Thank you Brad & Nathan Whitehead for the help on this story.
Ran down to fish Guntersville today and got a call from my good friend JP Parsons. He asked if I was coming to the Scottsboro BBQ cook off on the square, and since I was already hungry I almost ran there.
Now when he said BBQ cook off I was thinking a few local dudes going at it. Well it was closer to 20+ contestants, a food and craft fair of about 78 booths, and a beer garden. I do love gardens so away I went.
The food was out of this world and really reasonable. After I grabbed some BBQ I went to the beer garden with JP and tested the Oktoberfest brew they had, and since I have been to Oktoberfest a couple times, it passed the test.
After that we went by the Lil’ Donut Factory for desert and boy those donuts came straight from heaven above. Last stop was a tour through the Scottsboro Tackle Company. Talk about a well stocked tackle store! If they don’t have it you darn sure do not “need it”.
Lastly I had to find a restroom, and porta potties at these events have been known to be rather… Interesting for lack of a better term. They had trailers from an outfit called “A Woman’s Touch” , and folks these were as clean as a hospital. Kind of a nice surprise at an outdoor event in the south.
The fishing well that’s for another story!
A candid discussion with Pro Anglers Whitey and Matt Outlaw.
This weekend i had the opportunity to fish with Ryan Lawrence. Ryan is a pro angler with B’n’M poles and is an all around great guy. We put in at 630 Saturday morning and fished until lunch up and down through the downtown Nashville area. I have never had much luck for catfish on the river in the past and after this weekend I know why. Our first three fish were over the 34 inch trophy regulation! One really big blue and two 20+ flatheads.
I learned that I was fishing in the wrong areas and was in fact using the wrong bait. More to follow in Mid West Outdoors and Mid South Hunting and Fishing News!
Part two of my interview with Matt Morgan of the American Crappie Trail. My podcasts can also be found through the Apple I Tunes store under “Troy Basso Outdoors”
We loaded up the Hummer and made yet another trek to Scottsboro Alabama . I have always had a soft spot for this small southern town with all its charm, and proximity to Lake Guntersville. Its the kind of place you just can’t help but fall in love with.
Normally we are down there on some kind of fishing adventure, but this trip was all about bird hunting. Since it was only a two day excursion we didn’t take the camper. We booked one of the new cabins in Jackson County Park. It appears that we have been missing out as these cabins are very plush.
The Master bedroom had a very comfortable queen bed, television, closet, and lamp. A very spacious and comfortable room.
The second bedroom had the same queen bed and a pair of bunk beds. This room will sleep 4 comfortably.
The living room is both large and comfortable. Add in the fireplace and big screen television and its home away from home. A leather couch and love seat added to the rustic feel of the cabin.
The kitchen was surprisingly large and fully equipped with dishes, pots, pans, coffee maker, and electric can opener.
The park has a top notch boat ramp and marina, kayak rental, and the best food in the area can be found right in the park at KC’s BBQ.
Make sure you check out these cabins on your next trip to the Scottsboro area. You will not be disappointed. If you are fishing a tournament not only can you sleep 7-8 people, but they have outlets on the outside for boat charging.
I know I wont be pulling a camper down and going through all the set up and tear down ever again. These cabins are turn key and ready for you to just relax.
Priest is fishing well as of late. The crappie are back on Brushpiles and willing to eat again. BnM double minnow rigs have been producing limits of good fish.
The bass are holding mid depth, early and late have been the better times. Mid depth crankbaits and soft plastics have been key.
The night time hybrid and striper bite is getting fired up and is expected to continue through July.
Catfishing has been slow due to the spawn but the channels have been biting well. Flatheads and blues are the shallows but will be slow to bite until then spawn ends.
Day two started an hour before the sun broke the horizon here in Ridgeland, MS. It appeared at first that the wind was going to give the anglers a reprieve but, by day break the wind was blowing and the boats hulls were talking as they tried to get on plane. Even with rain and more wind in the forecast this afternoon the excitement and enthusiasm in the air was remarkable.
Even today the entire top ten can change in just 7 fish. That’s the beauty of crappie fishing, it can be a comeback story sport. All it takes is one stump, one school of fish, and as always just a little luck.
Capps and Coleman, in the Super Clean boat, are the leaders but went into day two cautiously optimistic. The wind was not blowing in their favor today, as it was yesterday. The second place team of Whitey and Matt outlaw, in the General tire boat, were also optimistic but keeping an eye to wind direction as well. The rest of the field was optimistic and positive, especially after seeing what Ross Barnett has to offer, as far as the size of fish go. This lake has truly shown out this weekend and the weigh in should be fantastic.
They say when the weigh in lines closes the fun starts and today it sure did. Team after team brought in 13+ pound bags. The wind may have blown but these guys adapted and overcame. Everything was rolling along great and then… right before the top ten teams weighed in a local lady had her water break and the fire trucks and ambulances showed up. Not to be put out tournament director Matt Morgan stopped weigh in, moved boats, and then restarted the weigh in. Once gain proving this trail is top notch and run by professionals.
Once the scales were shut down the winners lined up to be paid, and what a payout it was: First-place team of Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman, in the Super clean boat, took home $28,100 in cash and Prizes. The second-place General Tire team of Whitey Outlaw and Matthew Outlaw took home $7,800. The field was paid down to 16th place at 850 dollars. This type of payout in crappie fishing has been unheard of until now. The American Crappie Trail will continue its growth for many years to come.
Day 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.
4/19/18 Ridgeland MS- Tonight we attended the seminar and Banquet to kick off the second American Crappie Trail event, sponsored by Protect the harvest, at Ross Barnett reservoir. The event venue was ‘The place at Harbor Crossing”. A perfect venue for an event such at this. The CVB from Ridgeland was there to meet all the anglers and hand out information about the area.
As the anglers filtered in the one thing that became evident was the shift in crappie fishing. These guys were in jerseys, rather than the stereotypical straw hats and rubber boots. The Television production crew was doing interviews and getting footage for American Crappie Trail TV. The transition in crappie fishing, from a pastime to a legitimate angling sport, is becoming evident at these events. You can see the change in the behavior of the anglers as well. They are getting comfortable with cameras and TV production, so much that they are beginning to show their personalities on camera. All we can say is what a great metamorphosis to witness.
The boat count ended up being 80 teams from across the United States. A nice increase from the first event, but growth that we expected to see. This tournament trail is setting the bar very high for themselves and the anglers alike.
Throughout the evening you could see old friendships renewed and new ones formed. It appeared that the anglers were standing together for the improvement of the sport.
Matt Morgan, ACT tournament director, covered the rules and took time to recognize the effort these anglers have put in to help grow the sport.
As the evening wrapped up and the anglers shuffled outside. the topic of discussion was the wind and its potential impact to not only fishing but safety as well. We shall see what happens in the morning here at Ross Barnett.