Team Rogers Strikes Gold at Crappie Masters Tourney
While many crappie anglers dread the summer months when their species of choice seem to just disappear, Charlie and Kevin Rogers relish the timeframe because they feel it is the most predictable of the seasons for their preferred style of jig fishing. The Missouri team backed up their philosophy with a Crappie Masters win last weekend on Mark Twain Lake in their home state.
The longtime father and son pro crappie team strayed from the pack that was catching lots of small fish in the lake's North Fork arm, choosing instead to fish a slower bite for larger crappie in the off-color waters of the Middle Fork. The decision resulted in their being one of only two teams to break the one pound per fish average for a seven-fish limit among the 63-team field, and provided the top weight of the tournament at 7.98 pounds to earn the first place check of $4,000.The team targeted trees that were standing in depths of water ranging from 11 to 20 feet, and in areas where they described the water color as being stained or muddy.
"We used a run and gun style to fish a lot of trees fast during the morning hours, allowing us to catch the most active fish while they were up toward the top and to really pinpoint the kind of trees they were preferring," said Kevin Rogers. "Our first several fish hit our jigs on the fall within the first five or six feet from the surface, usually over about 15-20 feet of water. They later moved to the bottom of the trees."
Both Rogers were fishing with a single 1/8-ounce Mo'Glo jighead in chartreuse color tied to their lines, and rigged with either a Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Bluegrass color, or Scent Wiggl'R in Outlaw Special color."Even though we could only see our jigs for about six inches or so, the crappie still wanted a small profile bait," explained Charlie Rogers. "Most of our afternoon fish came on the slimmer Scent Wiggl'R, and we feel its scent and the glow color of the bait and head played a role in the dark waters when the fish got on the bottom."
He went on to say that to catch the deep fish, the jig would have to hit the bottom and then be slowly raised "about a foot or so." He said the fish seemed to prefer oak trees with limbs over all other types of wood and were definitely relating to the bottom later in the day.
The Rogers said they caught about 20 crappie over the course of the tournament hours, which was considerably less than the dozens of fish that many of the other teams reported catching.
"It's a tough decision to move from an area where the fish are really biting to one that only delivers a few hits in a day, but our experience on this lake and others like it have indicated our approach to catching bigger fish in summer works well for us and our style of fishing, and it's not just a Missouri thing," said Kevin Rogers. "We sometimes tip our jigs with minnows and had minnows with us, but we did best with just the Bobby Garland baits by themselves."
The Bobby Garland Baby Shad measures 2 inches in length and has a long slender tail that is constantly moving regardless of action by the angler. The Bobby Garland Scent Wiggl'R is a segmented bait with scent cooked in during the manufacturing process.The Scent Wiggl'R measures 2.5 inches, but is designed so segments can be removed to shorten the slender profile bait as appropriate to meet the moods of fish. Its tail is the exact same lively tail of the Baby Shad, and when shortened to just the tail segment, it measures only 1.5 inches and can be fitted on a crappie jighead by itself.
Segments that have been removed from the Scent Wiggl'R can also be used to tip other jigs, since they are scented.
Bobby Garland Mo'Glo jigheads are glow-in-the-dark jigheads that come in 1/24, 1/16, 1/8 and 3/16 ounce sizes, and in pink, white, chartreuse, blue and orange colors.
For more information on the Crappie Masters tournaments, visit www.CrappieMasters.net.