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For anglers of all ages and experience, the joys and benefits of fishing are innumerable. Very little compares to a day when the conditions are right and the fish decide to bite. When you happen to land a once-in-a-lifetime catch, however, that makes for a day you’ll never forget. For one Missouri angler, hauling in […] The post Missouri Angler Lands Monster Crappie on Truman Lake appeared first on Premier...
For anglers of all ages and experience, the joys and benefits of fishing are innumerable. Very little compares to a day when the conditions are right and the fish decide to bite.
When you happen to land a once-in-a-lifetime catch, however, that makes for a day you’ll never forget.
For one Missouri angler, hauling in that magnificent catch came with a little added notoriety thanks to the power of social media.
On Saturday, December 7, Mark Wilson of Clinton, Missouri, was fishing on Truman Lake with his 13-year-old son, Alexx.
A Navy veteran who has struggled with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, Wilson considers his time on the water as “lake therapy.” He has even made a point to take other veterans fishing with him in the past.
“I think all our veterans need to know about this lake therapy for PTSD,” said Wilson, who has been fishing Truman for the past ten years.
Not only is Truman Lake both conveniently located and cathartic, but it also plays host to some of the best crappie fishing in Missouri. For Wilson, who admits to having a “passion for the thump,” it’s hard to imagine a much better setting to ply his craft.
A father of six, Wilson also has an older son, Gracesen, who works as a deckhand at Truman Lake’s Bucksaw Resort and Marina.
Gracesen shares his father’s passion for fishing and has competed in tournaments. Wilson even joked about a friendly father-and-son competitiveness between the two.
Instead of joining his father and brother on the water that day, however, Gracesen opted to go hunting instead.
“He was crushed he didn’t go,” said Wilson.
Alexx, on the other hand, is a relative angling novice. Nonetheless, he played a vital role in helping make his father’s memorable catch a reality.
“He ran the net, and I’m really glad he was there,” said Wilson. “As soon as we got her to the boat, the jig popped out. There’s a reason (that fish) is as old as she is.”
After recording the length and weight at Bucksaw Marina, Wilson released an absolute slab that many would have mounted and stuck on their wall.
“It was so nice to watch her swim off tonight,” said Wilson. “So she’s back in there along with the 10 or so other fish we caught today.”
Measuring 18 inches and weighing an impressive 3.68 lbs, the fish was an absolute sight to see. So much so that it caught the attention of thousands on Facebook.
After Wilson shared a photo to his own wall, it was seen by Mike Valentine, also from the Clinton area.
Once Valentine posted the photo to his Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail Facebook page, Wilson’s “fifteen-minutes-of-fishing-fame” officially began!
In under 24 hours, the photo had been liked by 4,500 people and shared over 1,000 times. More than 300 comments poured in, offering both congratulations to Wilson for his catch and a platform for other anglers to share photos of their own personal bests.
Within a few hours, Wilson’s Truman Lake crappie was arguably the hottest fish on Facebook.
Despite the unexpected attention, Wilson has remained humble and is thankful that his catch has been able to get more people talking about crappie fishing.
The post Missouri Angler Lands Monster Crappie on Truman Lake appeared first on Premier Angler.
For many anglers, crappie fishing is a right-of-passage. Along with bluegill and other panfish, crappie are among the first forays for many lifelong fishing enthusiasts. For some, however, the thrill of catching a stringer full of slabs never goes away. Across many North American lakes, crappie are abundant, relatively easy to catch, and make for […] The post 12 of the Top Crappie Fishing Lures for 2020 appeared first on Premier...
For many anglers, crappie fishing is a right-of-passage. Along with bluegill and other panfish, crappie are among the first forays for many lifelong fishing enthusiasts.
For some, however, the thrill of catching a stringer full of slabs never goes away.
Across many North American lakes, crappie are abundant, relatively easy to catch, and make for an incredibly tasty meal.
Before you hit the water, Premier Angler staff has put together our list of the top crappie fishing lures to take with you in 2020!
You can also check out of list of the Best Rods and Reels for Panfishing
The Marabou Crappie Jigs by Bass Pro Shops are designed for precision, reacting with a simple movement of the rod tip. These jigs comes with durable, realistic paint and eyes. They are fitted with size 6 hooks, come in over a dozen colors, and are available in multiple weights.
