By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Crappie fishing today may have more in common with Pac-Man than the cane pole and can of worms your grandfather used, according to one Lake O’ the Pines guide. “It can be like a video game,” Drew Black said Wednesday.
Black uses a Garmin Livescope to not only find fish, but to watch them strike. “There’s no guesswork,” Black said.
With Lake O’ the Pines above normal level, the Livescope, which can cost upwards of $4,000, comes in handy.
“The water is so high,” Black said. “These crappies are usually on brush piles, but water has completely covered trees that are usually visible.” The 42-year-old guide says the crappie are “holding tight on the tops of these trees 50 feet down.”
That’s when the Garmin Livescope comes in handy. “You can actually watch your jig fall and see them bite,” Black said. “The game has come a long way. You can see how many fish are on the tree.” There is a drawback.
“You get to watching the fish strike on the scope and forget to set the hook,” Black laughed. Still, the fish do have one advantage against modern technology. “You can’t make them bite, but you can see what they are wanting and not wanting,” Black said.
“We’re catching two pound average crappie on both black and white species. Pretty much guaranteed to catch at least a one-man limit every day.” Black has offered his guide service for the last four years. “I’ve been fishing that lake (LOP) my whole life,” Black said.
“I grew up on that lake bass fishing and crappie fishing. My parents and grandparents brought me here.” Black recently moved to the area and started guiding five years ago and bought a lake house. “I have my own boat ramp,” Black said.
Black knows what fish he prefers. “I’m primarily crappie man,” Black said. Although he has a bass fishing background, he prefers catfish and crappie. “It’s so much more rewarding when you bring a cooler of crappie home,” he said.
Black prefers to use jigs and loves fishing with Perry Pippenger’s hand tied jigs. “I get a lot of customers who want to learn how to fish with jigs,” Black said.
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