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Lake life

Crappie fishermen start to school

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Everybody knows that fish run in schools, but did you know fishermen can also? Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) is offering a continuing education course with a new hook, literally, for anyone interested in crappie fishing.

Crappie University is taught by a team of expert crappie fishing instructors from several states . The 8-hour course includes four 2-hour night classes and costs $89 per person. The enrollment fee covers all course materials, including samples of crappie lures and jig heads. This will be the second straight year for CU in Bossier. Four new instructors will head up this year’s CU classes. Last year’s four-night sessions drew more than 200 people, from beginners to professionals.

The BPCC Crappie University begins on Thursday, Jan. 25, and then continues on the Thursday night dates of Feb. 1, 8 and 15. Class times are 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., and all four classes will be held at the Margaritaville Resort Casino Theatre in Bossier City, La. With it’s raised stage, big screen projection system and theater type seating, it’s an awesome venue for learning how to be a better crappie fisherman.

Bobby Garland Crappie Baits returns again as the presenting sponsor of the educational program for the 2018 season.

Crappie fishing is no longer just a cane pole and bobber sport, and the pursuit of this sport fish has never been more popular. Across the country, the crappie is gaining on bass as the number one sport fish. Crappie University is not a seminar, it’s an accelerated course in the strategies and techniques for becoming a better crappie angler. The instructors are the best-of-the-best on their respective topics.

Four new instructors will head up this year’s CU classes. The excellent lineup includes successful tournament angler Ken Myers of Ruston talking about spider rigging on a budget; crappie guide Brad Chappell of Mississippi covering long lining to learn a lake’s best spots; Oklahoma’s crappie guide Todd Huckabee covering debunking Common Crappie Myths”; and Texas native and TV personality Barry Stokes presenting “Catching Crappies on First Trips to New Waters”.

To enroll in the 2017 Crappie University at the Margaritaville Resort Casino Theatre in Bossier City, call the campus at 318-678-6015. Angler profiles are listed below.

This year Crappie University goes statewide. There will also be sessions in Lake Charles and Lafayette. Local experts John Godwin and Steve Danna will be visiting “professors” at those two sessions. For more information about Crappie University, visit http://www.CrappieUniversity.com.

Angler Profiles:

Jan. 25 – Ken Myers “Spider Rigging Simplified and On Budget”
Ken Myers is a Louisiana native and lifetime angler who lives in Choudrant, LA. He’s an accomplished crappie tournament competitor with two Top 10 finishes along the Crappie Masters and American Crappie Trails in 2017, and qualifying for national championships in both. He also has won multiple regional events. Myers relies heavily on the technique called “spider rigging,” having refined his approach from a combination of what he’s learned from other experts across the country with his own experiences. He said every crappie angler should know how to spider rig and can do so without going overboard in gearing up for it.

Feb. 1 – Brad Chappell “Long Lining to Learn a Lake’s Best Spots and Catch Them While Doing So”
Brad Chappell is a crappie guide from Ridgeland, MS, who frequents the framed waters of the area in search of giant slabs, especially spending countless hours on nearby Lake Washington. He specializes in long line trolling because he likes the technique to locate and catch active fish while also surveying a lake to learn it and discover its most productive areas while doing so. He says long lining is especially effective when fish are suspended, like they often get in the hot months of summer. Chappell is an expert with electronics and can often “read” fish moods by what he’s seeing. He’s versatile in all techniques and also competes along the crappie tournament trails.

Feb. 8 – Todd Huckabee “Debunking Common Crappie Myths”
Living and guiding full time for years on Oklahoma’s famed crappie lake, Lake Eufaula, Huckabee is one of the country’s most noted authorities on the species. His knowledge comes from spending countless days on the water throughout all seasons of the year. He’s fished many of the finest crappie waters in the country, and now also guides on Oklahoma’s Ft. Gibson Lake and Arkansas’ Lake Millwood. He’s an expert at finding and catching crappies regardless of the conditions. He’s featured frequently in national magazines and on national TV shows.

Feb. 15 – Barry Stokes  “Catching Crappies on First Trips to New Waters”
Barry Stokes is a native Texan who has been fishing since his dad taught him at age 5. Stokes is the former host of “Outdoor Trails,” one of the longest running shows in the history of televised fishing, and “Southwest Outdoors” radio on WBAP in Texas.  In 2003, he started his popular “Fox Sports Southwest” television show with its news-style format that provides weekly fishing news and reports for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. In recent years, the show has expanded under the name Fox Sports Outdoors. He is an avid crappie angler who enjoys visiting and fishing new waters on a frequent basis. To do so and get a TV show during his frequent first-time, single day outing, he must be able to find and catch fish in short order. He has a proven menu of things he does for success and the willingness to share it.

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