Bass Pro Shops Marabou Crappie Jig Features
Strike King Mr. Crappie ShadPole Features:
Eurotackle Z-Viber Features:
Road Runner Original Marabou Jig Features:
Uncle Buck’s Crappie Minnow Soft Bait Features:
Leland’s Lures Crappie Magnet Body Features:
Creme Lures Spoiler Shad Swimbaits Features:
Charlie Brewer’s Crappie Slider Grub Features:
Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Crank Features:
Versatile, attractive, and affordable — the Strike King Mr. Crappie Slabalicious is a crappie’s dream come true! Available in sixteen different colors and with a profile designed specifically to attract crappie, this is one of the top crappie fishing lures on the market! Plus, with a quantity of fifteen (15) per pack, the Slabalicious won’t do a number on your wallet!
Strike King Mr. Crappie Slabalicious Features:
Bass Pro Shops Cajun Critter Features:
Bobby Garland Itty Bit Slab Slay’R Features:
Enter the Premier Angler St. Croix Panfish Rod Giveaway Thank you for visiting Premier Angler! To celebrate the holiday season, we are giving away a brand new St. Croix Panfish Rod! That’s right — 100% completely free! No questions asked! No frills. No games. No gimmicks. All you have to do is enter through the […] The post St. Croix Panfish Rod Giveaway appeared first on Premier...
Thank you for visiting Premier Angler!
To celebrate the holiday season, we are giving away a brand new St. Croix Panfish Rod!
That’s right — 100% completely free! No questions asked!
No frills. No games. No gimmicks.
All you have to do is enter through the portal below. By either logging in with your email address or through your Facebook account, you will register one entry for the contest!
Want more opportunities to win?
By completing the other options below, you can gain an additional 23 entries to this contest!
* Please be sure to read the official contest rules at the bottom of the entry platform below. Good luck!
To many, fishing is the ultimate outdoor sport. You can do it practically anywhere in the world. In North America alone, there are dozens of species available to catch. There’s even a very low barrier to entry: you need a rod, reel, line, bait, and a valid fishing license. The crux for many anglers, however, […] The post 12 Great Christmas Fishing Gifts appeared first on Premier...
To many, fishing is the ultimate outdoor sport. You can do it practically anywhere in the world. In North America alone, there are dozens of species available to catch. There’s even a very low barrier to entry: you need a rod, reel, line, bait, and a valid fishing license.
The crux for many anglers, however, is simple: we never seem to have enough cool fishing stuff!
Luckily, Premier Angler has compiled a list of 12 fishing accessories that would make amazing Christmas gifts for the fishing enthusiast in your life!
Keep in mind that while any and all of these would make incredible Christmas gifts for your loved one, it’s also OK to splurge on yourself from time to time, too.
Rapala is a brand synonymous with high-quality fishing lures and products. The digital scale and fish gripper is certainly no exception!
Some of the key features include:
So, let’s face reality here — even the most dedicated and experienced anglers in the world lose expensive lures to snags. Consider John Hoyer, who lost around 300 lures during a walleye fishing tournament at Devil’s Lake.
Hoyer took home a grand prize of over $97,000 for his win, meaning he can probably afford to replace his lost lures. For most of us, however, dropping $30-40 on a weekend can be crushing.
Thankfully, Bass Pro Shops has come up with an awesome product to help us recover some of those lures that would otherwise be lost forever.
The E-Z Lure Retriever comes with a 30-foot cord and two chains that can help untangle even the most tightly snagged hooks.
We all know that old pro who can tie any knot under the sun with complete ease. This is definitely not the gift for him!
For most anglers who take the water, however, there’s still a lot to learn. Instead of leaving them fumbling around, watching a YouTube tutorial on how to tie a new knot, consider this handy, ultra-practical tool for the fishing enthusiast in your life.
Simple, easy, and portable, this is great for the garage, the shore, or the boat.
If nothing else, knowing how to tie a variety of knots does wonders for one’s bragging rights!
Knots included on the cards include:
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of going fishing without a reliable pair of pliers, we’re really sorry.
Rapala’s Stainless Steel Pliers, which come in both 6 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ models, are the go-to for many anglers, including the editors of this website. Why? Because they get the job done!
Whether you need to tune your lure, crimp your split shot, cut some line, or dislodge a deep hook, it’s hard to go wrong with these light, reliable, and affordable pliers.
Remember when we said the crux of most fishing enthusiasts is that we can never have enough gear? Well, fishing rods (and reels) are kind of like tattoos — once you get one, it’s only a matter of time until you get another!
Floor and mounted rod racks have been a staple in many homes, garages, dens, and “man caves” for generations. Hand-crafting a beautiful mounted rack was even a pastime for many crafty anglers during much of the 20th century. Unfortunately, with many anglers faced with the prospect of less time, less space, and fewer resources, creating your own rod rock has become a real challenge.
Luckily, Bass Pro Shops has released a series of spinning floor racks that are both affordable and attractive.
At 26-1/4″ x 17-1/2″, this rack is equipped to hold up to 24 rod-and-reel combos while allowing easy access to each. Its hardwood construction and russet finish also make it suitable for any room of the house.
