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Let’s Go Fishing!

Let’s Go Fishing!


W e are all trying to get thru the coronavirus pandemic. The social distance has been designated at 6 feet. That is a great distance to have between fishermen, be it in a boat or on the shore. Therefore, the safest thing to do is go fishing.

Mother Nature has not been cooperative with high winds, including tornadoes, and 7 inches above normal rain fall. When the weather cooperates the fishermen are hitting the lakes and ponds.

Crappie and bass are full of eggs and the spawn is the time to load the freezer for future fish fries. The kids are out of school on extended spring break and many adults are off work.

So let’s plan a trip. What kind of fishing are we going to do? Use the boat or fish off the bank? Use artificial lures or live bait? If bass fishing is the choice, boat fishing and artificial lures will probably be used.

Bream, crappie, and catfish are often caught on live bait such as worms, crickets, and minnows. If catfishing, almost every thing has been used and it all works, including hot dogs, soap, stink baits, and live minnow and small fish. Crappie and bream can be taken on jigs, popping bugs, and live bait.

Live bait includes worms, crickets, minnows, and even grass hoppers and roaches.

Most fishermen simply go to a bait store and buy what they want to use.

Where can live bait be purchased? In the West Memphis and Marion area, Papa Duck recommends Jones Bait and Tackle Shop in West Memphis located at 102 W Tyler St. Tyree Jones has been in business for 12 years. His live bait of minnows, crickets, and worms are always fresh and lively and he offers a “good count” when purchased. Tyree has jigs, hooks, cricket boxes, minnow buckets, fish stringers, poles, and don’t forget a hat. He even has light weight wooden paddles. Fishing snacks to munch on while waiting for the fish to bite are available. Jones store hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

during the week, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Give him a call at 870-400-0099. Tyree Jones believes in helping people and being a good friend. If folks 60+ are in need of toilet paper, Tyree will give them 4 rolls absolutely free. No purchase is required. Sounds like a modern day “Good Samaritan”.

In spite of hard and frequent rains, and high winds, the fishing at Horseshoe Lake has been consistent.

Crappie are the most popular fish and the fishing has been better than last year. The most fish are taken in the bayous, but the larger fish are under the piers. The spider rig fishermen have had a good start to the season. Its fun to watch several poles bounce and bend when a school of crappie decide to get hungry. Fishermen report the crappie and bass are starting to get in the cypress woods prior to spawning.

Knowledgeable bass fishermen are taking nice fish. It’s tough on the novice bassers. There is always a bass tournament and the boat ramps tend to get crowded at launch and weigh in time.

Catfish have been consistent all year with very nice catches on live bait and a variety of stink baits.

Horseshoe is a clean lake and all the fish are very good to eat. When fishing the Horseshoe area, Bonds’ store is the place to get live bait, jigs, and other needed fishing equipment. Natalie has worms, crickets, and minnows along with cricket boxes and minnow buckets.

While in Bonds don’t forget to get a hamburger and country style sandwiches along with drinks, ice, and anything else needed for a good day’s fishing.

The crappie fishing at Wapanocca has improved recently. Fishermen fishing near the spillway behind the headquarters are showing nice stringers of fish using live minnows. Both crappie and bass are best in the cypress tress and it is out of the wind. Wapanocca has some very good bream and the fishing for blue gills will improve until the lake mosses over with coontail moss.

These are unprecedented times for all of us. Be considerate to people.

Jonesboro has just taken a massive hit from a tornado.

Offer your prayers for them. You might want to take an extra kid fishing with you. With the full moon April 8, the fishing will get much better. Take plenty of pictures and send them to Papa Duck along with the tale that goes with them.

Lakeside Taxidermy is ready to mount your big fish, and maybe the big gobbler, at a reasonable cost, fast service, and you will be glad to show it off. Warden Andy needs questions.

Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 901-482-3430

Tyree Jones dipping minnows into a bucket for a local fisherman.

Going fishing? Stop by and see Tyree Jones at Jones Bait and Tackle.

Six-year-old Hayes Doyle enjoys some fishing with grandpa Dan Doyle at Tilden Rodgers Park in West Memphis.

Photos by John Criner

Family fishing fun… Vernon Jefferson took young Vernon Jr. and Veronica to the lake at Tilden Rodgers over the weekend.

What’s an 8th-grader to do when there’s no school? Go fishing, of course, and that’s just what Cameron Cueno did, landing some nice crappie out at Horseshoe Lake.

Michael Patterson of West Memphis had a little luck bass fishing along the road side out at Proctor.

John Criner

Times Outdoors Columnist

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