Saturday might be your day to sleep in. But not if it's the day you are in a Crappie Master's Fishing Tournament. Qualifying fish can be caught anywhere between 6am and 3pm this day. So you want to already be at the hot spot you've scouted out over the past week by at least 6 to make the most of the day. That means boats start putting in the lake by 5am in some cases.
Then you can do your best to land the seven biggest fish you can until 3 that afternoon. And these aren't just local fisher-people. Teams from nine states are floating the lakes of Washington County in this competition. From as far away as Illinois and Indiana. Paul Alpers, Crappie Masters president, has a TV show on crappie fishing, and was kind enough to let us tag along in his boat as he interviewed teams on Lake Washington. Crappie Masters has been to the Delta lakes before, and Paul says they'll be back.
Paul Alpres: O yea. We love this area. I'll tell you what, the hospitality here's great. The Greenville, Washington CVB are co-sponsoring. And of course, Trop Casino and Bait-N-Thanks. And all of the local sponsors have just been great. And we want to be back here. Number one because it's great fishing.
Walt: And of you wondering how these fellows could get away from their wives for a weekend of fishing, realizing that the winner of these tournaments takes home thousands of dollars should help. And besides, some of the guys solved that by making it a husband-wife team. This is what the TWO of them do for fun. And sometimes they win the money, too.
Mike Jones: You know, when those guys come in here they'll fish for a week or two weeks and they stay in hotels, they buy gas, they eat at restaurants, they buy bait, everything. They're spending money. And that money boosts the economy of Washington County big time.
Walt: Mike Jones owner of Bait-N-Thangs on Lake Washington sponsors the kids fishing rodeo on Saturday Morning. Kids fish for free and get to win all sorts of prizes, plus keep the fish.
The NATIONAL Crappie Masters championship is being held in Mississippi this October on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway at Columbus. And I know those teams from up north can't wait to get back down here again, where the fish bite freely, and at the banquet the night before, the sweet tea flows freely, too.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:50:38 GMT
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