By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Perry Pippenger is quick to tell you he is not a licensed fishing guide, but the Lake O’ the Pines area resident does like to take people fishing. “I like to see people catch fish,” Pippenger said.
“I like to share my knowledge with other people.” Pippenger moved to the area six years ago from Mooringsport, La.
“I grew up fishing Caddo Lake, but I liked this lake better,” Pippenger said. “Pines is just a cleaner lake. In my opinion the fish are healthier.”
Pippenger even thinks Lake O’ the Pines fish taste better than those caught in Caddo. “You don’t have the trash floating in the water like you do in Louisiana,” he said.
Pippenger quickly identifies himself as a crappie fisherman.
“Pines is an excellent crappie lake,” Pippenger said. “I like to go the months when it’s hot. Some think you can’t catch crappie then, but you can catch them every month of the year.” According to Pippenger, he limits out just almost every trip.
The state limit is 26 crappie per person. Lake O’ the Pines requires a different fishing mindset than Caddo. “Lake O’ the Pines is just cleaner,” Pippenger said. “You have to use different techniques, different colors.
Pippenger also refuses to use live bait. “I am not a minnow fisherman, I’m strictly a jig fisherman,” he said.
Pippenger put his jig – he calls it a “crappie cricket” – to good use on one excursion on the lake. “I took a guy last August,” Pippenger said. “He was dead set on using a particular bait. I make these crappie crickets.”
The older man had been fishing with heavier lures all his life. “You need lighter baits on hot summer days,” Pippenger said. “We started fishing and I caught 17 crappie.” “He decided he would fish with a crappie cricket.”
Crappie crickets fall real slow at the water. If an angler can get his lure to stay in the strike zone longer, he has a better chance of catching fish. More goes into catching fish, according to Pippenger, than backing a boat trailer down a ramp.
“You have to know what the fish are going to feed on,” Pippenger said. “You have to understand colors and light refraction.” Married for 23 years, Pippenger says his wife thinks fishing is good for him.
“It’s good for everybody,” he declared.
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