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Lake life

River will be a challenge

Fishermen will have plenty of time today to read all this, because they won’t be able to fish much today in the last day of practice for this week’s American Crappie Trail tournament on the Ouachita River out of Monroe’s Forsythe Boat Dock.

And that reading part is contingent on if they have electricity or not, I guess.

But here are a few facts about the tournament.
* The fishermen have been catching numbers and some huge crappie in practice this week, maybe as many and as big as I’ve ever heard of this time of year. It’s also the most closed-mouth group of fishermen I’ve ever heard of. Crappie? What crappie? Bait? What bait?
* Of course, after whatever happens weather wise Thursday happens, things will change some by the two days of competition, Friday and Saturday. Depending on how much rain we get, the river will rise and get some current, water in some places will get real muddy and a little bit deeper quick. Crappie as a general rule don’t like current, muddy water or depth changes, by the way.
* But hey, the fish will still be there. They don’t have anywhere else to go. And if anybody can get them to bite, some of these guys can. And fish can’t hide from LiveScope no matter how muddy the water is or how deep it was yesterday.
* And, yes, I expect the tournament to go on as scheduled. The caveat is that will happen unless weather causes some extensive infrastruture damage here or there is a lingering threat to safety of the fishermen. And there is still a fully rigged Ranger fishing boat and some pretty awesome cash prizes waiting for the winners among the 70 boats full of fishermen! One thing I’m sure of, tournament director Matt Morgan will put safety as the top priority.

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Good luck out there and be safe.

There’s a strong contingent of Team 318 anglers (fishermen living in the 318 area code). They include Chris Fields and Jared Riser, Shannon Porter and Jason Thomas, Steve Perotti and Stuart Baum, Travis Brown and Leslie Johnson, Charlie Fitzgerald and Dwain Elliott, Shane Walker and Daryl Williams, Heath Rogers and Lance Bilberry, Bobby Nola, Jr. and Bobby Nola, Ken Myers and Mark Taylor, Trey Underwood and Tucker Underwood, Dusty McGehee and John Harrison, and Dustin Taylor and Josh Passon.

The weigh-in will be held around 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Forsythe Boat Dock. If you don’t like wearing a mask because it’s an outdoor event, be respectful and aware of others by keeping social distancing in practice. It’s an unusual situation, but we’ll have people from multiple states and they only place everyone will gather is at the weigh-ins. They are fun to watch and you should consider coming, but be careful to keep COVID on the downhill slide by doing your part. You can be brave and smart at the same time.

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