I get to do a lot of really fun things related to fishing, hunting and the outdoors. One of the most enjoyable things I have done recently didn’t involve setting the hook or pulling the trigger. It was all about talking and listening – about crappie fishing.
I know, I know…I talk better than I listen. But Wednesday night I finished a tour of serving as the Masters of Ceremonies for three fun and fact filled Crappie University opening sessions in Louisiana. The opening nights of Crappie University in Bossier City, Lafayette and Lake Charles were big successes. In fact, it’s not too late to sign up for one of the continuing education courses if you are in one of those areas, even though you’ve missed a session. The classes consist of four two-hour sessions at each school site. If you are interested, just check the online sites for continuing education at Bossier Parish Community College, University of Louisiana – Lafayette or SOWELA Technical College in Lake Charles.
But back to fishing, or talking about it anyway.
You know fishermen are hungry for knowledge when they come up to me and start asking questions, but no, I wasn’t one of the speakers. My job is just to facilitate the events, check out logistics, introduce the speakers and keep the audience awake with bad jokes like
“What kind of music should you listen to when you are fishing?” You know. Something catchy…
Hey, and after that, they know everything else is going to be better! I do often get to answer some of the easy questions. You know, like “what’s the difference between a shiner and a jig“…
The events have a real D’Arbonne flair no matter where they are held. Ken Myers of Choudrant was the opening night speaker in Bossier City. Steve Danna of Farmerville was the opening instructor in the other two locations and John Godwin will be the instructor at the last sessions in Lake Charles and Lafayette. Gary Dollahan with Bobby Garland Lures coordinates setting these up in 11 states at 17 sites. Bobby Garland is the title sponsor of the events. Other sponsors are Lew’s, Crappie.com, G-3 Boats, Crappie Pro and American Angler.
There’s no way to share much from the two-hour sessions in this small space, but I can tell you this. Ken Myers only had to say two words to start his presentation to prove that crappie fishermen are in the know and up on current events.
“Dilly Dilly,” Myers walked up to the microphone and said.
“Dilly Dilly,” replied at least 80 percent of the Bossier City crowd! Now that’s funny.
Ok, now on to fishing.
Myers concentrated mostly on spider rigging in his presentation. We’ll have more on that later. But he had two hours chocked full of tips and techniques. And he ended with a slide that gave some simple suggestions for fishermen to learn more about catching crappie. Here it is:
Steve Danna, who presented last year in Bossier, also did an information packed presentation for the south Louisiana crowds. Being from north Louisiana, he made sure to let folks know quickly that a crappie is a crappie, no matter where he lives in the state. Of course, in opening remarks, I did have to call it “Sac-A-Lait University” to make sure the crowds knew what we were talking about (Thomas Sevin, you would be proud!).
Steve’s presentation covered a multitude of techniques, but focused on spring fishing, especially around cypress trees. Now that’s something common to almost any Louisiana body of water. He talked about how to fish trues, what lures to use and the most important fact – fish trees thoroughly. Don’t just drop the jig or shiner by the tree once and then move on. Work the whole tree.
Here’s an interesting observation from the two south Louisiana sessions, especially the Lake Charles event. There, nearly half of the attendees were ladies, most attending with their spouses!
Crappie University is the real deal. If you get a chance to attend one, it’s worth the $89.
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Right here in the hotbed of Louisiana crappie fishing in northeast Louisiana, we don’t have a Crappie University nor any plans for one. The national organization reached out to ULM and Louisiana Delta Community College, but there was no interest. If you know someone involved with continuing education at those two spots, you might want to clue them in on what a great deal this could be around here.
Hopefully somebody can get one scheduled in the near future because they are super events and bring a lot of attention to the areas that hold them. And as far as economic impact? Here’s one example. I went across the street to Bass Pro last year the day after the first seminar in Bossier. The speaker talked about Garland’s new Itty Bit crappie lure, dock shooting tabs and two other types of jigs in his presentation. Next morning by noon, there was an eight-foot section of near empty shelves that had been full the day before. Participants had bought nearly every one of them, plus a lot more stuff. Many spent the night, ate out there, bought gas…your basic Economics 101.