“When it’s your day, it’s your day.”
That’s what Lake D’Arbonne fishing guide and tournament pro Nick Young said Saturday afternoon at the final weigh-in as he glanced at his partner and father Jock Young, both of Farmerville. Indeed, it was their day.
In fact, it was a $6,000 day as the local duo were crowned winners of the Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship on a windy, rainy, windy day. Yes, I said windy twice. And that still didn’t cover it. Their two-day total weight for back-to-back seven fish limits was 24.40 pounds.
“We made two big moves during the day and both of those paid off with big fish,” Nick said. “That was the advantage of being local today and knowing this lake in these conditions,” he said.
The Youngs hardly cracked a smile in the weigh-in line or as they held up fish for photos waiting for the final teams to weigh in, even though they were pretty sure they had it won. They didn’t even show much emotion holding up their championship trophies, but when they did their final interviews and both said there wasn’t anything better they could do fishing than win this as a father and son team, they both cracked some pretty big smiles. The Youngs have lived on D’Arbonne their entire lives and as Nick said. “We’ve invested a lot of hours on this lake.”
The biggest surprise of the day was when Young told the crowd how they caught the winning fish. We were following a trash line coming down the lake in a pretty tough current. The fish, which had been holding 12-20 feet deep had come up under the trash line and were caught only two feet deep. That’s amazing.
First Day leaders Ken Myers and Mark Taylor said they stuck with what they had been doing too long. They did not make any moves and it cost them.
“It just wasn’t our day,” he said. “But we learned from what we did. The wind just got us. We stayed up and battled four foot waves all day long. I did everything I know to keep the boat still, and we just couldn’t do it. And that kept us from getting the bite we needed. Myers and Taylor finished with 21.33 in 11th place.
Dustin Harris and Kelley Graham finished second in the tournament with 24.18 followed by Tommy Skarlis and Mike Baker in third with 23.46. Ronnie Turner and Jason Hinton were fourth with 22.88 and Tony and Mike Sheppard wee fifth with 22.18.
Seventy four teams fished the event and the average crappie caught weighed 1.38 pounds.
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While the tournament is over, the drama on Lake D’Arbonne is not. The water continues to rise, is over the lower levels of many boat docks and piers and is threatening low-lying homes and camps. The roads and ramps at Ramp Road and Stowe Creek are completely submerged and only half of the lot at Jake’s is out of the water. Several roads around the lake are submerged and have cut off access to homeowners. There is a ton of trash, including big logs floating in the lake, so use extreme caution if you are boating. Please be safe.
The lake is projected to crest Monday morning around 5 a.m. and start a slow fall late Monday night. There is also more rain coming next week which could prolong these conditions.