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Lake life

No vacation for the fish

 

Fishing has been on again, off again the last few weeks on D’Arbonne. Some good bass are being caught, mostly moving up into staging areas for the spawn. A few are already being caught shallow. The water is getting warmer, but not quite to spawning warm. Stay tuned.

Crappie seem to all still be in deep water and some days fishing is good, some it isn’t. We rode up and down the lake three hours the other day scanning areas and didn’t see more than a handful of fish in water that wasn’t at least 15 feet deep.  And the wind has been the big winner the past few days, proving once again that Mother Nature is in charge no matter how fancy our electronics, jig poles and crappie lures are.

But it’s about to get busy for the fish — and for our lake. Just about every local fishermen who has a chance will be on the lake the next month. We will also have lots of visitors coming in. Let’s treat them good and show them the UPside of UP (Union Parish). It’s a time when everybody has to show patience and be good sports. No fish is worth making a fool out of yourself (unless I lose a three pound crappie right by the boat and start throwing things, right?)

Here’s a rundown of some of the upcoming activities.

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Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship

Not many things have brought as much excitement to Lake D’Arbonne the past couple of decades more than our local tourism leaders bringing Crappie Masters to the area. And they’ll be back February 24 & 25 for the second annual Louisiana State Championship.

There will be lots of local and regional fishermen trying to parlay their home-lake knowledge into a pro payout and there will be anglers from seven or eight others states hitting the lake as part of their pro trail competition.

There are big payouts, lots of fun and hopefully, the lake will show out with some big pre-spawn slabs like it did last year. For more information, check out their website, http://www.crappiemasters.net/home/

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American Crappie Trail

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 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. Morgan is also the current Crappie Masters National Champion.

Other 2017 tournament stops for the American Crappie Trail include Granada Lake in Mississippi (March 10-11, 2017) , Kentucky Lake, Sardis Lake in Mississippi and Truman Lake in Missouri. The group’s website is http://www.americancrappietrail.com/

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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There’s one more BIG event that is a LITTLE bit more low-key, but always fun. For the third year in a row, a group of local and area crappie fishermen will serve as hosts for a group of Hunters for Heroes veterans on Lake D’Arbonne. The tournament will be held Saturday, March 25.

The past two years, it has been in conjunction with the Chamber’s King of King’s tournament, but that event has been discontinued. The veterans’ gathering will continue and be based out of the State Park once again. The details are still in the works for this new version of the tournament.

As Hunters for Heroes organizer Donnie Vocker says, “This is all about the veterans”. Amen to that

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