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Lake life

Monster Fish Weekend!

Tucker (left) and Trey Underwood of Ruston were one Lake D’Arbonne Country team scoping out the Grenada slabs. Tucker landed a 3.62 slab to the left all by himself

Wow! It was the weekend of the monster fish on both neighboring sides of Louisiana this past weekend. It was historic. Let’s start with the crappie. Lake Grenada in Mississippi is known as the “Home of the Three Pound Crappie” and it proved itself beyond anyone’s wildest dreams this past weekend in a Crappie Masters National Qualifier event.

It took a 14 fish limit weighing 42.84 pounds to win the tournament. That’s crappie. White perch, dudes. That’s a 3.06 pound average PER FISH. Most people never even catch a three pound crappie in their lives. Most people never even SEE a three pound crappie in their lives. To make a catch like that in a tournament is amazing. Even with the use of an underwater camera like LiveScope, it’s still amazing.

Even more amazing? A couple of weeks ago on Lake D’Arbonne we saw a record catch for a Crappie Masters event here. It took 31.21 pounds to win the tournament. That’s still an awesome catch, but more than 10 pound short of the Grenada catch for the same number of fish, same time of the year. That same 31.21 weight at the Grenada event this past weekend would have only been good for 47th place. At Grenada, seven teams had more than 40 pounds. And there were 47 teams that had a big fish over three pounds. Wow.

In my opinion, it’s a testament to three things.

One, sonar technology that lets you see fish underwater (It’s much the same as the ultrasound that lets a pregnant moms see her babies nose, fingers and toes in real time). Second, the skill level that anglers have developed in using that technology. And third — and most importantly — the fact that that fisheries resource is there. You can’t catch a three pound crappie that isn’t there, even if you snorkel for them with a spear gun.

And let’s head West to talk about big bass?

Texas has long been known for its amazing bass fisheries, especially when it comes to consistently catching huge largemouths in a number of lakes. One of the greatest measuring sticks of Texas bass success is the Toyota ShareLunker program that basically says to anglers, “If you catch a 13+ pound bass and loan it to us during the spawning period (January-March), you support our selective breeding program and will be recognized as a member of the Lunker Legacy Class.” Pretty cool program. The anglers get recognized and the fish go back in the water and get to leave a legacy of their own through fisheries management.

This past weekend was a historic day in that program as well. It was a Triple Crown of monsters as numbers 600, 601, and 602 were caught and submitted. The milestone 600th ShareLunker was landed at O.H.Ivie Lake by Jason Gaston (top right in photo) of San Angelo and weighed in at 13.76lbs.

SL#601 quickly followed as Jim Smith (top left) of Weatherford landed his 14.42-pounder also at O.H.Ivie. The historic day was capped at Coleman City lake when C.R. Stevenson III (bottom) of Clyde set a new lake record with SL#602, a 14.83-pound beauty.

Somebody’s gonna need a bigger boat.

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