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Lake life

Morgan gives ACT update

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Matt Morgan, left, smiles as Farmerville Mayor Stein Baughman shows off two slabs at ACT Media Day on D’Arbonne earlier this year.

Announcing the 2018 American Crappie Trail and National Championship on Wednesday night was the culmination of years of work for Matt Morgan and his fellow developers of the ACT.  In case you misssed it, there will be an ACT regular season event next summer on the Ouachita River out of Monroe and the National Championship for the year will be in the spring of 2019 on Lake D’Arbonne.

This region will have a major impact on the tour next year. Pretty awesome.

We were able to catch up with Matt Thursday to bring the readers of lakedarbonnelife.com an update on the tour. In between finishing a week at the major industry fishing show in the land — ICast — last week in Orlando, Fla., and getting the circuit’s future plans officially announced, it’s been a wild few weeks for the top ACT man. But he always finds time to talk fishing and especially the ACT.

“ACT is heading down the homestretch in our first year and I feel pretty good about the whole circuit,” Morgan told us. “I am one of the those guys that is always looking to be better and improve on what we have.  Some of the highs so far include being recognized as trying to bring conservation into the sport of crappie fishing.  It’s also pretty nice being one of the most professional trails in the business and actually having lakes and Convention & Visitor’s Bureaus contact us for future events.  The weigh-in at Sardis was a GRAND SLAM! All the teams really felt empowered at that event!”

Matt feels that one of the steps he and ACT have taken to even the playing field is really paying off. That is having anglers register early and setting an off-limits period before tournaments on the lakes. “The most successful thing so far for us is actually having teams signed up before practice starts! Also, having an off limits period for a more level playing field is important. Those are two big ones,” Morgan says.

The new idea of a spring Championship following the annual tour has also been a high spot for him.

“I have had so much positive response about the 2018 Championship on D’Arbonne,” he said. “The anglers are stoked to be fishing in the spring of the year for a championship! Also, having a 3 day event with a cut after day 1 and 2 is a real hit!”

Matt has also had good feedback on the tour. It hasn’t been easy to get started, but he feels the best is yet to come for sure.

“Angler feedback is 99.9% A+++”, he said. “Without a doubt there will be growth next year.  Crappie Fishermen are fickle! They want to see what you are doing and see that you do what you say! We have delivered on that at each and every event! Our goal is 100% transparency and that’s what we are doing.”

The circuits main sponsors will continue to be Lucas Oil, General Tire, Ranger Boats, Martin Metal, Mid-State Seed, Super Clean, Rockport Rattler, Bobby Garland, Mid South, Road Runner, Lowrance, and Charlie Brewer Slider. Expect that list to grow.

“Louisiana is going to have a big play in 2018,” Matt says. “Everyone needs to get ready as a championship berth will have to be earned.  There are going to be some close tournaments in proximity to North Central Louisiana.  We also have some innovative things in store for 2018.  Everyone needs to be on the lookout as we are going to try and grow the sport of crappie fishing.  Wherever you fish, come give an ACT event a try you won’t be disappointed in the experience!”

The growth of professional crappie fishing is exciting for anglers all over the country. Nowhere is that more true than right here in Lake D’Arbonne Country. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for crappie fishermen in the entire region. Buckle up your life vest. Get that tackle box stocked.  And hold on…

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