We at TYEPRO don’t consider ourselves “one-fish” anglers, but you might not realize it based on our ‘TYE With A PRO’ interview series.
Last month we spoke with Russ Bailey, who has made a name for himself as a professional crappie fisherman and as host on the crappie-centric Brushpile Fishing program. Prior to that we spoke with Clyde “The Crappie Psychic” Folse (you may be able to guess what his specialty is). We figured we’d round out the trio and speak to one more crappie expert before we look at other species.
And Kyle Schoenherr knows crappie. Enough that he was the 2015 Crappie Masters national champion, as well as the Crappie USA national champion, in addition to being named Sportsman of The Year by the Crappie Masters league in 2014.
“Back in ‘09, I used to do some construction work, had a back injury and that basically ended doing construction. So I started guiding and seeing how busy I could stay at it. I’ve always fished those lakes since I was little,” he explains. “Started fishing the national tournament trail in 2010 and was lucky enough to do well in it helped me stay busy guiding.”
Now, we would never wish a back injury upon anyone. But if it ends up paying off by getting you started as a fishing guide, and then onto a national fishing tour? It almost makes the injury seem like a good thing.
Schoenherr may have been the Alabama State Champion in 2012 (his trophy shelf must be getting crowded) but “those lakes” he refers to are actually in Southern Illinois: Kinkaid Lake, Rend Lake and Lake of Egypt, which he refers to as some of the “best crappie fishing in the Midwest.”
He owns All Seasons Crappie Fishing Guide Service, and it’s more than just an appealing name. Many anglers buy into the idea that crappie breed during the Spring and then fatten up in the Fall to prepare for Winter...and then those fishing enthusiasts ignore the fish for the rest of the year. Schoenherr takes a different approach. “The fish are post-spawn and they’ve got the spawning process over with and they’re more concerned about eating than they are about anything else. The weather’s pretty consistent and normally the fishing is pretty consistent also.”
Crappie has always been his target, since he was a child, hitting the lakes with his mother and father. The first knot he learned was the clinch and it’s the knot that he taught his own children during their first excursion.
When asked for tips for those struggling to tie knots, however, he suggested the palomar—noting that its lack of small openings makes it ideal for failing eye sight, as those with know-how could “tie it with your eyes closed.”
His points are valid, but of course we like to show off how easy it can be to tie an improved clinch with the TYEPRO tool (although we may be biased). Either way, both knots require you to first thread a small eyelet, so TYEPRO can definitely help with that.
Knots aside, when it comes to catching crappie, we recommend you take Schoenherr’s advice. He’s the one with the trophies.