PORT ARTHUR — "Mr. Crappie” is the perfect nickname for Wally Marshall.
Yes, he has his own line of top-selling crappie fishing videos, a television show and dozens of crappie-related fishing products to his name.
But the man lives, eats and breathes crappie fishing.
“It’s what I do,” he said.
Last week I ran into Marshall at Lake Fork Lodge while conducting a photo shoot with Bassmaster Classic (2008) Champion Alton Jones.
I have known Marshall for a number of years but we had never fished together so he invited me out to remedy that late last Thursday.
“You really won’t have an impact on fishing unless you know how to use electronics. It is important for any kind of fishing but to consistently locate crappie it is crucial,” Marshall said.
Marshall said this as we idled into a cove loaded with timber that anglers could spend hours trying to find fish otherwise.
“Side-imaging sonar has changed the way we fish. You can set it to read out to 200 feet but I keep mine around 90 feet so the image is clear. In addition there is a split screen option to see what is below the boat and with a fish like crappie that hold tight to cover and structure that is so important.”
Marshall said the spot we were fishing was a brushpile that stretched between two trees.
“What we’re going to be fishing with is a jig I have out through Strike King called The Joker. It has incredible action and really lures in the crappie,” he said.
We fished these lures on long fly style poles Marshall has out through Lew’s and on six-pound test line.
“Throw right there,” he said pointing to the corner of a tree.
A keeper black crappie hit my line and then a few seconds later Marshall had one on.