With the help of local Taxidermist Aimee Martin of Great Outdoors Taxidermy for offering to do a replica mount for the Winner, Kansas Crappie Club was able to hold a Big Fish of the Year Contest.
It was a fun little adventure as we traveled across Kansas this year enjoing the great Crappie fishing this State has to offer. We got to see plenty of good fish come to the scales, but none of them were as nice as the surprise Dustin Hobbs recieved at the Single Pole Shootout on Tuttle Creek in Manhattan, KS. The weather that weekend was about as good as it gets for fishing, although we did have a bit of fog on the water that morning.
Dustin, along with his Tournament Partner Will Bevan, were out on the Main Lake using his Lowrance HDS Gen 3's to take a peek at a few waypoints before putting his Motorguide Xi 5 to work holding them over a submerged tree that was covered in Crappie. The first jig down was dropped by his partner Will and was hit by something huge he said, probally a Catfish that got off the hook before showing himself making all but one of the marks Dustin was looking at on his HDS Gen 3 scatter.
The particular tree he was fishing sat in 20 ft with the top of the tree being 10 ft down or so. He said he saw the fish come about 2 ft up out of the tree and smack his Jig. After hooking up, his first thought was he had hooked into a big Drum or White Bass. Much to his astonisment though, his big Drum was actually a Monster Slab, and after realizing he didn't have his net handy, he crossed his fingers and just flung him in.
This was the first year Dustin put away the Walleye gear and really focused hard on Crappie he says. He had a great year fishing the Kansas Crappie Club Tournament Trail. He consistanly placed towards the top and ending up in the Top 3 and Winning Big Fish several times this year.
He fishes out of an Evinrude powered Deep V Ranger, rigged with Lowrance Electronics and a Mototrguide Xi 5, when asked what baits he uses to fish and place near the top, which is where I've come to expect him to be, he simply said,.....Garlands,...Always.