Me and jack hit our first Crappiemasters tourney this weekend at lake Rathbun IA, we got there thursday for practice and found a tough bite. At least for locating the bigger fish. they would bite fine if you could find them. There were tons of 7 inch "cookie cutter" crappies everywhere from 3 to 40 ft, and if you used to small of bait you would be catching one almost every cast. The water was 10 ft high from the rains in the last week flooding much of the brush around the shorelines, and the water was like a chocolate milkshake in color. You had to get your lure right in the wood to get bit by a bigger fish. Once I made a perfect cast with a big jig and gulp minnow under a slip float near a tree and it went right down. I reared into a huge slab, only my "slab" had wiskers! Yep it was a catfish, dang thing jumped two feet out of the water when hooked too! We decided on a cove to fish about 5 miles from the landing where we got a few fish up to 13 inches, and talked with others who said they got them up to 14 in the spot.
We had perfect weather for 2 days of practise, but tournament day of course, was anything but!
We waited out a thunderstorm before heading out. Then we find jacks bilge pump was not working, not good! As soon as the lightning stopped we headed to our spot and fished for mabye 15 minutes and got a couple of small fish, when a new storm came rumblin' in!
We waited on shore for quite a while til it was done and the rain started filling the boat. We then got back out and the wind started blowing bad, muddying up the water even more with huge muddy whitecaps. We fished a bit more, but it was futile, and more dark clouds were coming so we decided to cross the lake to get out of the wind. Well got about half way across and the rain really let loose! Finally we got out of the waves and we took off for the landing, er we tried to, but the boat was too full of water to get going. Ended up stopping at the nearest landing and jack got a ride back to where the truck was while I got to sit in the boat and wait.
When we got the boat out we drained it, and headed to the weigh in site to see what was going on. then the sun came out and it got nice, so we put thew boat in to fish the last two hours. We ended up getting enough fish to fill out our limit by jigging around the flooded willows not to far from the landing. They were not too big, but we were not sure, mabye everyone struggled too, so we weighed in. Soon there was a big line at the weigh in, and we found out that some teams did get some good slabs despite the weather. the winners got 7.85 for 7 fish, better than a pound average. Well it is good to know there are big fish in there, we will be back next year to try again!
Crappie masters Rathbun report
Nice day on the lake
cookie cutter dinks
my 2 pound "slab"
Jack at the weigh in with our little fishies
Huge line showed up with fish to weigh in
look at those mules!
Some nice ones were caught!
See ya next year Iowa slabs!