2013 “Guy’s Weekend” at Truman Lake

Among the most coveted, most anticipated of my “annual” trips lies this particular crappie adventure set at Truman Lake, timed each year with what should be somewhere near peak spawn time.  I do love my “annuals”. With each year, new layers of tall tales and unique experiences are added to on-going legacies, those never-ending story-lines steeped in traditions conjured up over many, many years of camaraderie.

This particular trip is the same seven gentlemen guys, same time, same place, each year, after the same quarry. Mr. Crappie. And we are, typically, quite successful {knocked on wood as I typed that}. Sometimes – last year being an excellent example – we have to work a little harder, search a little longer, try a few new tactics, etc., but we do usually get our fish.

So when the first evening failed to produce much, followed by a pretty lean full day on the water the next day, we started to officially worry. After all, we did have our follow up fish fry with the families planned the next month, complete with hungry children and wives expecting crappie in exchange for blessing this very trip. I cannot speak for the others, but I know my wife bears little patience for excuses that come between her and a plate of crappie.

To expand on the less-than-stellar Thursday we were experiencing, rather interesting weather patterns were developing back home. Let me add now that it just so happens half of our party works in a weather-related (read = commercial snow removal) business. And we had a May 1st snow storm brewing – I can probably count on one hand how many of those I’ve seen in my lifetime. Now, just to throw a little gas on the fire, most snow removal contracts run through the end of April. So, needless to say, the pending emergency had two of our three boats stressed out and on phones for a large part of the day, dealing with potential emergency departures. And with the fishing being nearly dead, discussions involved cutting our losses and abandoning the final day of the trip entirely. In fact, we’d packed up the boats as if we were done.


So when we woke up the next morning with an inch of rare May snowstorm blanketing the world around us, and still coming down hard, the debate heated up. We concluded that boats on the water on Truman would definitely not be happening. I, in fact, under the impression from a previous night’s conversation, had packed up and loaded the car, thinking we had decided to cut our losses and head home.

Then came the “wild card” – it was called to our attention that a certain “Bubba’s Place” existed down the road on the neighboring Lake of the Ozarks, maybe an hour’s drive or so. This “Bubba’s Place”  had a rather large covered dock, rendering all sleet and snow irrelevant. Said dock was surrounded by strategically placed brush and cover, and had been rather productive of late.

An intrigued consensus set forth in a fiery attempt to salvage something of an unusually slow trip thus far.

IMAG1049-bNot sure that I have ever experienced a May snowstorm like this one. I know I have not attempted to fish through one. Fowling weather, certainly. But fishing, no. This day would be a first, and a decision that we would not regret.

Over the course of the next three hours, the seven of us proceeded to rip our limits of 105 slabs from any and every part of the dock,  while snow and sleet and near-freezing temps had us geared up and looking like we were all set to head out to the duck blind instead of our May crappie trip.

IMG_1286-bOnce again, like last year, it worked out. The crafty audible accidentally saved the trip, at least from a harvest perspective. The unique circumstances surrounding the whole thing simply added more of those memorable  “layers” to that long and storied tradition that belongs to this close-knit group of friends. A group that, as each of these annual pilgrimages comes and goes, starts looking forward to the next one.

Check out the full gallery from this trip HERE.


~ benton

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