Yeti has become one of — if not the — premier cooler brand in the United States in recent years. They sport an incredible range of high-quality products, and the Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler is no different.
As the first Yeti cooler you can wear as a backpack, the Hopper Backflip is sturdy, versatile, and designed to distribute the weight of its contents evenly.
The cooler even comes equipped with ergonomic shoulder straps and a removable waist belt and chest strap!
Other features of note include:
Earlier in the list, we talked about the excellent Rapala digital scale and fish gripper. Now, if you already have a quality digital scale or are simply looking for a reliable fish gripper at an affordable price, look no further.
The Bass Pro Shops Lunker Lock Gripper is sturdy, allowing you to safely and securely handle even the largest freshwater fish. This is an incredibly handy tool for anglers who may not be comfortable holding fish (especially ones with teeth) for catch-and-release photos yet.
The fishing industry has come a long way since Roland Martin brought folded maps with him to Percy Priest Lake during the 1972 Bassmaster Classic.
Now, we aren’t suggesting that maps aren’t useful in this era — they can still be great for recognizing contour lines, potential structure, and more. But the ability to find fish has become so much easier!
Lowrance has been one of the premier names in electronic fish finders for many years and their Hook2 9 TripleShot offers an excellent mixture of cutting-edge technology and affordability.
For starters, the 9″ SolarMAX screen offers great visibility whether you are fishing from a boat or a kayak. Add in a wide-angle sonar system and a high-sensitivity GPS antenna and you’ll be able to find fish with astounding accuracy.
The Hook2 9 TripleShot also comes equipped high precision contoured maps of 3,000 of North America’s most popular lakes, allowing this device to practically do everything for you except actually catching the fish!
You can find reliable rod holders a bit cheaper, and there are plenty with sleeker, more modern designs. That said, when it comes to weight capacity, durability, and consistency, it’s hard to go wrong with the Down-East Salty S-10 Rod Holder. If you plan on trolling for walleye, muskie, or catfish, then this is the rod holder for you!
The go-to rod holder for many big fish anglers across several decades now, Down-East’s S-10 allows for quick rod retrieval and hook-set, is easily adjustable, and features a non-rusting alloy casting that is treated for corrosion resistance.
The fact that every angler doesn’t have access to a high quality fishing boat is a sad-but-true “First World Problem.”
For those folks who spend most of their time fishing from the shore, however, there’s a silver lining. Bass Pro Shops’ Lunker Lounger Fishing Chair makes those days of casting from the bank a little more comfortable!
Equipped with two adjustable fishing rod holders, two cup holders, and padded headrests and armrests, this really is the Cadillac of shore fishing setups. Easily portable, the Lunker Lounger also makes for a great campfire chair.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Lunker Lounger’s strong steel frame can hold up to 400 lbs., making this the fishing chair of choice for even our sturdiest anglers!
Pop Quiz: What’s worse that getting a fish to the side of the boat and having your line snap before you can bring him in?
Now, we don’t expect you to actually answer that question. If this has happened to you, however, we feel your pain!
To prevent this from ever happening again, we recommend the EGO S1/S2 Landing Net Hoop.
The net is crafted with black anodized extruded aluminum that allows it to be both durable and incredibly light. It also features a scoop design that makes it easy to retrieve your fish.
These interchangeable hoops are designed to fit both the EGO S1 Genesis and EGO S2 Slider landing net systems.
The EGO S1/S2 Landing Net Hoop also comes in a variety of sizes and four different net materials:
Sometimes the only thing that can make a good fishing trip better is adding a little camping! Unfortunately, a weekend excursion often means our most cherished electronic devices (see: our lifelines) are destined to lose charge.
If you love access to the modern world as much as you do a few days on the water, the good folks at Wild River have you covered!
The Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad XP Lighted Backpack is, simply put, a really awesome bag. Not only does it have ample room to hold your fishing gear and tackle, but it can also help extend the battery life of your portable electronics.
Some of the key features include:
Any time a state fishing record is broken — even a catch-and-release record — it’s noteworthy news. When that fish is a largemouth bass, people take notice! The new Idaho catch-and-release state record largemouth was caught by JJ Schillinger on October 19th. Schillinger was competing in the Panhandle Bass Anglers Fall Open on Cave Lake […] The post Largemouth is New Idaho Catch-and-Release Record appeared first on Premier...
Any time a state fishing record is broken — even a catch-and-release record — it’s noteworthy news. When that fish is a largemouth bass, people take notice!
The new Idaho catch-and-release state record largemouth was caught by JJ Schillinger on October 19th. Schillinger was competing in the Panhandle Bass Anglers Fall Open on Cave Lake near Coeur d’Alene.
