It has been said that all politics is local. Well it could be said that all crappie fishing is local too. However, the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail is making crappie fishing more national in stature. Each tournament stop is in a new locale, but by the time the 2014 season is over the well know crappie tournament trail will have made 20 stops in 11 different states.
Since crappies are found throughout North America it is not surprising that they are tagged with many names. Depending on the part of the country you are in they might be called papermouths, Sac-a-lait, specks, white perch or slabs. Even the common name crappie has different pronunciations. Somewhere along the way, as you move from north to south, the pronunciation changes from sounding like “croppy” to sounding like “crappy”. By any name they are a family friendly fish, easy enough to catch and excellent on the dinner table.
Crappie are not huge as fish go, but they are plentiful and 9- to 10-inch fish often make it to the fryin’ pan. There are two types, black crappie and white crappie. As far as records go the white crappie beat out the blacks by a small margin at just over 5 pounds.
Crappie Masters is spreading the word about crappie fishing with an intent to increase the experience level of any angler willing to learn new and improved techniques. Participating tournament anglers share their knowledge with crappie fishing through blogs, social media posts and by providing stories to outdoor writers.
Mike Vallentine, Crappie Masters president/owner says, “The goal of Crappie Masters is to help grow the entire crappie fishing industry. I want Crappie Masters to become known as the go-to place for crappie fishing information. When someone asks, ‘how do you use a particular bait or how do you catch winter time crappie,’ I want people to say, ‘just go to Crappie Masters"’.
Believing that a healthy interest in fishing should be started early, Crappie Masters is affiliated with Kids Fishing for Education to reach younger anglers. The expected outcome is to start high school crappie tournaments and get the kids involved with fishing. This affiliation is relatively new, but Crappie Masters has been holding kids fishing events in conjunction with their tournaments for years.
So maybe it’s true, crappie fishing is local, but given their abundance in area lakes and rivers and their distribution all across the U.S., fishing for crappie truly should be considered a national sport.
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