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Sighting in on Crappie with a ‘Scope

Not much has changed with John Duncan’s crappie fishing tactics on DeGray Lake in southwest Arkansas since he adopted forward-facing sonar about four years ago, except the speed at which he finds the fish for his clients.

Duncan owns and operates YoYo’s Guide Service, one of the regular contributors to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Weekly Fishing Report. He’s been crappie fishing all his life, but really kicked up his game about seven years ago, when he began taking people with techniques he learned from Jerry Blake and Tammy Richardson, two well-known local guides who have since moved on from the business at DeGray.

After hearing all the hype and watching videos on YouTube of people singling out big crappie and bass with a single rod while staring at their screens, I was surprised when Duncan loaded the same big bucket of minnows into his boat as he had about six years ago when I last visited with him on the water. He still had the same 10- to 12-foot crappie rods and rod holders attached to the sides of his oversized aluminum boat. Really the only thing that changed on his rig was a large pedestal on the bow sporting a new big-screen fishfinder capable of using the latest fishfinding technology.

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