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Crappie guide loves winter fishing

Fishing guide Josh Jones of Sapulpa holds a 3-pound crappie. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Fishing guide Josh Jones of Sapulpa holds a 3-pound crappie. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

It was Jimmy Houston who suggested Josh Jones start guiding for crappie.

“Jimmy is a good friend of mine, and he called me up and said, ‘Hey, you are catching more fish than anyone I know. Let's go do a show,'" Jones said. “We went out and filmed a show, and he suggested I start guiding.”

In the past year, the Sapulpa angler's crappie guide business has exploded, mostly due to the fishing videos he has posted on his Facebook page. His videos have been viewed about 2.5 million times on Facebook and attracted customers from Minnesota to Alabama.

Last week, Jones was guiding fishermen from Missouri on Keystone Lake. They had contacted him after seeing him catch crappie on Facebook.

“I could fish full time right now if I really wanted to,” said Jones, who installs security systems when he is not catching crappie.

Jones, 31, will be one of four instructors Feb. 16 at Rose State College's “Crappie University,” a daylong class on crappie fishing.

He guides for crappie on many Oklahoma lakes, but his favorites are Skiatook, Keystone and Birch. Keystone is his main fishing hole in the winter.

“I have been preaching Keystone for years,” Jones said. “I really think Skiatook and Keystone are two of the top lakes in the state.”

His haul last weekend at Keystone Lake with two customers included 30 crappie weighing at least 1 3/4 pounds each.

“Our average fish all day was close to a pound and a half, I bet,” he said.

Winter also is one of the best times to go crappie fishing, he said.

“You got less people. You don't have to fight a bunch of people for spots. The cold weather kind of runs people off,” Jones said.

“And (crappie) bite artificial baits a lot better in the winter. They thump those jigs in the winter. And the fish are the biggest they are going to be in the winter. My biggest fish are going to be caught in January and February.”

His best crappie fishing tips are to fish muddy water and stock up on a variety of baits.

“I try to find the muddiest water on any lake I go to,” he said. “That's where the big crappie like to hang out ... Don't be afraid to take a boatload of different baits. You never know when they are going to be hitting a crankbait, or might hit a hair gig, or they might hit a 4-inch jig.”

But he credits much of his success to Garmin's new LiveScope solar scanning system. Part of his presentation at Crappie University will be discussing the latest technology in electronics.

“With these new electronics, it's allowing us to do things that have never been done before,” Jones said. “These fish were hard to catch a couple of years ago. In 2016, I only caught seven 2-pounders all year at Keystone. I've caught 10 in one day out there because you can find them easy.

“It's basically a live view of anything out in front of your boat. It's essentially a video in muddy water. You can see the fish. You can see how they are reacting. You can see if they are sitting still. It eliminates all times fishing dead water. Your bait is always in front of a fish. At least in the crappie world, it's taken over.”



• When: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Feb. 16.

• Where: Rose State College, Midwest City.

• Instructors: Duck Dynasty's John Godwin and crappie guides Todd Huckabee, Barry Morrow and Josh Jones.

• Cost: $99.

• To enroll: Contact Rose State College at 405-733-7392 or go to 

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›