It is late winter, early spring so no telling what the weather is going to be when it comes to fishing time in the south. Rain, north winds and cool temperatures greeted the American Crappie Trail anglers at Guntersville Lake for the first day of the tournament presented by Engel Coolers and Power Pole in mid-February. Rain did stop for the second day of competition but remained cloudy and cool. Despite the adverse weather conditions, Guntersville did not disappoint the fishermen in terms of catching a lot of good size crappie. It took a two-day total of 25.67 pounds to finish in the money. All participating teams praised the quality of fish at Guntersville and thoroughly enjoyed fishing the 69,000 acres, 75-mile-long lake.

Finishing in first place and winner of a Ranger RT188C boat powered by a 115-horse power Evinrude motor was the father-son team of Jeff Ramsey and Johnny Walker. The team weighed in 15.32 pounds of fish the first day and followed up with 16.35 pounds on the final day of competition for the win. They also weighed the largest crappie (3.19 pounds) of the tournament to win an additional $930. The amazing thing about this win is that Jeff and Johnny single poled the entire tournament to catch their fish. They either vertical jigged or cast to stumps along the edge of the river in 20 to 30 feet of water using a homemade jig. Johnny tied all the jigs that they used during the tournament. The jigs were tied to either 5- or 10-pound test Hi-vis Power Pro braided line. The key to their success was fishing super slow, often spending 10 to 15 minutes on a stump. As Jeff said, “Guntersville is one of the best crappie and bass lakes in the nation”.

 Finishing in second place was the Lucas Oil team of Kent Watson and Drew Morgan winning a total of $6,850. They spider-rigged using 16-foot B’n’M BGJP poles with either a double minnow rig or a double-rig with a minnow on top and a Crappie Magnet or Big Diddy Bite bait on Pro Built jigs on the bottom. They fished very slow on flats that were near a creek channel 18 to 24 feet deep. Kent said, “during the first hour in the morning, the fish were a foot or two off the bottom or stumps and then the fish would move to the bottom or next to the stumps where you had to drag the baits there”. Third place went to the team of Mike and Deborah Gore who weighed a total of 27.96 pounds of fish. They caught all their fish using a summer time technique, trolling crank baits. Full details on this event from the ACT at this link or link the image to the right –

Visit ODU’s tournament coverage including bass, crappie, redfish, walleye and more at this link

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