Archive for the ‘Alabama River’ Tag

CRAPPIE IN THE MIST   8 comments

Peering through the fog, I cannot see anything but gray.  Then shadows began to appear and off in the “distance” there appears to be a point populated by trees sticking out into the water.  Gradually the shadows become boats with other anglers.  Despite rules that keep us all in the bay, there is never more than three boats visible at one time.  

We are here for a media competition sponsored by the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Team Tournament Trail.  Basic rules include only one media members per boat and each boat is courtesy of the crappie fishing pros of the circuit.  My hosts are Phil and Eve Rambo of Bloomington, IN. 

Retired professional educators, the Rambos enjoy travel and crappie fishing which makes this tournament trail ideal.  They just hook up their boat to the back of the camper and head out on the road.  They do take some time off to take their children and grandchildren to Canada for a fishing vacation. 

Once the rods are in place on the spider rigs, Phil slowly moves through the dense fog slow jigging.  The few small crappies caught are less than 9 inches, the legal minimum in these waters.  Even one small bass takes hold of one of the minnow we are using for bait. 

The basic tackle includes 12-foot Ozark crappie poles and terminal tackle of Capps & Coleman pre-rigged minnow rigs with minnows on the end and on the drop line.  The yellow line and fluorescent tips of the rods are visible in the poor light of the morning. 

From time to time, we see other boats in the area and all report poor fishing.  The normal procedure of fishing the Alabama River is superseded this morning due to the conditions.  Instead, we all have to remain in the bay close to the boat ramp.  To go out on the river in  this low visibility could endanger others and ourselves. 

Still this kind of fishing is peaceful as we drift along discussiing various subjects from family to photography and beyond.  About a half hour before deadline for the contest, the sun appears and burns off the fog.  The bay is beautiful and contains some private homes perched along the shore.  I say perched because they are on support pilings that keep them out of the water during flooding.  Much of the shoreline is wooded and public property. 

As 10:30 a.m. arrives, it is time to head for the ramp and the weigh-in.  Phil and Eve begin to take in the lines when one of the rods dives into the water.  Reacting quickly, Phil retrieves it with a nice large crappie on the end.  It is our one keeper fish for the tournament.  It is a nice white crappie and a picture fish.  

After some quick photos, we crank up the motor and head back.  Later at the weigh-in, the fish is weighed at 1.94 pounds.  Although we only have one fish, we still finish in third place for the tournament.  It is not a bad day for crappie in the mist.

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