Schillinger’s fish, a 25 inch, 9.7 lb beauty, surpassed the previous Idaho catch-and-release largemouth state record by 1.25 inches. The previous record of 23.75 inches was set by Dale Stratton on Sawyer’s Pond in May 2017.
*Interesting Note: Dale Stratton’s 23.75 inch fish actually broke his own Idaho catch-and-release state record for largemouth, which he caught the year before. He caught an 18.75 in largemouth (also on Sawyer’s Pond) in April 2016.
Idaho is one of many states that now offer both certified weight state records and catch-and-release state records. The current Idaho certified weight state record largemouth is 10.94 lbs, caught on Anderson Lake by M.W. Taylor. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game does not have information available on that fish’s length, girth, or date caught.
Cave Lake is part of a dozen chain of lakes near Coeur d’Alene and is known to have quality largemouth. Other recommended game fish on Cave Lake include: bluegill, bullhead catfish, northern pike, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and white crappie.
With over 50,000 lakes spread across the state, Ohio has no shortage of great fishing spots. With nearly one million anglers obtaining their Ohio fishing license each year, that’s also a lot of folks on the water! The Fish Ohio program was created in 1976 to recognize anglers who legally caught trophy-sized fish on the […] The post The Fish Ohio! Program: How to Qualify appeared first on Premier...
With over 50,000 lakes spread across the state, Ohio has no shortage of great fishing spots. With nearly one million anglers obtaining their Ohio fishing license each year, that’s also a lot of folks on the water!
The Fish Ohio program was created in 1976 to recognize anglers who legally caught trophy-sized fish on the state’s waters. in 1980, the Ohio Division of Wildlife took over management of the program. Since that time, the Fish Ohio program has recognized over 400,000 anglers for their qualifying catches.
That doesn’t mean making the list is going to be easy, though…
For a program over 40 years old, that’s an average of fewer than 10,000 anglers per year. At current estimates of approximately 900,000 registered fishing licenses are sold annually (with anglers under 16 years of age being given an exemption), that’s around 1% per year!
Today, 25 different species are eligible for qualification.
Unlike the Ohio’s state record program, which accounts only for weight, the Fish Ohio program qualifies fish based on length.
An angler with a valid fishing license (or with a listed exemption) must catch the qualifying fish via legal angling and not on a pay lake. Applications for any particular year must be submitted by December 31st.
The Fish Ohio program also works on an honor system, meaning that you won’t needs to provide photos or any other form of documentation to qualify. Simply measure the fish for length and visit the official Fish Ohio Award page. There, you will be prompted to create an account.
As we mentioned above, there are 25 species that currently qualify for the Fish Ohio program.
Five species (white bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and freshwater drum) carry different qualifying requirements depending on where they are caught. Lengths are slightly higher for fish caught on Lake Erie and its tributaries.
The other twenty species maintain the same qualifying lengths anywhere in the state.
The following lengths apply to all Ohio waters (excluding paid lakes):
|Blue Catfish||35 inches|
|Brown Trout||20 inches|
|Channel Catfish||26 inches|
|Flathead Catfish||35 inches|
|Hybrid-Striped Bass||21 inches|
|Largemouth Bass||20 inches|
|Longnose Gar||34 inches|
|Northern Pike||32 inches|
|Rainbow Trout||28 inches|
|Rock Bass||9 inches|
|Spotted Bass||15 inches|
The following lengths apply to all reservoirs and inland lakes, private ponds, the Ohio River, and inland rivers or streams:
|Freshwater Drum||20 inches|
|Smallmouth Bass||18 inches|
|White Bass||14 inches|
|Yellow Perch||12 inches|
The following lengths apply to Lake Erie and its tributaries
|Freshwater Drum||24 inches|
|Smallmouth Bass||20 inches|
|White Bass||15 inches|
|Yellow Perch||13 inches|
In addition to simple bragging rights, the Fish Ohio program recognizes qualifying anglers with a commemorative pin. Each year, a different species adorns a colored pin.
The fish selected for any specific year does not necessarily have to match the qualifying fish caught to earn the pin.
So, let’s say you’re talented (or lucky) enough to land a Fish Ohio qualifier. Pretty neat, right?
Well, what happens when you land four different qualifying species in a single year?
While the Colorado Master Angler program runs very similarly to the Fish Ohio program, Ohio’s Master Angler program is a rare achievement even among the most dedicated anglers in the state.
For the few who will ever achieve this feat, they will receive the same annual commemorative recognition pin, except in gold.
Have any great stories from your own experience with the Fish Ohio program? Let us know in the comments below.
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