Thumbs up as we find the "right
kind" of fish
It didn’t take long for me to start drawing strikes
and every few casts Oliver reminded me to let out more line and make longer and
sweeping pulls, allowing the bait to really dart erratically rather than
retrieve in parallel and advance the bait forward too much during each rip.
Oliver puts on a crappie sight
His coaching worked and my strike ratio improved, which is more than I can say
for my landing ratio. Being such an experienced crappie angler (not) I probably
made every mistake in the book, and the first few fish that struck the bait
either came off because I wasn’t used to the braid and my overly enthusiastic
sets ripped the baits right off their mouths, or if I kept them pinned through
the strike I still lost them as I failed to lift the crappies cleanly into the
boat, allowing their paper-mouths to break as they splashed on the surface.
The crappie fishing starts getting
crazy. Big Crappie Dreams!
In addition to blind casting Vision 110’s we also took the Dream Machine into
shallow water, sight fishing for crappie. The Megabass Hazedong rigged on a drop
shot was absolute money, but just like when targeting largemouth sight fishing
for crappies required proper placement, finesse, and a whole lot more
persistence than I have ever put in for any single slab.
We worked this crappie for nearly
BCD! Big Crappie Dreams
Through the day my respect for these crappie
grew quickly, and they certainly proved to be a whole lot more wily and
tenacious than I had ever given them credit for. Truth be told the vast majority
of crappie that I have caught over the years has been by accident when fishing
drop shot rigs or paddletails for largemouth… by-catch.
Just like giant bass Oliver
relishes in the crappie joy
The coolest thing about the day was I was learning a whole lot about crappie
fishing, but also having a lot of fun in the process fishing for a species that
I normally did not target. That is when the light bulb finally went off.
Crappie Dreams (BCD) movement was not about actually shifting from largemouth
bass to the “real star of the North American sunfish species” but rather a
satirical take on bass fishing and today’s fishing climate and mentality. The
BCD movement was never really just about the crappie, though they are amazingly
more fun and challenging to catch than most bass anglers give them credit for,
but rather a reminder to everyone to take a moment to remember what bass fishing
is all about.
Maybe there is something to these
Oliver talked about how too many anglers, himself included, have taken the hunt
for giant fish much too seriously, losing sight of just how special and joyous
those moments and time spent fishing should be. Having fun is what it is all
about, and with that declaration he finally picked up his Megabass Onager and
started casting a Defiant swimbait. As he loaded way back and launched the 6oz.
bait Oliver talked about how his early days saltwater fishing are what helped
mold his big bait casting techniques.
By the end of the day I was on the
Oliver credits this open approach and the skills learned through the pursuit of
so many different species and applications for creating the foundation for not
only the successful pursuit of giants but the very creation of his Big Bass
Dreams lifestyle brand.
Throughout the rest of the day we fished all the way
until sunset, targeting a mix of fish and landing smallies, largemouth, and more
crappie. Oliver fishes hard and by the end of the day I joked about how my lazy
retrieve was just as effective, as my hands were feeling pretty raw as a result
of ripping with spinning gear all day.
The crappie, and Oliver's BCD
satire, is reminding anglers to not take the pursuit of giants too seriously and
to take the time to enjoy everything that fishing has to offer, including just
We fished until dark and ended up landing over fifty fish on the Dream Machine,
but none was more special than the very last one. I had already finished fishing
when Oliver stated “one last cast” and that he wouldn’t even open his eyes on
this one. As the sun set behind the hills he cast a Vision 110 towards the bank
and turned away from the line, proceeded to actually close his eyes while
ripping the bait back to the boat. I laughed at first but stopped laughing as he
set into a fish, and declared that it was the “right kind,” and proceeded to not
only retrieve but land a crappie, all while his head was still turned and his
eyes were still closed. If I hadn’t seen it myself I never would have believed
it, and I shook my head all the while in disbelief and amusement. Hard to
believe right? Like many of his catches Oliver had the GoPro running the whole
time and has footage of the entire blind cast to catch moment.
The end of a real crappie day...
an epic one at that with over 50 fish boated
The satirical BCD movement is a good reminder of what fishing should be first
and foremost, and that is fun. Fishing brings people together and the very
principles behind the creation of Big Bass Dreams extend far beyond the gamefish
so many of us love to pursue.
Sometimes it is fun to take a moment to do something different, to take a step
back and savor the moment, and to not take something too seriously. On this day
the crappie helped do exactly that for the two of us, and while I won’t be
trading in my big bait wrap for a tray of crappie jigs anytime soon I will
certainly relish those Big Crappie Dreams.
Looking for Big Bass Dreams merch? Check out
Big Bass Dreams