The Ouachita River crappie continue to show off. After a hurricane a month ago and a tropical storm this week that dumped 10 inches of rain on some areas of the river plus Lake D’Arbonne being drained down the river, who would have thought crappie anglers could catch a seven-fish stringer weighing more than 14 pounds.
Well, four teams did. And another eight teams caught over 13 pounds.
So it wasn’t just the fish showing off. It was the fishermen, too. And topping the list on Day One was a familiar name, Oklahoma angler Robert Carlisle. Carlisle had seven fish weighing 14.62 plunds including a 2.61. Larry and Dalton Gorham weighed 14.51, Eric Cagle weighed 14.32 and locals Chris Fields and Jared Riser weighed 14.19. Another local team, Heath Rogers and Lance Bilberry finished out the top five with 13.87. Carlisle won another pro tournament on the river last month with 27.97 pounds and Fields and Riser finished second.
Another Oklahoma angler could have had the lead on Day One, but he had a 2.51 pound slab die before he was checked in line. That was Josh Jones, who had to end up weighing six fish at 12.57 which left him in 16th place. Fish must be alive when checked in. Several anglers had trouble keeping their fish alive. Even though water temps had cooled a bit, many caught fish really early and had to make long boat rides in to the weigh-in.
The winner of the tournament takes home $30,000 and in Carlisle’s case, it could be a lot more. He’s also leading the Angler of the Year race with carries another prize of more than $10,000 in cash. Overall, $130,000 in cash and prizes are on the line.
“Sometimes it’s not good to be in first on Friday because that puts a lot of pressure on you to stay in first on Saturday,” Carlisle said. “I’d rather be in second, but I won’t complain about it for sure.”
Final weigh-in will be Saturday starting around 3:30 at Forsythe Park in Monroe. Anglers must be in line by 4:30 to weigh in. The top ten from today will be held up until last to weigh-in.
Here’s a look at the day one leader board:
You can watch the final portion of the weigh-in live on Facebook tomorrow if you can’t attend.