Lake Waco has long been known as an excellent crappie lake, and the Waco Bass Club’s Lake Waco Crappie Tournament has helped contribute to its legendary status. When I was growing up, it was wise to put money on the team of Charlie Pack and Dennis Hill to win.
The 46th installment of the tournament is coming up April 1, with tourney headquarters at the Lacy Point boat ramp (Speegleville Creek). The entry fee is $50 per team (one or two person), and take-off will be at safe light. Weigh-in is at 3 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony.
Increasing numbers of crappie have been caught in the rivers lately by white bass anglers, so the timing of this year’s tournament looks like it should dovetail with crappie being socked into the shallows. Of course, those prized brush piles in the main lake will still be holding plenty of papermouths, too.
Tournament organizer James Windham said that in addition to the prize money for the top-finishing teams, a plaque will be awarded to the angler who weighs in the tourney’s biggest crappie.
Entry forms can be found at area bait shops and sporting goods stores, and teams can also register on the morning of the tournament at the ramp.
For more information, call or text Windham at 254-495-2772.
The white bass are biting
I try not to write about myself too much in this column, but sometimes I have one of those days that is just too good to pass up.
As Friday afternoon started turning to evening, I decided to get some fishing gear together and go on a scouting trip to the South Bosque to see how the white bass run was progressing. I didn’t plan on doing much more than hanging around and asking bank fishermen how the fish were biting, but I like to be prepared.
But when I got there, nobody else was around, so I grabbed a pole and headed down to the water to check things out for myself.
The weather, water and light conditions were perfect. Even though I couldn’t see lightning or hear thunder, my phone’s weather app told me that storms were brewing in the distance and the air pressure would soon be dropping.
I tied on a Roadrunner jig with a chartreuse grub tail, set myself up on a sandy point at a bend in the river near a steep drop-off and chunked the bait into the river channel, letting it drop to the bottom before starting my retrieve.
Within a few cranks, I felt a solid thump on the other end of the line, set the hook and listened as line started stripping out. At first, I thought I must’ve hooked into a hybrid or big largemouth bass. But I soon realized that the reel’s drag wasn’t set right. So I adjusted the drag and cranked in the scrappy white bass with relative ease.
Eight of my first ten casts that evening yielded eating-size sand bass, and within 45 minutes, I had caught and released my limit plus some. Another point of pride was that I managed to catch all of them on the same bait, although doing so required me to re-hook the grub tail over and over, trying to find an undamaged area to hold it on the shank and give it a realistic presentation.
On the down side, the mosquitoes were biting as fiercely as the fish, and I had neglected to pack any repellent, so I cut the trip shorter than I would’ve liked, but I went back Saturday morning ready to pick up where I had left off.
The first few casts got my hopes up, as I had hit on another school of hungry sandies, but suddenly, the bite died off and I was only able to catch a few more over the next hour, so I cut my losses and caught some ghost minnows for my next trip.