How is everyone today? It's a rainy day here in Ottawa, but I still got in a good walk with Blitz and a workout this morning. We will be heading out for another walk shortly. I've been looking through old photos today and thought I would continue sharing some 'throw backs' with you guys to keep some positivity flowing through the news feed. Here's a photo from a spring crappie adventure from 2012, featuring bright red hair, one of my favourite plaid shirts (that I still wear), and fave reels (Shimano Stradic). This was a super warm spring which allowed me to get in some early crappie action without all the layers (I was wearing shorts as well, in March)! What do you think, should I go red again?
How is everyone? I would love to hear from you and find out how you're doing. I'm throwing it back a few years with this photo when I was aboard my old Alumacraft, Ruby, catching black crappie on the Rideau River! Spring is my most anticipated season with the ice fading away to open water, birds singing again, longer and warmer days, and of course various fishing opportunities to take advantage of. I had anticipated chasing crappie on the Rideau this spring to kick off my open water season, but it'll be put on hold for now. The fish will be waiting once I get back out! In the meantime I am sticking close to home and avoiding all non-essential travel.
Species #8 — Black Crappie . Date: March 22, 2005. . Read the story here: https://caughtovgard.com/species-8-black-crappie/. . Crappie hold a special place in my heart. They don’t fight very hard, they’re not terribly difficult to catch, and I don’t like them enough to kill and eat them (though they’re pretty good for a freshwater fish). Honestly, Black Crappie are most significant to me because barring trout, they’re the one species my Dad liked to fish for. He doesn’t do a lot of multispecies fishing with me, but he’ll occasionally go out with me and fish for crappie. . I caught my first Black Crappie as a teenager in the same pond where I caught my first Bluegill (Species #4), Largemouth Bass (Species #6), and — spoiler alert! — Green Sunfish (Species #14). They weren’t easy to catch, and after working all day using primarily trout fishing tactics on an early spring day, I finally caught a crappie on a trout lure. . In the years that followed, I’d figure out spring crappie fishing from shore so well that 20 fish was a bad night. In fact, on more than 40 occasions, I’ve caught 30 or more Black Crappie in a single outing. Three times, I’ve broken 100, and on my best night of crappie fishing, which took place in 2013, my senior year of college, it was unbelievable. . Before I tell you how many crappie I caught that night, here’s some context. I was involved in student government my senior year of college, and part of my role as Student Body President (flex) was to chair the Incidental Fees Commission, a committee that determined what should be done with the roughly $5 million dollars the school took in every year. The Incidental Fee had increased during each of my five years (not a flex) in college, and I vowed to make sure it didn’t happen on my watch. . In order to demand fiscal responsibility and change the system, I had to lead by example. My first act after taking office had been to reduce my own salary to Minimum Wage, since I believe civil servants should be, you know, serving. I encouraged my Cabinet members to do the same, but told them it was totally their decision. The others making more than Minimum Wage agreed. . We reduced our own $55,000 budget by roughly 30% and then proceeded to reduce wasteful spending in the other Campus Activities departments led by students. All told, we shaved more than $100,000 from the operating budget of Student Life, which, along with the College Union and elements of Athletics, received all Incidental Fees. Long story short, after some intense political maneuvering, heated conversations, and a lot of debate, we held Incidental Fees flat for the first time in half a decade. . It just so happened that one of the most heated meetings had taken place in March, and I was admittedly stressed out. After the meeting, I asked our Administrative Officer, David Clarke (who’d become a close friend), if he wanted to go fishing. As soon as the meeting ended, we stripped out of formal clothes, threw on comfortable clothes, and drove to my favorite crappie spot. We were both fairly stressed, and by the time we arrived at the water, we had maybe four hours of daylight left. We fished jigs on ultralights as I normally did, and the fishing started out hot and remained that way. David, a Kiwi who’d come to Oregon Tech on a basketball scholarship, grew up fishing for trout and fishing the salt for snapper, but he’d never fished for crappie. Well on his first outing, he caught more than 100 of them while learning an entirely new style of fishing. I landed 214 fish total, with 181 of them being Black Crappie. This was my first 200-fish day, so it was something special. . Five years later, in 2018 almost to the day, I broke that record with 222 fish in four hours representing four species, but most impressive? A whopping 205 of them were Black Crappie. . As of this post, I’ve caught 1725 Black Crappie. I’ve only caught more of two species: Bluegill (2523) and Rainbow Trout (1834). Given the boom or bust nature of this species, a good spring could make it my second species to hit the 2K Club. . Crazily enough, of all those crappie, I’ve only caught three of them over a pound. The first came in 2011 on a jig (Pic 2) and both the most recent and largest was while flyfishing on a nymph in 2018 (Pic 3). . # # #crappie #blackcrappie #crappiefishing #slabcrappie #panfish #sunfish #flyfishing #jigfishing #multispeciesfishing #lifelistfishing #specieshunting #lifelisting #fishing #angling #fishbrain #reefsafesun #caughtovgard #SpeciesQuest