Road Trippin' to Crappie Heaven
Returned a short while back from one of my most enjoyable and entertaining road trips filming for season 11 of Extreme Angler TV to Tennessee and Mississippi in search of some monster crappie with my good buddies Tim Blackley and Jackie Vancleave of the Strike King pro crappie team.
I have to admit, fishing for crappie with these guys is "intense" and as serious as it gets. Reminds me a lot of sharing the boat each Fall with the Strike King Touring pros like Kevin Vandam, Shaw Grigsby and Greg Hackney, some of the worlds best bass pros, it can get intimidating to say the least. But, Tim and Jackie are solid guys and even better crappie fisherman who know how to find fish even in the most extreme conditions like we had once again in `ole Miss with water depths rising over 5+ feet in one night!
On the first leg of my trip, I spent 3 days at Blue Bank Resort in Hornbeak Tennessee on Reelfoot lake and spent the first few days just "going fishing" and get the winter rust out of my system and then had the pleasure of fishing and filming a very exciting show with Jackie on a very windy day (not the best conditions for spider rigging in shallow water with lots of stumps), but with a little patience and plenty of local knowledge we caught some awesome white slabs with Strike King rage grubs on 1/8 oz jigheads tighlined below the 14' poles on the spider rig.
Then Tim and I drove to Mississippi the next day to prepare for my annual trophy hunt in the "Land of the Giants" in Grenada Mississippi and the "very common" three pound crappie! We spent 2 days filming a couple of shows on different parts of the lake in heavily wooded timber and stumps on one day and then thru standing timber and road beds the next.
We used a variety of Strike King rage grubs and tooty fruity tube jigs and caught a boat load of decent fish (which would be considered slabs anyplace else in the 12-13" range), but didn`t zero in on the exact color the bigger white crappie wanted until we switched to a new popcycle color tone introduced this year, and then it was lights out, monster slab time!
Every angler should get the experience at least once in a lifetime of how hard these big giant slabs strike and fight! Very similar to a 3 pound largemouth, but on light action rods, small spinning reels and 8 pound test lines. Believe me when I say, mother nature created these beasts perfectly to come un-buttoned with their sheer bulk size and paper thin mouths, more times than not when they start splashing on the surface and you don`t get the net under them in a hurry, they are GONE!We managed to boat some real nice big slabs and get 2 awesome shows in and mother nature didn`t throw us any real bad curve balls as far as weather conditions to deal with other than the rain the first night which raised water depths five plus feet in the same locations we we`re going to fish/film, but it worked out real good for us and I am personally looking forward to seeing the results on the tv screens this Fall on WFN.