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Lake life

Whopper crappie, by Josh

So Friday morning at the blastoff of the ACT tournament on the Ouachita River, Josh Jones was the last boat to leave and, as he said, “we made a long run. A real long run”. Apparently a good move!

Hurricane Laura blows through. Half of northeast Louisiana is affected and thousands are without power and water. The American Crappie Trail goes on with their National Qualifier on the Ouachita River Friday. And the catch was amazing. No Joshin’.

Josh and Josh and Slabs X 4

No, I’m not Joshin’ — but the Day One leaders were. Renowned Oklahoma crappie guide Josh Jones and his Oklahoma partner Josh Reynolds caught a seven fish limit weighing 14.02 pounds, a two-pound average. Heck that is good in the spring during the spawn. But in the middle of summer and the day after the worst hurricane ever in north Louisiana? Their big one was a 2.31 pounder! That wasn’t even big fish. Scott Black’s 2.54 claimed big fish honors for the day. Can you say slab city?

What did the leaders say about the catch?

“Nothing”, the usually talkative Josh Jones said. At least not until tomorrow.

“I will tell you this. We ran a long way and we had an absolutely fun day. I don’t know whether we can get them to bite again Saturday, but I know we’ll be around big fish,” Josh told me later. “Has anybody ever caught a documented 14 pound bag on the river? Especially the day after a hurricane? I gotta tell you, it was fun.

It would be more fun to keep that lead. That’s because there’s a new fully rigged Ranger Boat and lots of cash on the line as the event wraps up Saturday at 2:30 at the Forsythe Boat Dock. The way the boats leave, Josh and Josh will be the first boat out Saturday. There are actually a dozen or more teams within striking distance, including local anglers Chris Fields and Jared Riser. They are in the running with 12.08 and Ken Myers and Mark Taylor are in tenth with 11.41 The list of Friday’s leaders is shown below.

Good luck to everybody. And be safe. The river can get a bit wild after a lot of rain and a lot of lower units have met their maker via floating cypress log in the rising river!

Fields and Riser with a 1.96 river slab

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