Crappie University wraps up its fourth and final session tonight with a two-hour presentation from Farmerville resident and veteran fisherman Steve Danna. If he has any voice left, that is. Danna spent the past two weekends giving four seminars at Bass Pro in Shreveport and Denham Springs. Tonight he hits the
stage in Bossier City in front of 240+ crappie fishermen who are about to graduate from the first ever Crappie University in Louisiana.
Danna’s presentation is titled “Kidnapped by Crappie” pointing out how he got hooked on chasing the fish and how he likes to catch them. He will also cover how to follow and find the fish during all four seasons of the year. Danna is sponsored by War Eagle, B’n’M poles, Evinrude, Atlas Jack Plates, Lowrance, Bonehead tackle, Power Pole and Ludwig Marine. You can learn lots from what Steve has said in these type seminars by going to the search bar on this site, typing in his name and checking out the series on his crappie presentations at the Union Parish Library.
Last week’s instructor was Gary Dollahon of Tulsa, OK. Here are a few highlights of Gary Dollahon’s talk last week. Dollahon, who represents Crappie University title sponsor Bobby Garland Lures, speaks at Crappie University all around the country. I’m also glad to say that Gary brought us a bit of good news — Bobby Garland Lures is our newest sponsor/advertiser on lakedarbonnelife.com !!
There are dozens of choices of colors when it comes to plastic lures for crappie. In his presentation, Gary said the three most popular Bobby Garland crappie lure colors are Monkey Milk, Blue Ice and Electric Chicken. Nobody around here would argue that. Here’s something I have never heard, though. He said that in extensive scientific studies involving underwater divers and cameras looking at various lures, Electric Chicken shows up underwater looking more natural gray like a live baitfish than any other color.
Watching for “fish signs” was also one of the highlights of his presentation. Not the kind of signs that say “fishing biting here”, but subtle signs in nature. He said always watch for those signs even before you get to the lake. Watch for cloud cover, temperatures, wind directions and velocity. Plan your trip, how you will fish and where on the lake according to the conditions you will be fishing in.
Then, when you are on the lake, look for activity. If the wildlife is moving around and being active, the fish will be more active. If you don’t see any natural activity, then you have to slow down your presentation and fish closer to cover. The fish probably aren’t going to come to you like they would when actively feeding. One of his best tips is to watch for birds. If you see a group of birds sitting in a tree or on the water, you can bet they are there for a reason. They are close to something to eat. Those same baitfish that attract them attract the feeding crappie.
Dollahon also talked about a relatively new technique for fishing in the south — dock shooting. Dock shooting works when the water warms up and the fish move off the beds, but not back to deep water. They will stage under docks in the shade and you can “dock shoot” your lure back under the cover and catch crappie that normally don’t get much pressure. There is even a new plastic tail called the Bobby Garland Dock Shooter just for these applications. On lakes like D’Arbonne and Claiborne with so many boat docks, this could be a good thing to learn. You can learn more about that by watching this video: