Anthony Griffith of Bastrop was one of the folks that was really excited to see Bussey Brake Reservoir open back up to the public last year. It’s just 10 minutes from his house and he loves to fish there. But now he really, really, really loves to fish there!
Anthony dropped a Jimmy Watt hand-tied hair jig up in the bushes at Bussey Saturday morning and pulled out a 3.60 pound slab white crappie. He had it weighed on certified scales and is submitting it to the Louisiana State Fish Records. When certified, it will be the No. 2 white crappie ever caught in Louisiana. Griffith’s catch surpasses the previous No. 2 white crappie caught by Twayne Hosea at Poverty Point in February 2016. The top white crappie is 3.80 caught by Tim Ricca in Lake Verret in May of 2010.
“I’m not going to lie,” Anthony told me. “When that fish came up and rolled on the top of the water, it scared me. I said ‘Oh, Lord, help me get this fish in the boat’. “I caught it without a live scope, no side imaging just old school single polling. Just in the right place at the right time.”
What’s really interesting is that another fishermen told him that somebody else had been sitting in the very spot fishing for quite a while, but was pulling out to leave when he got there. So he just pulled in, tied up and in a few minutes “BAM”, he felt the thump of the big slab.
“When I set the hook, nothing happened for a minute. It just sat there,” he said. “I thought I was hung. But then it moved. I didn’t know what was going on until it rolled. Then oh my goodness. I switched my pole to my left hand, grabbed my little landing net and scooped it up. I don’t have a very big net and at first, I didn’t think I could even fit it in the net.”
He landed the fish a few minutes after 9 a.m. Saturday morning and snapped his first picture of it at 9:07 on his iPhone. To make a long story short, he put it in his livewell, transferred it to a big K2 cooler full of water and had it weighed. Then, he put the fish back in the cooler, drove it back to Bussey and turned her loose as several astounded fishermen stood by watching with their mouths open!
“We’ve got something special here and I hope people will take care of it so it stays special for a long time,” the 48-year-old Anthony said. “Maybe that fish will just keep on growing and some young fisherman can catch it one day and it will be the state record.”