Okay, crappie anglers. It’s time to check your hooks, line and sinkers. And, oh yes, your bilge pumps.
American Crappie Trail tournament director isn’t surprised at anything these days. Driving down to Louisiana to put on this week’s ACT National Qualifier on the Ouachita River Friday and Saturday, Morgan is seeing at least one new thing, though.
“We’ve fished in the remnants of a hurricane before, but never two at the same time,” he said. “I mean, we’ve had some crazy things happen. We even had a baby born at one of our weigh-ins. That was interesting.”
The Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the event, one of three big national pro crappie tournaments being held on the River here this year.
Morgan and the 70+ boats of fishermen who have signed up for the big event out of the Forsythe Boat Dock in Monroe are hoping that by the actual competition days the weather will mostly be gone. It looks like now that Wednesday night, possibly Thursday, will be the worst of it here. The team of Marco and Paula did not officially register for the event and hopefully they won’t show up very long. Morgan did say he’s pleased with the turnout and several new faces from Arkansas and Texas are joining the tournament this week. There’s also a good group of local/area anglers tossing their jig in the ring. None of them, including the weatherfolks really know what will happen at this point.
“But they don’t really know from day to day with one of these things,” he said. “We are going ahead as scheduled and if we need to make any adjustments, we’ll do that Thursday night when we get everybody registered.”
The river has been off limits for weeks and anglers can hit it again Monday morning 30 minutes before daylight to begin practicing. Practicing the next couple of days will be key, but even more key is the ability to adjust after whatever happens happens later in the week.
“The biggest thing with a river system like this is we hope it doesn’t get pounded by rain, which causes it to rise and muddy up,” Morgan said. “That could make fishing pretty tough. The main thing guys will be looking for is the creeks and lakes that won’t muddy up and will keep their water quality. That kind of plays to the locals, because they are more likely to know what to do if there is a big change from early in the week into the tournament.”