Editor’s Note: “This the most fish I’ve ever caught in my life,” are words that guide Tony Adams of Eufaula, Alabama, hears every time he takes anglers out on Lake Eufaula, formed by the Chattahoochee River in southeast Alabama on the Georgia/Alabama line. Catching 30 crappie per person with Adams and two customers in the boat happens often there. What makes this trip even better is if you count the throwbacks, Adams and his two anglers often will catch more than 120 crappie in 4 hours. And, here’s the secret of taking a youngster or a novice angler fishing and creating a lifetime fishing partner in just four hours. Children may not enjoy fishing, but they love to go catching. So, to create a lifetime fishing buddy, take your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or any young person on a fishing trip of a lifetime where they can catch more fish than they’ve ever believed possible and have stories to tell all their friends when they return home. Even today, when I talk to my son, who is in his late 40s, he talks about all the fish we’ve caught on various trips when he was a youngster.
“I don’t really care if I catch fish or not,” Tony Adams explains. “The main purpose of this trip is to make sure my youngsters catch fish.” Adams often sits the youngsters in the front of the boat with him, so he not only can teach them how to catch fish, but make sure they pull in plenty of crappie or catfish during this fishing trip. “If a youngster is having a hard time setting the hook when a fish bites, I’ll set the hook for him, pass him the pole and let him pull in the fish, because that’s the real fun of catching crappie,” Adams explains. “When the crappie are finnicky and not biting really hard, I can see the subtle twitch of the pole that a youngster may miss. So, I’ll set the hook, pass the pole to the youngster, and watch his eyes get big, his muscles tighten and the pole bend until he or she gets the crappie to the boat.” If a youngster catches a very-big crappie, Adams quickly grabs his dip net to make sure that the crappie ends-up in the boat, without getting free from the hook.
But to be a trip of a lifetime, anglers of any age need to catch more fish than they’ve ever caught in their lives. To increase the odds for the adult to catch fish, Adams coaches him or her as well as the youngsters on how to see the bite, how to set the hook and how to get the fish into the boat. The first time I ever fished with Adams, we caught three limits of crappie and while jug fishing caught 200 pounds of catfish. Although Lake Eufaula is one of the top five big-bass fishing lakes in the nation, and anglers come from all over the country to fish there, Eufaula also homes a tremendous amount of crappie and cats that generally are underfished for, due to the lake’s fishing pressure on the bass. The majority of anglers who come to Eufaula generally don’t notice the outstanding crappie and catfish fishing there. This is one reason that Adams can be so successful in producing fishing trips of a lifetime for the anglers he takes out on his guide trips.
You can contact my guide, Tony Adams at 334-695-3003 and see photos of his fish on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tony.adams.5477) or visit
To learn more about crappie fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie” in print and Kindle versions at http://amzn.to/1DBpnNh and Click here for the Audible link.
Tomorrow: How Kids, Crappie, Catfish and Jugs Create Outstanding Fishing Trips