For the last two years in March, anglers at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park have placed a white crappie into Louisiana’s record books.
And with yesterday morning’s 3.26-pounder, it looks like Bob Wells just extended the Delhi reservoir’s hot streak to three years and counting.
He landed a 17-inch slab spider-rigging in about 20-feet of water and pending certification, it will be the No. 4-ranked sac-a-lait ever recorded by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association.
“When I hooked it and pulled it to the surface, I knew that was my trophy,” said Wells, of Houma. “I was kind of yelling to myself. They had like eight boats around me, but those locals up there - they don’t bat an eye at all that.
“But it was exciting for me because down here, we don’t catch anything 2 pounds barely.”
Yesterday was the final day of Wells’ annual week-long visit to the reservoir, and it started off with a bang shortly after 8 a.m. when the monster crappie was his first fish of the morning. Wells said he had tipped the 1/8-ounce jig with a live minnow.
“I knew that was my big one,” he said. “I had caught the other ones right at 3 pounds and they were big, but this one was bigger.”
It was the perfect ending to a very special week that saw Wells land not only the 3.26-pounder, but a certified 3-pounder and a 3.04 as well, he said. All three fish would have potentially cracked into the state's all-time Top 10.
“I had never caught a 3-pounder. That had been on my bucket list,” Wells said. “Not only did I catch one, I caught three. It was a great week, not to mention the kicker bass.”
The largemouth is a story in itself. Earlier in the week, he reeled in (and released) a giant 9-pound, 13-ounce bass on a crappie pole rigged with 8-pound P-line fluorocarbon — exactly one day after his buddy had landed a 9-pound, 6-ounce lunker the same way.
“Two bass over 9 pounds with a crappie pole?” Wells said. “That’s just crazy. It’s insane.”
Wells said the crappie are starting to move to the banks, more so now on the north side of the reservoir.
“The north side, they’re starting to spawn,” he said. “The south side, not yet. Near the cabins, they’re not moved in yet. On the south side where I caught the fish, I caught it in 20 feet of water.”
Wells said he constantly experimented with different color lures while spider-rigging to maximize the catch.
“We’d go from electric chicken to darker colors at different depths,” he said. “Whatever we catch the first four or five fish on, we change everything out, and you catch a lot more fish that way.
“It can change from morning to afternoon. One minute they’re hitting the light colors, and in the afternoon it seems like they hit the dark colors.”
Fishing pressure has definitely ramped up at Poverty Point as more fish move shallow, he said.
“The first two days we were there, we saw one bass guy,” Wells said. “There wasn’t a soul in the parking lot. By the time I left yesterday, there must have been at least a hundred boats on the lake.”
As for the giant crappie, it will eventually hang on his wall - but not the actual fish.
“I think I’m actually just going to eat it, because I don’t like to waste fish,” Wells said. “I’m going to fillet it and get a replica made.”