Crappie University is returning to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which was expected and highly anticipated because of its popularity, on Feb. 1.
What’s new this year probably will pique the interest of anglers who concentrate on saltwater fishing or try their luck in the saltwater environment between sac-a-lait fishing’s peak seasons. ULL’s Department of Continuing Education has added an Inshore Fishing University for each Wednesday in April.
Teche Area residents can take advantage of the opportunities, which most regions of the state lack. The only other Crappie University course in Louisiana is Jan. 25 at Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe.
ULL’s Crappie University is as an eight-hour accelerated course in sac-a-lait (Cajun for crappie) fishing taught by experienced experts who guide, fish tournaments and pursue the panfish every month of the year. The course covers a variety of tips and techniques to benefit anglers, including how to fish with hair jigs and tube jigs as well as get all the benefits from marine electronics in the search for sac-a-lait.
This year’s class will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The $99 registration fee includes a full day of lessons and a light lunch served onsite.
Three of the four Crappie University instructors have been lined up. They are Barry Morrow — Secrets of Jig Fishing for Crappie; Dan Annenmueller — Unlock the Trea-sure Chest of Crappie Fish-ing’s Top Tech-niques, and Jerry Thom-pson — Year-round Crappie: Techniques by the Season on Toledo Bend.
This will be the third Crappie University at ULL. The first one in 2018 drew a crowd in the 90s. Last year’s course attracted a little more than 60, many of whom were coming back from the first year, according to Program Coordinator Tony Soumeillan, who is filling in to organize the special courses this year for Babs Dees of Loreauville, who has been teaching this school year.
Dees played a key role in bringing the Inshore Fishing University to ULL, Soumeillan said Friday afternoon. The dates are April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22 and April 29 from 6-8 p.m. each day with a registration fee of $49.
Shane Johnson of New Iberia, who owns Acadian Outdoor Charters, is scheduled to be the instructor.
Actually, Dees said, she listened to the wants of people who attended Crappie University.
“Hopefully, we can grow some of the learning experience. What we try to do is listen to the community needs by getting feedback. We’re trying to pay attention to what the community wants,” Dees said Friday.
Soumeillan said, “Johnson reached out to Babs wanting to do this. Babs got the ball rolling with him.”
Here are topics that will be covered:
• Water Temperature: The Ultimate Predictor of Seasonal Movements of Fish.
• Electronics/Sonars: Unlock the mystery of what lies below the water’s surface and navigate with pinpoint accuracy.
• Artificial and Live Bait Techniques: Get introduced to many of the techniques used along the coast, including cast net techniques.
• Fishing Tides & Reading Water: Natural and Manmade Current Breaks: Learn how and why current positions fish and makes their hiding spots predictable.
• Sense Organs of Fish: Fish Have More Than Eyeballs: Gain insight using a strategic guide based on the five sense organs.
• Why High-Performance Equipment Makes a Difference; Receive in-depth coverage of baitcasters, rods, knots, fishing lines, hooks, corks and plastics.
• Smart Phone Fishing Applications and On-line Resources: Take advantage of intel at your fingertips.
• Artificial Reef Systems/Projects for the LA Coastline from the Coastal Conservation Association.
These courses and their topics should help area anglers become better fishermen.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.