Terry and Cole Stewart are pretty good fishermen. But the father-son duo from the Jackson, Ms. area are even better dancers.
After coming in to the scales with seven crappie weighing 12.01 pounds to take the first-
day lead in the American Crappie Trail national tournament on the Ouachita River Friday, I spent 15 minutes talking to them about where they went, what kind of water they were fishing, what bait was working best, etc.
And they danced around every one of those questions with no more good information than you’d expect to get from a nightly CNN newscast. But with a new $27,000 Ranger fishing rig on the line for the winner in the 70-boat tournament, you wouldn’t expect much more.
At the end, I did get one bit of truth out of them. They are fishing somewhere north of the Forsythe Park weigh-in area in Monroe. The official tournament waters start at the I-20 bridge, so that eliminates about a half mile of the 60 miles of river system that is open all the way to the Felsenthal Lock and Dam.
“Seriously, I’ll gladly share anything we are doing with everybody tomorrow (Saturday) about 4 p.m.,” Terry said. “I just hope we are in a position to where you still want to talk to us about it tomorrow.” The Stewarts are originally from this area, but don’t regularly fish the Ouachita. But they obviously found something to their liking.
The Stewarts also caught the big fish of Day One, a 2.09 slab. It was caught on a, well, you have to wait until tomorrow.
The 318 guys (local to this zip code) in the tourney were paced by Stuart Baum and Steve Perotti in fifth place with 9.79 pounds anchored by a 2.06 slab. James and Chuck Morgan had seven fish at 9.33 for seventh place and Nick and Jock Young had seven fish at 8.80 for 13th. Several other local teams are in striking distance of finishing in the money, but have a lot of ground to make up on a river system that is being very stingy with its big old fish.
Following the Stewarts in the top 5 are some big names on the pro crappie fishing circuit, Tim Blackley and Paul Turner in second with 11.15; Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman in third with 10.50 and Kent Watson and Drew Morgan in fourth with 9.92.
Weigh-ins are usually aired live on Facebook, but approaching storm weather was interfering with the signals, so it was recorded and planned to be posted late Saturday afternoon.
Day One’s Top ten teams: