SLABSAUCE Crappie Attractant |
  • Lake Fork Trip - day two

    The story continues about my trip to Lake Fork Texas (you can see part one here). I fished with Ivan Martin in the morning and ended the day on Wally Marshall’s boat taking pictures with Steve Quinn of In-Fisherman Magazine. This turned out to be quite an interesting coincidence, and here's why. Two days prior, I flew out of Wisconsin’s Mitchell Airport. While sitting in the standard pretzel position of the small regional plane’s seat (I’m 6’4” tall and any planes seat is a tight fit for me), I killed time reading a couple articles in the latest In-Fisherman magazine. Low and behold, there’s an article in there written by Steve Quinn about Ivan Martin’s “New Wave Jig Tactics”. I was fishing with the guy who inspired the article and the guy who wrote it, all in the same day. How cool is that..

    Anyway, back to fishing. I spent the morning fishing with fishing guide Ivan Martin. Ivan has 20 years experience guiding on Grand Lake in Oklahoma (see, but also comes down to Lake Fork to guide as well. He pretty much fishes for anything that bites - Bass, Crappie, Stripers, Catfish, Spoonbill, whatever is feeding at the time. That’s the way I like it. Even though I primarily love to Crappie fish, if they are not biting I’ll eagerly switch to something that is. I think that’s why many of us are Crappie fishermen. We’re not necessarily looking for that one big monster fish, we just like feeling the thump and tug on the end of the line. Crappie are plentiful and as a bonus, Crappie taste great too.

    So off we go. We initially target Crappie, but the winds are stronger than they were the day before and positioning the boat is difficult. The stumps and bridge piling where Crappie were caught the prior day were not producing. So we tried a couple big underwater humps and still nothing. Ivan being the good guide that he is, has no patience for not catching fish if you know what I mean. We switch it up, and try some vertical jigging. Ivan found a real hot spot of fish activity via his electronics. He had seen this before in relatively the same area. We drop down a jigging spoon, with a crappie jig tied about a foot and a half above it. Whoa-la, we catch fish. The very first time down I catch two Stripers. Next time down two Bar Fish (I know them as Yellow Bass). Next time down, a Catfish. Holy cow, the action is non-stop, and you never know what you’re going to catch.

    We even caught some nice Bass.

    This is a lot of fun, but the bite does slow down a bit. Our presence probably scattered the fish a little. We did slowly continue to catch fish though. So much so that Ivan called on some friends to come over and join us in the fun.

    Ivan called Gary Dollahon who had Travel Writer Rebecca McCormick and the owner of Gene Larew Lures, Chris Lindenberg fishing with him. They showed up and we continued to catch fish. We had heck of a good time. Rebecca looked like she was having a riot. I have to give her credit, we fished all day long, ate our lunch on the water, and she absolutely loved it. She is a high energy gal, and her enthusiasm level never waned, as you can see in these pictures:

    We were fishing in about 20-25 feet of water, simply vertical jigging, straight down. Either bouncing the jig off the bottom or just above the bottom. It seemed the more action you gave the jig, the more hits you would get. It was weird too, I would feel hits, actually very often, and you would not hook fish. You end up setting the hook with every little touch or tap you feel, I felt you caught more fish that way. It was so cool to catch two 3 pound Stripers at the same time, and having them essentially fighting each other on the way up. Funny too, how you would catch two Stripers, or two Yellow bass at the same time. They were obviously schooling and working themselves into a frenzy, attacking the jigs the way they were. The trick seems to be finding these deep water areas that are loaded up with all sorts of species of fish. Once you do, catching them becomes the easy part.

    It was another nice coincidence that Gary came over to fish with us. We were scheduled to swap writers at noon, so it was very convenient for Rebecca and I to trade positions and not waste a lot of time motoring back to the boat ramp. It was great to get the chance to fish with Gary and Chris. Chris filled me in on what was going with Bobby Garland baits, and I promise you, the future looks good. I can't wait to try out some of their recent additions including the MoGlo, which Chris says has been super successful. It's always good to hear about new developments in fishing directly from those that make the products.

    The fishing slowed down a little so we motored up and checked out another spot. It’ produced some fish for us, but nothing like when Ivan and I first showed up at that original hot spot together.

    When we got back near the ramp, we passed Wally Marshall fishing with Steve Quinn of In-Fisherman Magazine. Since Gary had to go in to take care of some business, Wally invited me to fish with them for a while. Wow, another fantastic opportunity. I got to fish with Wally again, and this time we had writer Steve Quinn with us -- awesome. We fished for Crappie, and once the sun was good and low in the sky we stopped fishing to take some pictures. I get to see a pro photographer/writer in action. I watched Steve and took some pictures too. Steve is a great guy, real easy to talk to, and certainly knows his stuff. I look forward to reading more of his articles in In-Fisherman Magazine.

    The above two pictures I took right before I jumped into Wally's boat.

    I must have brought them luck, Wally caught this nice one right after I got into his boat.

    A picture of a pro taking a picture of another pro.

    Too funny, if you notice, Wally changed his shirt for a fresh series of pictures. Now you know one of the secrets. Change shirt and you get a whole new look.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. hollidas's Avatar
      hollidas -
      Great article. Thanks for part two.
    1. tear-em-up's Avatar
      tear-em-up -
      Sounds like you had a great time most of been an honor to fish with wally. What is the average size of the crappie you caught there?
    1. gabowman's Avatar
      gabowman - must be nice to get to fish with all those guys. I KNOW they could teach me plenty. Congrats on Day 2 of your trip.
    1. yankee doodler's Avatar
      yankee doodler -
      Super article(s) Ed. What a awesome trip to be able to "fish with the finest".
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      Stick around in this business and there's no tellin who's boat you'll get invited into. Sounds like a great time.
    1. Nick Li's Avatar
      Nick Li -
      Sounds like a really fun time, catching a variety of species is always the best
  • Activity Stream