Meridian Star

March 14, 2014

Crappie magic on Okatibbee

By Mike Giles
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Spring break week means baseball, softball, fishing and turkey hunting to youngsters and parents in our state and there’s no shortage of anything to do. While many juggle several different things in addition to jobs, spring break provides an opportunity for many young anglers to leave all their troubles behind and catch a few fish.

    In Chandler Gibson’s case, spring break means a chance to get out on the water with his dad to catch a few soc-e-lait, white perch, or crappie as it were. Jason Gibson and his son were enjoying a day on the water and jerking a few perch when I happened upon them. As we fished in their direction and they fished towards us, the fish started biting and we just put down anchors and obliged them.

    Sometimes you’ve just got to cast off all of your problems and go fish catching and that’s just what we did. When the crappie head to the shallows to spawn, they do so in large numbers and they’re ready to feast on any fare that they can find and lay those eggs. While the weather and fluctuating water levels sometimes make it hard to keep up with the crappie on a day to day basis, rest assured that when the time is right, come wind or high water, they’re going to spawn and eat.

    While watching Chandler and his dad catching fish on the front of their Ranger, it was obvious that they were really enjoying a day on the water. I hadn’t seen their boat before and noticed that they were probably new to the area, or just visiting. Gibson confirmed my suspicions when he told me that they’d recently relocated from Arkansas and now lived a few minutes from the boat ramp at Okatibbee Lake.

    After a short introduction they graciously allowed me to take some pictures of them fishing and catching fish. I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t like to catch fish and they were surely having fun doing so while enjoying some quality father and son time on the water. There’s just something special about sharing time on the water with your father while catching fish and making lifetime memories.

    Crappie fishing isn’t complicated this time of year, you just have to get out on the water and go fishing. Whether you do it from the bank, or from a boat, you can catch a mess of fish for supper in short order. All it takes is a pole and minnow or jig and you can have a ball.

    Just move along the bank, or ease along with your trolling motor until you get a bite and then stop and start catching. Crappie move in schools and where you catch one there’s sure to be more nearby. Just don’t move past the area until you cover it thoroughly, or you just might miss a honey hole.

    Every time I go fishing I enjoy my time in on the water and we usually catch fish. Every once in a while we have a special treat and my trip to Okatibbee Lake last Saturday brought an added bonus of meeting some new angling friends, Jason and Chandler Gibson. While most of the anglers had called it a day, we enjoyed an afternoon on the water catching perch and talking fishing with new friends. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

    Contact  Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at