From the Author
Phillips: That's a very-good question, and the answer's simple. The tournament crappie fishermen have to catch the most big crappie they can every day they compete, if they're going to earn any money to continue to pay their expenses, be able to go to crappie tournaments and be able to add some cash to their family's income. They're highly motivated to find the most big crappie they can in the short time they have to fish in a tournament - often no more than 1 or 2 days.
Question: How long have you been crappie fishing?
Phillips: I was fortunate to have a dad who worked and lived through the Great Depression. He and my mother were what's known as "close providers." Growing up, we were just above the poverty level, but we never knew it. The main reason for the hunting and fishing that we did was not only for sport and fellowship, but to feed our family. In those days, even when we caught small fish, we scored them across the sides, fried them whole and pulled the meat away from the bone. I always liked catching crappie, but I liked eating crappie even more. When my wife and I were at the University of West Alabama, I had a friend named John Holley, one of the best crappie fishermen I'd ever known. He and I would fish together on either Friday or Saturday. We caught all the crappie we legally could catch and had a fish fry for the other students living in the married students' apartments. During the week, I'd crappie-fish in a creek that was only 5-minutes from campus before or after school and work and catch crappie from the bank to eat in the middle of the week. I guess the best way to explain how long I've been crappie fishing is to say I never remember a time when I haven't fished for crappie.