Lakecaster Online

Toledo Angler "Catches & Releases" New Lake Record Crappie
By Ed Snyder/Lakecaster

Tuesday, March 30, 1999, Harborlight Marina, Toledo Bend Lake, TX.

Its Springtime on Lake Toledo Bend, and when Spring arrives on "The Bend" most anglers grab their favorite ultra-lite rods & reels, purchase' some live minnows and pan-fish jigs, and head for the lake, "because, when Springtime arrives on Big "T" so do the "Crappie". Just ask Toledo Bend resident/guide, Bobby Wright, of Bobby Wright's Guide Service, who decided to spend some crappie fishing time with a friend, where he managed to catch a 17 & 1/4 " long by 17 & 1/2 " wide White Crappie that weighed-in at 2.91 lbs, a "possible" new lake record for Big T's long list of quality fish catch records. "Then" as a point of concern for the full bellied female that was preparing to spawn, Bobby decided to live release the "huge" female back into Lake Toledo Bend's waters where she could finish her spawning urge.

"I was checking out some fishing water with friend, Larry Cochran of Harborlight Campground, stated Bobby Wright, "when, while we were fishing a 10' Indian Mounds grass-ledge with Texas Twister 1/16th oz Smokey Joe jigs, that I suddenly felt a "worm-tap" and set the hook. "At first I thought it was a "sluggish" female bass, Bobby informed, adding that it wasn't til he was finally able to work the fish up to the top with his Lew's Speed Stick, that he finally knew it was a crappie, "A BIG Crappie"."But, Bobby said, "my Quantum Xpress ultra-lite managed to work it pretty good with its drag system, as the 6 lb test Berkely Big Game mono held up to the big crappie's frantic runs. "As I lipped the crappie at the boatside, Bobby pained, "the hook suddenly fell out!" "After measuring it on my Golden Rule, and seeing that it stretched to over 17 inches, I decided to see what it weighed by putting it on my Stren electronic scale which digitized it at 9.2 lbs, stated Bobby. "After getting back to Harborlight Marina, where I guide out of, Bobby pointed out, "we decided to take it down to Alpine Marina where they had a certified scale for weighing lake record fish. "As we drove to Alpine, I picked up a Lakecaster magazine that I had in the truck and opened it up to the centerfold, Bobby infomed, "and saw that the Lakecaster listed a previous lake record White Crappie of 2.88 lbs, which was caught by Geneva Daniels in 1998. As soon as we arrived at Alpine, Betty Vizina put it on her scale which digitized it at 2.91 lbs, Bobby advised, further adding that Betty then prepared the Texas Parks & Wildlife Fish Record Form and made the necessary phone calls for getting the possible new lake record crappie its recognition. "But after getting the proper witness and fish identification information marked down, "I suddenly decided to release the fish back to the area from which it was caught, Bobby smiled, "so she could finish having her babies.

"Its all too common a thing for these big crappie to be caught out of Toledo Bend, and then end up as a filet on someones supper table, explained Harborlight Marina Owner, Richard Walker, "as several larger crappie have been caught, these past few years, that were well over the 3 lb mark, "but, Richard continued, "those anglers would never bring them in for certification. "Even though we have a Black Crappie record of 3.69 lbs, caught back in 1985, Richard advised, "Bobby Wright is the first one to bring a White Crappie in for record, then "release" it back. "A down right "wonderfull" thing to do, applauded Richard, as he praised the Harborlight fishing guide for his sensitive reasons for doing so.

Bobby Wright's 2.91 lb crappie is back in its normal enviornment where it will "hopefully" regain its reason for being there by spawning its superior genetics back into Toledo Bend's gene-pool. Bobby Wright's collected information is now being measured and formatted for an exact replica mount which will be "Taxidermed" by Mike McDonald of Woodville, TX.

I don't know about you folks, but booking a crappie trip with a fishing guide which has just released a "fish of a lifetime", could provide a very interesting option for my preferences. Bobby Wright's Guide Service can be contacted by calling (409)-787-2337 -or- by calling Harborlight Marina at 1-800-222-0547 -and- "if" you manage to catch a possible record, a quick call to Alpine Marina at 1-800-432-1506 will put it on the certified scale for "legal" catches.

(Editors Note- in previous years I have recorded catches of a 3 lb-12 oz white crappie caught from Housen Bay, which was weighed on a Hospital scale then released back into Toledo, and had a photo of a 4 lb "Monster" black crappie that was caught at Patroon and mounted before it could be certified.)-please remember this folks- when people talk of where to go for catching "BIG CRAPPIE"-psst-("Toledo Bend")

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