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90-year-old has a knack for catching crappie

BY HAL McKNIGHT, For The Oklahoman Published: May 11, 2013

Looking for a good Mother's Day present? Why not take mom fishing?

Randy Henderson of Oklahoma City did on Monday, going crappie fishing with his mother, Etta Henderson, who turns 90 next month.

It had been 15 years since Etta had fished, and she was excited as a kid at Christmas when her son and I accompanied her for a day of fishing at a large Canadian County farm pond.

We launched the jon boat and tied to a large tree in the middle of a creek channel. We rigged our rods with small crappie jigs, and Etta was working her 1/8-ounce chartreuse jig up and down when the rod bent.

She hauled in a large slab crappie and proclaimed, “Here's dinner.” As Etta caught one crappie after another, she proclaimed, “Boys, this really is like catching fish in a barrel.”

Now is the time to go crappie fishing, as the fish are spawning on many lakes across Oklahoma, making it the best time to catch them. The daily limit is 37.

The cooler spring delayed the crappie spawn this year, and anglers are still catching slabs in shallow water.

Jigs and live minnows are the baits of choice. Now is a good time to fish with a jig under a cork close to brush. Target standing timber and brushy cover in coves that are protected from the wind.

And if you are 65 or older and a resident of Oklahoma like Etta is, you can buy a lifetime state fishing license for $15 and catch all the crappie you want.


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