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Descaling The Louisiana Crappie Victory

Posted by editor on April 21, 2015

 Stone&Godwin Winning Fish.jpg

I must say, I was not shocked when I found out that Jay Stone and John Godwin won the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Tournament on Lakes D'Arbonne, Caney and Claiborne. I’ve had the privilege to talk with Godwin several times at the Montgomery Production Shows and from our conversations, I can tell he is eating up with crappie fishing. It’s amazing to be around these guys because even though they are nationally and internationally known, they are down to earth.

After their win I asked John Godwin to give CrappieNation.net a little insight on what they did and why they made the decision to fish a different lake other than D'Arbonne. Those questions were important because both Jay and John have done Crappie TV shows fishing on Lake D’Arboone. On one of those shows, the technique they used, was the same technique they used to win this tournament. 
This is what John Godwin said, “Jarad we chose to fish Caney Lake. That decision was made because we knew the crappie were going to be healthier than the crappie on D’Arboone. They are really skinny after spawning and they always are on that lake.” In the post win interview with Brian Sowers Jay Stone said, “I lived on Caney Lake for three years and I was pretty familiar with it. I've been catching big fish, over two pounds in about 7-8 feet of water and the morning of the tournament those fish were gone. Godwin got a little nervous but I knew some brush tops in deeper water and move out over them and their they were.”
The technique they used to win the tournament was long lining. It is also know as pulling, flat lining or long line trolling. I had a feeling the last time I talked with Godwin that they were going to be long lining in this tournament. It’s a technique that has been around for years but not that many people do it. Now, if you were to travel and go fishing in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, you will see this technique is as common as Spider Rigging also known as Vertical Trolling is to crappie fanatics in Mississippi or Tennessee. One great thing about long lining is you don’t need a bunch of expensive rods or the latest electronics to do it. What you do need is the knowledge and willingness to learn and change with fish. 
Stone's and Godwin's Baits.JPG
Godwin said, “We started out with Silver jig heads but it was cloudy and the lake is very clear, so I put on a pink jig head just to check and see if the crappie wanted something different and immediately caught a fish and another one after that. So we stopped and changed every jig head to a pink one. We used a Lake Fork Sickle Shad and a Big Bite Curly Tail in a shad color.” What Godwin said next really stood out to me and made a lot of sense. He said, “You notice the difference in the size and shape of the baits we used? We don’t all look the same neither do shad. It’s like in duck hunting, we have different species in our flyway. So we use decoys for every species in our spread as opposed to just using Mallard decoys like a lot of people do. So to look natural we used slightly different baits.” 
Paying attention to detail is important, not just in tournament fishing but fishing period. Fishing is like a puzzle. Every little piece of information the fish gives you is part of a bigger picture. The amazing thing is a lot of anglers miss it. If you're fishing and catching crappie with one style or color of bait and you go fishing the next day and it seems like they’re not eating it, change up. Change is good but change takes us out of our comfort zone. Change might be the difference in winning a tournament or bringing home a limit of crappie.
Godwin's CM Trophy.jpg 
John and Jay may act crazy, well, I don’t know if it’s an act but I know for sure they are definitely true outdoorsmen. Congratulations on your victory guys and hope to see you on the tournament trail.
by Jarad Roper