Categorized | Opinion

Ducks & Lightning Strikes

By Josh McGowan

Josh Crowley with a canvasback he killed in Southeast Missouri earlier this month.

Josh Crowley with a canvasback he killed in Southeast Missouri earlier this month.

I guess all those rain dances we were doing in the summer have finally started producing! We were ready for the rain at Reelfoot, and hopefully in the next few days the lake will be at full pool. The Mississippi is rising as we speak, and will continue to for at least the next week. I received some good stories over the weekend, so let’s get to it.

A friend of mine, Trey Cornette, had a very scary encounter while fishing this past Saturday. Trey was spider-rigging on Reelfoot Lake Saturday morning and was picking up some really nice fish. There was a thick overcast and suspicious skies, but Trey said there was no real sign of imminent danger like a thunderhead or lightning. He said all of a sudden, it felt like he had bugs in his hair. He took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair, and that’s when he noticed a buzzing sound coming from all six fishing rods. His hair stood on end, and he started snatching in poles as fast as he could, and then CRACK! BOOM! Lightning struck in the clouds above him. His rods were still “singing” as he loaded them up and started hauling tail to the ramp. Then the bottom fell out! It was raining so hard his visibility was cut down to 10 feet. Reelfoot is obviously not a place where you run wide open across the middle of the lake, unless of course, you’re running for your life! He had trouble finding the ramp in the downpour, and by the time he did get there, he was bailing water and his gas can was floating! Trey’s lucky to be alive. He said on a more positive note, he caught 25 crappie and kept 12.

Over at Wap the fish are still active and being caught in the same methods as last week. Slabber Dave is selling a ton of 10 foot Big Eye Series casting poles. This longer casting pole makes it possible to cast a bobber and jig set at 7-8 feet deep.

My buddies over at Kick’nBass guide service on Kentucky Lake have been catching some good fish. The bass have been concentrated in current breaks and the most consistent bite has come in six to eight feet of water using jerk baits. They’ve also been catching some really nice crappie in stump beds 12 feet deep.

A lot of ducks were killed over the last week in the Heartland. My buddy and Bro-in-law Josh Crowley got out Sunday and killed a mixed bag before the rain pounded them into submission. They had some mallards, divers, and even a few canvasbacks. Duck season is winding down, but this cold weather may make for a great end to so-so season, if you can keep your water thawed!

Jan. 24-27 is Grizzly Jig’s 10th Annual Spring Tackle Show at Caruthersville, Mo. This is not only the biggest fishing show of the year for our area, it’s the biggest crappie fishing show of the year in the entire country. Every professional crappie fisherman in the country will be here giving free seminars for the four-day event. The Humminbird guys will also be here, giving seminars on using your electronics. There are a ton of discounts and closeouts from the last year. This is easily my favorite weekend to work! For more information call 1-800-305-9866 or go to

The gun debate is hot right now, and although I make it a point not to talk politics (mainly due to frustration), it’s worth weighing in on. A non-hunting friend of mine was at my house watching the football game this past weekend, and he asked me a commonly used question. What do you need an assault rifle for? The answer is simple, I don’t. He looked shocked. I don’t “need” an assault rifle, I also don’t “need” a flat screen tv, a YETI cooler (shameful plug), or any of dozens of things we’ve become accustomed to. Guns are not what is at stake here folks, liberty is at stake. It’s been our constitutional right to own as many guns as we’d like since the beginning of our great country, and there is now a large faction of people who would prefer that we didn’t have them, because they are convinced that they know what is best for us. They are convinced that guns kill people. They are convinced that by making certain guns illegal, that this will keep them out of the hands of those wishing to use them illegally. The logic is profound, and moronic. We can look to Chicago, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and one of the highest amounts of gun related crimes. The bottom line is, criminals don’t obey laws, and no one has the right to take our guns away, period.

Josh M. Gowan, Outdoor Columnist, Crappie Angler Magazine field staff, Freelance Writer 573-579-0212

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January 2013
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