Oregon Kayak Crappie Event Loads Up – Pre-spawn bite at Brownlee is full speed on the fair-sized slabs

Pre-spawn bite at Brownlee is full speed on the fair-sized slabs

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Top anglers in the Brownlee Crappie Shootout were Jason McCormick (longest crappie tied), Jordan Parker (longest bass), Jared Rivera (overall 3 crappie total length tournament winner), Justin Flynn (longest crappie tied), and Mike Ragland (longest catfish).

The Brownlee Crappie Shootout ended up with a modest but enthusiastic crowd on Saturday, May 14. Not bad for an inaugural event, especially considering the remoteness of the location.

A dozen kayak anglers braved the wrath of eastern Oregon Spring thunderstorms to compete for fun and prizes while supporting some great charities. The contest started off calm, but turned nautical as the wind and waves built throughout the day, testing the abilities of everyone. In spite of the winds, the action was fast and constant with all competitors catching double and triple digit quantities of fair-size crappie along the shoreline. These fish were in pre-spawn mode and very aggressive. Soft plastics and small plugs in greens and blues were the top producers.The key to the 3 fish total length format was to find an area that held slightly larger fish and work it thoroughly. Rocky banks and bay points produced all of the larger fish.

Brownlee is a 15,000 surface acre reservoir on the Oregon and Idaho border that is famous for it's crappie fishing. There is no limit on the tasty critters but this kayaker got a little carried away. That's a lot of knife work.

Brownlee is a 15,000 surface acre reservoir on the Oregon and Idaho border that is famous for it’s crappie fishing. There is no limit on the tasty critters but this kayaker got a little carried away. That’s a lot of knife work.

The event ended without any aquatic incidents but the awards ceremony and pot luck, held in the small town of Huntington, was interrupted by one heck of a thunderstorm, bringing gale force winds, lightning and thunder, rain and hail. Back at the Spring Recreation Area,the campground was a yard sale. Tents were laid over, gear was strewn about and everything not tied down was headed East.

During one particular micro burst a tree came down on top of a competitor’s truck, doing significant damage to the roof and passenger side. The three guys working on the truck at the time had the presence of mind to take off running when they heard the loud cracking of the tree giving way. Luckily they managed to escape with only minor scrapes and a new appreciation for mother nature. As crazy as the late afternoon storm was, the day ended as it should, around a campfire with new friends talking about fishing and adventure. — Jared Rivera

The Brownlee Crappie Shootout results were:

Total Overall Length (3 crappie in inches)
1.Jared Rivera 30.5
2.Justin Flynn-tie 30.25
2.Jason McCormick-tie 30.25
4.Mark Veary 30.0
5.Mike Ragland 29.75
6.Bradley Turner 29.5
7.Jordan Parker 29.25
8.Daniel Exstrom 28.75
9.Sherman Case-tie 28.75
9.Ryan Palmer 28.75
11.Daniel Luker 28.0
12.Sam Buckley still fishing…
Longest Bass
Jordan Parker 12.25
Longest Crappie (Tied)
Justin Flynn 10.25
Jason McCormick 10.25
Longest Catfish
Mike Ragland 23.0