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Lake life

Myers, Taylor slip ahead of Mother Nature


Taylor, left, and Myers with four of their slabs

Just to make one thing clear, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. So the fishermen in the Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship Day One competition on Lake D’Arbonne just kind of tip-toed around the troubles she’s thrown at crappie fishing all week.

It paid off for Ruston fishermen Kenny the Crusher Myers and Mark Taylor. They brought a limit of seven fish weighing 13.29 pounds to the scales. Dilly Dilly. They grabbed a narrow lead over Tommy Skarlis and Mike Baker with 13.20 pounds.

You want to know where, how and why they caught them? Good luck with that. Ask again tomorrow, when the winners of the almost $40,000 in cash and prizes have been settled.

“I can tell you this much,” Myers said. “We were battling current all day. And we’ll be battling it again tomorrow. You want more? Be here this time tomorrow.”

Well thanks, Kenny. That narrows it down to somewhere in Union Parish or Lincoln Parish. Of course, you can understand why the fishermen are more tight lipped than a crappie after a cold front. There’s a lot on the line here. Myers did say that they took a unique approach to the tournament. They did not practice much, but went to a spot they knew fish would be in based on past experience with this situation. Myers and Taylor said they felt that they could come up with the same weight again Saturday in the final day unless something unusual happens, like the current getting even stronger.

Locals fared well in the tight competition on Day One. Nick and Jock Young were third with 12.78; Shannon Porter and Trey Underwood were fourth with 12.65 and Ronnie Turner and Jason Hinton were fifth with 12.41.

The second place team wasn’t sure about tomorrow. “We are just blessed to be here and happy with where we were today,” said Skarlis. “I don’t know if we can do that or not. It will be up to Mother Nature and the wind.”

Locals Tim Elrod and Gary Davis had second big fish at 2.62. Michael Kimble and Jeremy Davis had the big slab at 2.82.  Defending champs Paul and Elizabeth Turner are in ninth with 12.10.

Total Results from Day One are listed at the bottom of this writeup.

A couple of observations. First of all, successful practice didn’t necessarily mean successful fishing on Day One. Some of the best lake fishermen, like Jason Thomas and  partner Scotty Johnson and J.C. Morgan and partner/ son Chuck, had been catching stringers that would have neared the leaders on Day One, but the same fish just wouldn’t bite today. That was true for lots of the fishermen.

Now, back to Mother Nature. There may not be another lake in America that could undergo the foul conditions that are being thrown at D’Arbonne and still produce this kind of fish.  Next, the temperature and the water level — and the chance of wind and rain increases significantly as the day goes on tomorrow. Here’s a look at that as well.  And if you want to make the weigh-in, be at D’Arbonne Point on the ‘Bone by 3:30 tomorrow and let’s see.  But bring an umbrella and please don’t crack any jokes about the lady in charge.

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Day 2 on Lake D’Arbonne for the Louisiana State Championship will go Facebook Live on Crappie Masters page around 3:30pm Central to see who will be leading.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Local sponsors for the tournament include the Union Parish Tourist Commission, Union Parish Chamber of Commerce, Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB, D’Arbonne Pointe, Fairfield Inn and Suites, D’Arbonne Lake Motel, Lake D’Arbonne State Park, Z 107.5, D’Arbonne Sporting Goods, D’Arbonne Lake Guide Service, and D’Arbonne Diner.

Special thanks to National Sponsors that include: B’n’M Poles, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Ozark Rods, Mercury Motors, Power-Pole, Jenko Fishing, Millennium Marine, Off Shore Tackle, Navionics, Spike-It, On This Side Catering, American Angler, Tite-Lok Rod Holders, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, Honey Hole Outdoors, Crappie Now, Crappieholic, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company, Marine Metal Products, Valley Fashions, Grizzly Jig Company, Everharts Outdoor Store, ProBuilt Jigs, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Crazy Angler, Skipper’s Jigs, Denali Rods, Foxy Fishing Gear, HH Rods, Rod Safe, Crappie.com, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.

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