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Lake life

Crappie Masters “Masters”

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Casey Rayner and Terry Richard

The best of the best from the Crappie Masters pro crappie trail are converging on a series of Mississippi lakes this week to determine who the Masters of the Masters are!  The top anglers from this year’s trail are fishing Friday and Saturday for the coveted National Championship title on lakes Washington, Lee, Paradise, Ferguson, Whittington & Chicot.

The Renewable Fuels team of Terry Richard and Casey Rayner of West Monroe that are defending champions of the Lake D’Arbonne Louisiana State Championship will be there. They ended their first year as a sponsored team with a top ten finish on the tour. They hit the lake early for practice and reported some pretty good luck catching fish, but not a lot of large ones. Fish over a pound and a quarter are NOT the norm so far in practice. Terry and Casey (R&R Heating and Cooling) are also sponsors of this page, so if you enjoy reading lakedarbonnelife.com, make sure and tell them thanks.Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 9.53.18 AM

I also spoke with James Morgan of Farmerville and he reported the same thing. James will be manning a table at the Sponsors Showcase for the Union Parish Tourist Commission, promoting the area for visitors (See the end of this writeup for an interesting fish story from James….). In fact, he caught two crappie while we were talking on the phone. One is pictured here. James will be fishing with his son Chuck from Natchitoches. If he has trouble catching fish Friday, he’s going to text me and everytime I call him, he’ll catch a couple…

Fishing will apparently be a bit tough, but expect somebody to come in with a two-day limit (7 fish per day) of close to 20 pounds to win it.  Others that we know of fishing from our area include:

–  Ken Myers and Mark Taylor – Downsville
–  Jason Thomas and Scotty Johnson – Monroe
–  Mark Theodus and Wes Barmore – Ruston
–  Ricky Brister – Oak Grove
–  Neal Pace and Maureen Cox – Farmerville
–  Travis Brown and Terry Brown – originally from Farmerville

If you plan on going to watch, the weigh-ins will be held in Downtown Greenville on South Walnut Street. Fishing hours are from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. with fishermen having to weigh in by 4:30 both days.


All the info on the tournament is available right here:   https://www.crappiemasters.net/home/2014-bass-pro-shops-crappie-masters-tournament-schedule/tournament-details/417-sept-28-oct-1-2016-national-championship-grenada-lake-ms

We will have a recap of the tournament next week in lakedarbonnelife.com You can follow the activities of this weekend on Crappie Masters Facebook page:


Of course,

we have BONUS fishing stories, already

The first day James Morgan launched his boat on Lake Lee this week to practice for Crappie Masters, he had a scary experience with a big fish. James recently downsized to a stick steering boat and was idling along about four miles an hour through an area he thought would hold some fish. He was totally focused on looking down at his electronics, searching for structure and fish.

All of a sudden, he heard a commotion and his boat took off at almost full speed right toward the bank. He managed to react quickly, grab the boat’s throttle and slow it down. A split second later, he knew what had happened. This Mississippi River lakes are loaded with giant Asian Carp. One had jumped up in the air, into his boat and landed right on the throttle and pushed it forward, giving the boat the gas!  By the time James could get everything under control, the big nasty fish had slimed and bloodied up his new boat from front to back.

Turns out it isn’t always a good thing when the fish are “jumping in the boat”…

Wait, it gets better.  Crappie Masters President Mike Valentine had a similar experience, but less scary. He was fishing along trying to catch some fish and check on competitor’s who were on the lake.

All of a sudden, a pound and a half crappie jumped out of the water and landed right in front of the driver’s seat. He posted it on Facebook and fisherman Garret Steele immediately reminded him that he could not keep that fish in the tournament because the rules state the fish has to be hooked in the mouth.

Mike didn’t comment, but I bet he also knows there is no rule against keeping that fish for supper… Here’s Mike with his “catch”…

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And in case you are having any doubts, of course, sure, you can believe these stories. They are told by fishermen, you know.






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