Lake D’Arbonne’s slab crappie finally unfroze Friday. And they woke up hungry. That’s all I’ve got. If you want more, here’s everything the leading fishermen said at the weigh-in about how, where and on what baits they caught their crappie on during Friday’s first round of the Crappie Masters Louisiana National Qualifier:
Yep. That’s it. They said nothing.
But the crappie (or sacalait or white perch….) MAN, they had a whole lot to say. After being stuck in icewater for more than a week, it seems they thawed out and woke up hungry Friday. They said “look at us show off!” Either it was that, or the pre-tournament chatter of “tough fishing” was a curve ball to keep unknowing anglers off guard, because the catches were astounding. Of course, during tournament week, you have a better change of hearing the truth on CNN than from these tight-lipped anglers.
But maybe Saturday the winners will loosen up a bit and tell us a fish story.
That could be anglers from the outskirts of Demopolis, Alabama Jason and Brandon Threadgill. Team Threadgill brought in seven fish weighing 17.32 to take the lead Friday. That included a 2.61 slab.
Local anglers Heath Rogers and Lance Bilberry, always tough on D’Arbonne, were in second with 16.02 and a big fish of 2.91 for the day. That wasn’t even the big one for the day. John Harrison and Blake Phillips had a 2.92 slabber.
South Louisiana crappie (okay, again, that’s “sacalait”) anglers Tim Hebert and Andre Smith were in third with 15.71 and locals Chris Fields and Jared Riser were fourth with 15.65.
The catches are on target to easily surpass last year’s record catch in the event. Defending champ’s Matthew and Bruce Rogers were in seventh place with 15.21.
Seventeen teams brought in a limit that weighed 14 pounds or more. I mean, oh my goodness. The fishing was so fantastic that teams were coming to the scales with seven fish weighing 14 pounds and people were going, “oh, they don’t have that much”. What??????
There’s a second tournament within the tournament Saturday. Not only will the leaders battle it out for the cash payouts, including $10,000 cash for the winners. The Bottom 30 after Day One will also be in a separate “tournament” for cash and prizes. That’s right. The bottom 30 in the standings after Day One will compete against each other for a chance to win cash, too.
Contestants have to be in line with their fish by 4 p.m. Saturday and the weigh-in will conclude around 5 p.m. With over 100 teams involved and everybody weighing in, it takes a while.
You can follow Saturday’s weigh-in on Crappie Masters’ Facebook page or keep up with the weigh-in and the leaderboard and how everyone finished at crappiecentral.com and you don’t even have to get your feet wet. We’ll have the results for you here at the conclusion of the tournament as well with some followup info next week.
The lake is going to be SUPER BUSY Saturday! Be safe out there.