The first full week of February ended up being a mixed bag of good and bad.
It began with my partner and I trying our best to find those big slabs before the February 9th tournament, taking our boats out on Friday for some tourney pre-fishing.
A friend, Mitch Childers, and I were on the water at daybreak and had a fantastic morning. We had close to 40 crappie by 10 a.m. plus a big largemouth bass (3.4 pounds) Mitch caught on, I think, 8-pound test line using a R.A.G. Fly jig. We crappie fishermen jokingly call this a "green carp" because all we are after are those slab crappie.
When I met up Friday night with my tournament partner, Kim Maxwell of Cartersville, we planned how we were going to fish the tournament. Kim had found on the main lake some really good crappie which seemed like they were good tournament fish.
We started pitching around the pylons under Smoak Bridge and it was just like a switch had been turned of as we caught only four fish. Then when we reached the other spot we wanted to fish on the main lake, the wind was terrible and the water was white capping. Regardless, we had fun.
Heck, fourth place came from the area we were fishing and the lunker for the tournament was caught in the area we first started fishing that morning. What was so great about the largest crappie — a 2.2 pounder — of the tourney is that it was caught by 10-year-old, Brody Little who fittingly had his dad, Jason as his partner.
As I said earlier, the crappie had been biting great until Saturday but I suspect the cold front that moved in Friday night slowed them down a bit. We were catching our crappie fishing under Smoak Bridge with most of the crappie caught Saturday came from long-line trolling.
Of course we were using R.A.G. Fly jigs. The surface temp was from 54-57 degrees. With all the rain we had earlier this week, I look for the crappie fishing to slow for a week or so. I still believe the spawn will start before the end of Feburary, though.
In closing, let me encourage all of you to please take time out of your busy day and take a kid fishing for a day if at all possible. You would agree with me if you had seen the smile on young Brody’s face this past Saturday.
Until next time, may your catch be large and plentiful and remember nothing is impossible with God. May He bless you all.
Rusty Parker is a guest outdoors columnist for the Dispatch. He may be written to in care of this newspaper at P.O. Box 1058, Cordele, Ga., 31010, or contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.