Being an outdoor writer allows me to meet some interesting and great people. How could they not be? They're outdoorsmen! I recently met Anne Parker, co-owner, with her husband Ronnie, of Lake Fork Trophy Lures in Emory, Texas. One thing led to another and we soon had a plant tour and a couple of fishing trips lined up.
August is a super tough time to catch fish down there, but I'll be tied up with seminars, backpacking and bow hunting for elk/deer in September. Then October hits and I've got a trip lined up with the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau and a few other trips lined out so it worked best to hit it now.
Anne was flying in from Florida on the Friday night that I was to hit town so I was greeted by her husband Ronnie, Kevin Sharp and Brad Williams that would be my guide that afternoon. We all shook hands, talked a minute and then Brad said well, are you ready to hit it?
In a hot second we were unloading his boat and zipping out to our first spot. Being up northwest the last 100 years I forgot what it was like to fish standing timber and brush piles.
But before we get started, I'm going to do something a little different in this article than I've ever done before. I'm going to combine the Friday afternoon trip that Brad and I took with the Saturday morning one that I fished with Sean Gossett since it was on the same lake and then next week I want to talk about Lake Fork Trophy Lures and their famous lures, some of which haven't even hit your favorite Bass Pro Shops yet but will soon be available.
Sean and Brad are good buddies and have fished together for years as guides and in crappie tournaments. Both are LFT Prostaff Members, crappie guides and have both qualified for the Crappie Masters National Championships in 2012 and 2013. So when I say that they like to fish for crappie...I don't mean kinda.
In Idaho a majority of the crappie fishermen use a lightweight spinning rig. Brad and Sean both used a light spinning reel but it was mounted on an 8-foot ProAngler rod and many times they'll use 9 or 10 foot rods. These longer rods work super good for reaching out and dabbling in the brush and around trees. Hmm, I might just be sold on using a longer rod. For sure I am in their environment.
Like everyone, they had a few secret holes to hit. As you'd expect we hit the deeper water but actually caught the majority of our fish in pretty shallow water for whatever reason. Sometimes crappie aren't where I think that they ought to be....semi frequently in fact.
As you can imagine we exclusively used Lake Fork Trophy Lures. I love their crappie jigs. I can't wait to use them in Idaho next spring. They won't know what hit them. Then I grabbed some of their bigger plastics to use on gar next month. If you've been reading any of my articles lately then you know that I've been hitting them hard the last few weeks. He also had some plastics that he promised would slay the smallmouths back in Idaho.
The Baby Shad and numerous other of his plastics have what I'd call slots cut out of their sides which makes them super sensitive to any movement. You can hold one in water which looks totally still and the tail will be moving like a live minnow. We used the 2 1/4-inch Baby Shad which come in three options as far as tails go and then of course multiple colors. We used the regular Baby Shad, the Sickle Tail Baby Shad and the Boot Tail Baby Shad. I like all three and don't know if I can recommend one over the other. But again, what made me like their plastics above the others that I've been using are the slots cut in them that make them super sensitive. Bass Pro Shops is one of the few stores that carry's LFT Lures, much less a good selection of them.
I've crappie fished all my life but I learned a lot on this trip watching Brad and Sean. They are fanatics which is what it takes to be good at anything isn't it? They taught me a lot of subtle little tricks. Sean is a finesse fisherman. He really knows how to fish a brush pile.
August is the worst time of the year to hit Lake Fork for crappie and it is especially tough this year. We hit it hard but it was tough fishing. Brad and Sean felt bad and kept inviting me back but I told them gee guys, I learned a lot and we had a great time didn't we? They're the best crappie fishermen that I've ever fished with. I learned a lot, we had a good time and got to fish on a legendary lake together. It doesn't get much better than that does it? And a cool front moved in Saturday morning and it was something like 65 degrees. I even had to wear my Gore-Tex raincoat the first hour while zipping around to stay warm. That almost deserves ordering a historical monument for happening in August in Texas doesn't it?
If you want to line up a good crappie fishing trip give these guys a call in November and you'll soon be ripping lips off the biggest crappie that you've ever hooked into. They can be contacted through Lake Fork Trophy Lures website.