Sunday, October 1, 2017

Central Illinois Crappie Club Holds Open on Clinton Lake

Back in July, Capitol Outdoors attended ICAST in Orlando, Florida.  While there, we were astounded by how vast the fishing industry really is.  Today, we learned even more!  Thirty-six boats attended the first Central Illinois Crappie Club Open on Clinton Lake sponsored by Exelon.  "This is a great turn out" said Greg Humphrey of Bloomington.  "Usually there's 20 or so boats that attend, so seeing this many people out here is great"!

As the sun began to rise over the trees members did live-well checks and prepared their boats for a day out on the water.  The director went over the rules and told anglers they were searching for a maximum of seven,no less than ten inch crappie.

As I watched these anglers, there were similarities to other tournaments I have covered. Boats zipping across the lake in search of a new spot, anglers hunkering down on points and laydowns, and sounds of cheers and sighs of disappointment.

After the tournament I was able to talk with our good friend Lee Sharp of BrushPile Jigs.   I told him that I'm really impressed with the rigs these anglers have.  Not just the boats but all the gear and electronics.  Matt Steele, a bass angler who was fishing a two day tournament for the National Bass Trail  and watched the crappie weigh-in, said it best, "These anglers have the enthusiasms, and dedication that any other tournament angler does and it's great to see that".

Fourteen out of the thirty-six boats weighed in a limit with a winning weight of 6.51 lbs and big crappie weighing 1.18 lbs.

1.  Albert & Michael Wood "Maggie"I 
2. Terry Davis & Matt Mullins "Big Crappie"
3.  Dan Hendrix & Clint Seaman
4. Greg & Luke Humphrey

The Central Illinois Crappie Club paid out the top 7.  They were asked to share where and how they caught their fish so that others could learn for future fishing trips. While baits and colors changed, one thing stood out.  If you were not fishing main points or fishing wood on main points, you were not catching much fish. " One thing about Clinton is that their is no real pattern." said Matt Mullins.

Tournament fishing has entered the high school level and even middle school level in regards to bass fishing.  However, you are hearing more and more that crappie fishing is being used to introduce kids to tournaments.  This club did just that.  They invited kids to join in on the tournament fun and one took the cake and walked away with first place for the kids division.  Maggie Wood  might just be hooked. 

Something tells us that next year this tournament will see more than the 36 boats.  Even the average bass angler might want to dive into crappie fishing. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Central Illinois Crappie Club, check them out.  They are always searching for new members. 

Capitol Outdoors would like to thank them for the opportunity to check them out.
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