Ross Barnett day one with the American Crappie Trail


DSC_1206Day one boat check came early at Ross Barnett. The wind was already blowing at 5 am and we could hear the hull slap of the boats as they launched toward destinations only known to them. The air had just enough bite to remind us all that spring didn’t quite have control just yet.

Even the cold and wind could not stifle the feelings of excitement as the anglers began lining up for boat check before the sun even broke on the horizon. Smiling faces and positive attitudes were everywhere. I must note that the boat check process here is as seamless as I have ever witnessed.


Ten of the teams were set up with Go pro camera and Microphones while going through the line. Seeing the looks from some of the anglers, when they found out that they are getting TV time, is priceless. Especially when they are not in a wrapped boat or don’t have a plethora of sponsors. Everyone who fishes has equal opportunity to be the next superstar at ACT events.

As every boat passed by I heard the same thing over and over. “Be safe today guys” was the mantra that the entire staff recited over and over. I heard Matt Morgan tell a team that there was not a crappie in the lake worth them getting hurt. One thing was for sure, and that was the anglers who could persevere through the wind would be rewarded big time.


Day one weigh in can only be described as electrified. We were told Ross Barnett would produce and we were not let down. Any day you get numb to seeing 2-pound crappie is a wonderful day. The first team to weigh in was the General Tire boat and did they ever set the bar high. Team Outlaw and Outlaw brought in a whopping 13.32 pounds to the scale. That weight held until almost the end of weigh in. The Super Clean boat of Capps and Coleman dropped 14.30 pounds on the scale. What a day it turned out to be.


The weigh in process was as smooth as silk. The fish were the number one concern and it was obvious. The anglers made it through in a little over 2 hours. Not to bad for an 80 team weigh in. Every team was on stage and got the chance to thank their sponsors, not just the ACT sponsors.


Ross Barnett showed us a couple key things today. First was her strength when coupled with the wind. Second and most important was her quality. The fish were big, healthy, and beautiful crappie.

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