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Lake life

Rolling on the river…

Crappie Masters on the Ouachita.

It’s happening this time. The big crappie tournament circuit will finally get rolling on the river next month! After originally being scheduled for May 1&2 Crappie Masters National Qualifier was postponed due to the Covid, it was rescheduled for June. But then that got postponed, too. But Mike Valentine of Crappie Masters says it is now rescheduled for July 17-18 and “it’s on”.

That’s good news for the local economy in Monroe-West Monroe and for local and area fishermen. The qualifier is a big fish, but the really big “fish” of the circuit is coming back to the Ouachita on September 23-26 when the CM National Championship hits the river. Thats on, too! In case you haven’t noticed, the Ouachita River is becoming one of the new “in” spots for professional crappie tournaments in our area.

“These are both going to be big tournaments and it should really fire up the local anglers to fish enough of the remaining events to qualify for the nationals. In fact, you could make the nationals just with a top 20 finish in the July 17-18 event. It’s unusual for sure, but with the shorter schedule and the availability of north and south Louisiana events, locals have never had as good a shot at making the nationals as this year,” Valentine told lakedarbonnelife.com this week.

“It’s not something we want to do, having our last regular season tournament and then the nationals immediately following on the same body of water, but if we had to do it, the Ouachita is a great place to do it.
I think people are going to be surprised at the number and the quality of fish on the river. It’s kind of cool to showcase that in the heat of summer. Some people don’t think crappie bite in the summer, but trust me, they do. They’ll even be more healthy in the September event, so weights should even climb a bit there. We are looking forward to being on the river.”

Valentine said it’s really been unusual trying to catch the tour up to speed with the health scare, but they did what they had to do. Tournaments still have to follow guidelines for social distancing, but that is not a real stretch. Obviously it’s no issue on the water and adjustments are made at the weigh-ins to keep everybody safe.

For all the latest on the tournaments and Crappie Masters, check out Crappie Masters on Facebook.

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