County Road 11: Magnolia Crappie Club - Part 2

Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 7:11 PM CST
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The Magnolia Crappie Club has been around for almost 30 years. It's the largest and oldest such club in the U.S.

Two anglers from Union are trying to make their mark in tournaments using a unique fishing method.

Eddie Truhitt and Jesse Belk have been competing in crappie tournaments together for a couple of years now and they prefer a method known as long lining.

In short, they put out multiple rods, each with two lures, and the lines trolling behind the boat at a certain speed to keep the baits at a particular depth. It brings high tech equipment and math into the equation.

"What they're doing is eating shad. They are balls of shad and these fish are feeding on them. When we go through there, we're going to pull our baits. Our baits are going to be running about ten foot deep," said Belk.

The biggest challenge may be trying not to get everything tangled up.

"That's the biggest thing which most of the time you realize you got a fish before it can happen," said Belk.

Once Eddie and Jesse get the lines out, it doesn't take long to start catching fish.

"This is about as much fun as you can have. So you've got to pull them up to the top to keep them from getting tangled up. If it's a bass or catfish or anything else, he'll go left and right. A crappie will come to the top. And sometimes you'll have a crappie on each jig.

And on this cool, windy late fall day on Okatibbee, it didn't take long for the boys to land about 25 fish.

"It amazes me every time it does it," said Truhitt. "This long-lining, I don't understand it. I don't understand why they bite it so good. It works wherever we go. We have come out here and caught hundreds. You will get tired of pulling fish in. When you get the combination right, it's just amazing."

Eddie Truhitt and Jesse Belk, friends and fishing partners trying to climb up the ranks of the Magnolia Crappie Club.