Hello, my name is Shane Johnson, from Madison, MS. I fish the Barnett Reservoir regularly. I’m a longtime member of the Magnolia Crappie Club, and I serve on the weigh-in committee. I get to see every fish we weigh at our tournaments.
I’m a pro-staffer for ACC Crappie Stix and Freaky Franks. I’ve used the Garmin LiveScope for 100’s of hours. I’ve learned Crappie behavior from this time on the water. Finally, I’m not a professional writer, so bear with my writing.
In today’s world, people not only are catching more fish (Crappie) with Livescope; they are catching more of the larger ones. We all get excited when we are catching fish, no doubt, that’s why we love the sport of crappie fishing so much.
And man, when we catch big Crappie, we get thrilled. It is so gratifying to catch a mess of large Crappie, whether it be the heavy tug on the end of the line or seeing the thick large body and mouth coming out of the water.
As fishermen, we are taking on more responsibility now that we are Live-Scope users. We see more and more of the huge slab Crappie caught at just about every lake we fish.
As anglers, we must start practicing more and more “Catch and Release” to help preserve the resources.
We can all make our own principles and protocols about what we should keep and what we should be releasing. While we’re waiting for evidence and data collected by our Fishery Biologists, we must use our individual conservation duty to protect our crappie resources. I know that preservation will allow great fishing for the years to come.
There are numerous measures we can or should consider. Things to consider are: what size to keep, how many total fish to keep, how many two- pounds or over 14 inches, etc. As crappie enthusiasts, we must take on this responsibility ourselves and encourage others to do the same.
Remember, every person has the privilege (not the Right) to fish according to the state laws, so we must lead by example. Proper management is the only way to preserve this great pastime of crappie fishing. If you like eating Crappie, nothing tastes better than the 10” to 12” fish. The flavor in the smaller fish is amazing.
Some people enjoy showing off their catch on social media or just by texting pictures to friends. Showing your photos is your privilege; there’s nothing wrong with that. However, people could use the same tools (social-media and photographs) to show them being released. Some anglers are doing it already.
Catch and Release is our duty to show other anglers and our younger generation that we are willing to help preserve our resources. The Bass guys showed us how it works. My partner and I return our Crappie over 2 pounds back to the lake after photographing them. It makes you feel good knowing you are part of the solution instead of the problem. Shane