receive a new Ranger fishing boat, according to tournament director Matt Morgan, a veteran of competitive fishing.

Other 2017 tournament stops for the American Crappie Trail include Granada Lake in Mississippi, Kentucky Lake, Sardis Lake in Mississippi and Truman Lake in Missouri. The group’s new website should be up and running by the end of this week for more information. They already have a Facebook page.

Both of these will be big events for our area and will have big economic impacts. It’s good to see fishing on the lake boosting our local and regional economy now more than ever. And even though they will be held during prime crappie season for local anglers, there should be no conflicts. It’s a big lake and it’s chocked full of crappie. These guys wouldn’t be coming here if it wasn’t.

Stay tuned. We’ll have more details as they become available. Thinking about early season crappie fishing almost makes me feel like maybe it’s getting a bit cooler outside!  Okay, nope. I checked. Not yet…

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