Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Lake Fork 2017 Crappiefest

Crappie Anglers of Texas
Crappie Anglers of Texas (CAT) was established on November 5, 2007 and is a non-profit organization created for experienced and novice crappie fishermen alike. CAT is structured to help novice crappie fisherman learn more about crappie fishing, while at the same time providing an opportunity to elite crappie fishermen to fish in tournaments against some of the best crappie fishermen in the south. CAT hosts meetings, seminars, fish frys and other events where anglers of all skill levels can share tips, techniques and fishing reports. CAT’s goal is to help educate crappie fishermen of all skill levels, provide enjoyable competition in tournaments designed to match the skill level of the individual fisherman, and to generally promote the sport of crappie fishing. There is no better way to get to know your fellow crappie fishermen than by joining the Crappie Anglers of Texas!

Crappie Anglers of Texas 4th Annual Crappiefest on Lake Fork
CAT recently held its 4th Annual Crappiefest Tournament on Lake Fork on April 1, 2017, and it was a day for the record books! A record total of 325 anglers (300 Adult Anglers & 25 Junior Anglers) participated in a great day of fishing filled with fun, fellowship and plenty of excitement! This tournament was a “big fish” tournament, so each angler weighed-in only one big crappie. The weather was nearly perfect for early spring, the big fish were on the prowl, and the result was some very big fish and some very excited anglers!!! Here are the results:

First place went to Ed Rathbun (Ponca, OK) with a huge crappie weighing in at 2.93 pounds!! Ed’s giant crappie netted him a total of $5,000. Clay Gann (Hideaway, TX) came in 2nd place with a 2.75 pound slab worth $2,500. Clay was also the Top Finishing CAT Member, so he added another $1,000 to his winnings. George Nelon (Boyd, TX) took home third place and a check for $2000 with his crappie weighing in at 2.63 pounds. Willie Scott (Aubrey, TX) and Chris Coffman (Brownsboro, TX) filled the 4th and 5th places weighing in crappie that tipped the scales at exactly 2.55 pounds worth $875 each. Frank Haidesek (Manhattan, KS) took home $600 for his 6th place crappie weighing in at 2.50 pounds. Seventh place went to Joe Vannucci (Wichata Falls, TX) weighing in a 2.40 pound slab worth $400. Eighth & Ninth place was a tie with both Jerry Hancock (McKinney, TX) and Josh Todd (Tulia, TX) weighing in a 2.38 pound crappie. For their efforts, they each took home a check for $275. Rounding out the top ten with a check for $200 was Max Dukes (Murphy, TX) with a 2.34 pound crappie.

All top ten anglers qualified for the Texas State Crappie Championship.

Closest to 1.00, 1.25, 1.50 and 1.75 Awards

One of the most exciting, and tightly contested, challenges of CAT’s Crappiefest Tournament is the “Closest To” awards. The cash prize was $250 for the angler weighing in a crappie that weighs the closest to (without going over) 1.00 pounds, 1.25 pounds, 1.50 pounds and 1.75 pounds and another $250 bonus for weighing in the exact weight. Unbelievably, Crappiefest anglers hit the exact mark in all four categories! Here are the results:
Mike Hinkle (Mesquite, TX), weighed in his 1.00 pound crappie and took home a check for $500. Jeff Schweiterman (Parker, TX) and Justin Gaston (Euless, TX) netted $250 each for their crappie weighing in at exactly 1.25 pounds. Kirk Grounds (Sachse, TX) and Shawn Drake (Wylie, TX) both weighed in at exactly 1.50 pounds and split a $500 purse taking home $250 each. Ricky Sims (Midlothian,TX), Mark McClure (Clinton, MO), Chris Scott (Sanger, TX), Billy Don Surface (Lohman, MO), Gary Paris (Quitman, TX) and Cory Carter (Muskogee, OK) split a $500 pot taking home $83.33 each for their fish weighing in at exactly 1.75 pounds.

CAT also had four random drawings worth $250 and here are the winners: Willie Scott (Aubrey, TX) and Chris Coffman (Brownsboro, TX) won two out of the four drawings adding another $250 each to their $875 purse bringing their total winnings to $1125 each. Susan Allen (Gilmer, TX) won $250 for her .65 pound crappie. Charlie Brown (Little Elm, TX) and Gary Filbeck (Springfield, MO) split the last drawing netting themselves $125 each.

Last but definitely not least, Andrea Smiley's 0.45 pound crappie was the lightest crappie weighed in, and she won $500.

Junior Angler 10 & under division:
Not to be outdone by the adults, the youngest crappie anglers in the contest really put on a show. First place was won by Mason Tucker with a monstrous crappie tipping the scale at 1.90 pounds. Mason won tickets to Six Flags. Langdon Froebe took home second place and Medieval Times tickets for his 1.21 pound crappie. Aurora Carrigan rounded out the top three with her crappie tilting the scale at 1.18 pounds. Aurora won a family pack of tickets to the Dallas Zoo.

Junior Angler 11 – 17 division:

The older kids cashed in as well. Nicholas Goncalves won first place and tickets to Six Flags with a weight of 2.02 pounds. Bow Gates came in 2nd place and netted 2 tickets to Medieval Times with his crappie weighing 1.83 pounds. Matt Hancock took third place and a family pack of tickets to the Dallas Zoo with his 1.77 pound crappie.

All of the Junior Anglers took home tackle goodie bags valued at over $25.00 each and a trophy. Our Junior Anglers took home awards and prizes valued at over $1,300!

Crappie Anglers of Texas would like to thank our 2017 Crappiefest Sponsors for your support. We really appreciate YOU! This year’s sponsors were: Star Industries; Lone Star Forklift; The Minnow Bucket; City of Emory; Aflac Insurance; Allied Employer Group; Autobahn; Autonation; B/A Products Co.; Bass Printing; Frost Bank; Graphic Solutions; Graystone Insurance Agency; Riverbend Bank; Texas Motor Cars; WasteQuip; YRC Freight; and Printing by Buck.


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Thursday Night

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Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/21: 401.89 (-1.11)

Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 20)

Water lightly stained to stained; 84–88 degrees; 1.11’ low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged craws on creek channels and docks. Football jigs and Carolina rigged Flukes are working as well. White and yellow bass are good on slabs. Crappie are good on minnows near bridges. Catfish are fair on trotlines.