HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (2/20/13)—What fishing can offer a person is truly far-reaching. It provides an escape from the daily grind; it can create long-lasting family memories; it teaches diligence, discipline, and patience; it can provide physical sustenance; and it oftentimes presents a great environment for fun, friendly competition.
With a focus on the latter, Winding Creek Bait & Tackle owner, Barbara Wiles, is offering up a generous cash prize of $250 to whoever catches the largest crappie (weight-wise) between March 1st and April 30th—but you have to be registered to take the full payoff. What’s more, if the winner is 14-years-old or younger, Barbara will also throw in a Skeet Reese signature rod and reel outfit, complete with DVD and hat (a $50 dollar value).
But what’s the reason behind the competition?
Though the two-month crappie tournament is open to all ages, Barbara explains that, “I just want to see some area kids and their families out there fishing this year, and I’m willing to give away a couple of great prizes to make it happen.”
So what about the rules and guidelines?
• You must register at Winding Creek Bait & Tackle, which is located at 1635 Eastview Drive in Madisonville, KY, to be eligible to win the full $250 cash prize (as well as the rod and reel outfit if 14-years-old or under). If the angler with the largest catch is unregistered, they will receive a $100 cash prize.
• All ages and genders are welcome to compete.
• All fish must be weighed at Winding Creek during regular business hours.
• Participants may enter multiple fish throughout the tournament.
• All fish must be caught using a rod and reel equipped with live or artificial baits/lures.
• All fish will be weighed on the same scale.
• The weight of each fish will be recorded next to the participant’s name.
• The winner of the tournament will be announced at the end of April, 2013.
Even if you’re new to fishing, we’ve got some interesting facts and helpful tips lined up to help you catch that monster crappie and take the prize.
Quick Crappie Tips and Facts
For starters, crappies are a small, speckled breed (see main photo), and they are usually described as an “early year” fish, which means they can be caught in abundance during the first to the early quarter of a new year. Though there are two types of crappie—black and white—many examples found in the state of Kentucky are a hybrid of the two. In most instances, especially during this time of year, crappies like to remain in shallow, brush-filled areas. Locations that host fallen timber and debris in no more than 6-8 feet of water are your best bets for catching a “stunner.” Using smaller baits, such as crappie jigs and actual minnows, work best when trying to lure in these relatively diminutive fish. Make sure to check out the attached video below this article for more tips on using live minnows when crappie fishing.
Where are some good locales to reel in crappie locally?
Though it’s rumored that one of the largest crappies ever recorded in the state of Kentucky (weight-wise) was captured in Madisonville’s Lake Peewee several years ago, the current record holder hales from Christian County. As the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife reports, west Kentucky resident Penny Hopper’s 4 pound, 14 ounce crappie behemoth hybrid, which was captured in a Christian County watershed in 2005, takes the state cake, so to speak. Yet, there are plenty of other great options for landing a scaly giant. For instance, check out Madisonville’s Grapevine Lake, the Madisonville City Park (or any local park lake), and any of our area’s public strip pits. The crown jewels of western Kentucky? As most seasoned anglers will agree, it’s a toss-up between Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
But wherever you go, and whatever bait you use, just remember to have a good time. That’s what this tournament is all about. Life is short, and so are the weekends, so get out there on the water and be safe. Who knows, you could wind up $250 and a few memories richer in the end.
Want to check out Winding Creek Bait & Tackle’s wide selection of lures, live bait, and equipment? Want to find that perfect, but rare lure? Visit their website by clicking here or give them a visit in person at 1635 Eastview Drive in Madisonville, KY. You can also check out their contribution to the Sugg Street Post by clicking here.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short