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Lake life

ACT Championship on deck

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Matt Morgan

The big $50,000 crappie rigs, the multi-colored jerseys of pro crappie anglers from around the country and numerous eight-pole spider rigs have pretty much disappeared from Lake D’Arbonne this time of yer, following a rush of organized crappie chasing activity earlier this year. But crappie fishing is still the big dog on Lake D’Arbonne. Never doubt that. And they’ll be back!

A few states away, on Oct. 18-21 on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, this pro crappie season will pretty much draw to a close, especially as far as surface activity of interest to our area. But man, there’s a lot more to come.

The new kid on the block in competitive crappie fishing, the American Crappie Trail

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Danna and Morris

will hold it’s Championship tournament, as mentioned above. The National Championship and the Angler Team of the Year race will be decided in the confines of the upcoming Championship. That’s a unique and exciting part of the ACT.

Two anglers, Steve Danna and Terry Morris of Farmerville, will represent this area. I hate that there aren’t more, but a lot of capable crappie anglers took a wait and see approach to ACT this year. I don’t think they will next year. Especially with a regular tournament on the Ouachita River and the tour’s “2018 Championship” actually set for the spring on 2019 on Lake D’Arbonne.

Payout for the Lucas Oil American Crappie Trail Championship presented by Mid-State Seed is shown at the bottom of this writeup. Top 100 Qualifying Teams are fishing for over $120,000 in cash & prizes! You can watch the weigh in Oct 20-21 right on the ACT Facebook page to see who wins the inaugural ACT Championship and who is crowned the B’n”‘M Poles Angler Team of the Year!

In the meantime, we got to spend some time with Matt Morgan, the man behind the ACT, last week. We share his most recent thoughts today and in another part of this series Thursday.

“Right now, we are just celebrating the success of the first year of the American Crappie Trail and the fact act we’ve offered crappie anglers around the country a chance to win more than $250,000 in cash and Ranger Boats over five tournaments,” Morgan said. “I’m super excited about the upcoming championship. And we are just still trying to spread the word and get ready for bigger and better things in 2018.”

Those better things in 2018 include the Ouachita River event next summer. If that doesn’t thump the jig of area crappie fishermen, nothing will. At the end of the regular 2018 season, ACT will come back in the spring of 2019 for a three-day National Championship on Lake D’Arbonne. The only way to get there is to qualify through the regular season trail, as outlined below. Thump again.

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Developing this tour hasn’t come without a price. Not for the pro crappie anglers, but for Matt himself.

“It’s absolutely pitiful, but I don’t think I’ve fished a whole day since May,” Matt, a former national championship crappie fisherman himself, said. “It’s been nose to the grindstone doing this, but it’s worth it. This is the most exciting thing I’ve done in fishing. I’m passionate about it because this is my sport. We are doing things the professional way and a lot of things go on behind the curtain to make that happen. We aren’t wavering from our rules, our off-limits periods, our qualifications or our prize money. Neither are our sponsors.”

Morgan says one of the things that makes ACT stand out for fishermen besides the prize money is the fact that a five-tournament season allows them to fish hard and still have time for their family and work life.

One bonus to areas hosting ACT tournaments is the fact that ACT Crappie Trail TV will be coming out next spring. The show will promote fishing on Lake D’Arbonne and on the Ouachita River next year. It will air on the Pursuit Channel, shown on Fox Sports South to 60 million households.

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Next up on lakedarbonnelife.com:  A unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


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