20 Questions With A Crappie Pro Series 3 Doug Sikora

Bobby Garland Pro Staffer Doug Sikora. (photo courtesy of Indiana Slab Master)

Name: Doug Sikora
Hometown: Noblesville, IN
Years Pro: 6 years
Tournament Partner: Michael Bledsoe
Home Lake: Never claimed a “home lake”, because most lakes feel like home to me.
Favorite Lake: Old Hickory, TN
Boat & Outboard: TritonTA196 SC w/Mercury
Sponsors: Pro-staff with Bobby Garland, Guide Staff with YETI, Simms and Power-Pole
Past Indiana Slab Master Classic Champion, 2015 3rd Place Finish- National Championship- CUSA, multiple wins and big fish honors on both state and national levels

10 Questions Non-Crappie Fishing Related:
1. What is your favorite hobby/activity other than Crappie Fishing?
Archery Elk Hunting

2. What is your favorite meal?
A good stew or soup… cornbread on the side.

3. What kind of music do you like? Who is your favorite singer or band?
Country, Alternative, 70’s, Indy Rock, Rap and Folk.

4. Name your favorite vacation getaway and why?
I love Idaho… I go where you don’t have cell reception, miles of public land, clean air that smells of spruce trees and the fly fishing is off the charts.

5. When you were a child, what did you have dreams of becoming for a profession as an adult?
I wanted to be a Professional fisherman since I was 8 and a Meteorologist.

6. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
I have a cat, because I went fishing to many days in a row and my wife bought the cat for punishment… it is still working to this day. The cat’s name is Dilly, named way before it was a thing.

7. Name for us the most influential person in your life, past or present and why?
I think everybody you meet and have a conversation with is an influence both good and bad.

8. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Please don’t call if you don’t plan to fish ALL day.

9. Do you prefer watching the sunrise or the sunset?
Sunrise, means you still have all day to fish

10. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Raising two kids


10 Crappie Fishing Related Questions:
1. What is your favorite Crappie Fishing Technique and why?
Dock shooting… to teach the techinque to somebody within 30 minutes and be effective, when they said there is “absolutely no way I can do that” is so fulfilling.

2. Here is a scenerio; You have been fishing for 2 hours and only have 2 Crappie in the boat. What do you do to find and catch more fish?
I rely on my electronics. Find the bait, the fish will be close by.

3. What is your go-to lure or bait, color and why?
I have so many go-to baits, but if I could only have three in the box, it would be Bobby Garland Swim R in Bluegrass, Bobby Garland Slab R in Goldmember, and Bandit 300 in Pink.

4. How do you approach a new body of water that you have never fished before and what are you looking for?
All depends on the season, but with Spring on the horizon… I look for warmer water temps, murky colored water, bait, then structure.

5. Do you pre-fish before your tournaments? If so, please explain your approach. Do you thoroughly cover water catching as many crappie in the area or contact fish and keep moving not to pressure an area?
Michael and I do very little pre-fishing because we’re at a time in our life that we must take care of family matters first and then whatever time is left equates to pre-fishing. We rely heavily on our electronic, and when we see fish, we’ll fish until we get a “tournament” fish and move on to find addition areas that hold big fish. Most of our “tournament” fish don’t come from area’s that hold a lot of fish.

6. Name the most important tool/equipment in your boat or tackle that you could not fish without.
Electronics is everything, especially when you don’t have a lot of time fishing.

7. In cold weather conditions, what is your approach to catching Crappie?
When it’s cold crappie are usually schooling around structure. I think a lot of anglers make the mistake of looking in deep water. I look for less current and warmer water shallow (usually). I use big baits, because you normally don’t find small fry in the colder months. Tip: wear latex gloves, it keeps your hand dry, which is an important factor of keeping them warm.

8. Please name the gear you fish with; (Poles, Reels, Line, Electronics, etc.)
St. Croix panfish series for casting and vertical jigging. BnM for slow vertical trolling, pulling crankbaits and shooting. Reels: Shimano. Line: Seaguar Red Label for casting, and Slim Line for Trolling. Electronics: Humminbird Solix Mega 12, 2 Humminbird 800 series, Helix 10, 360. Trolling motor: Minn Kota Ultrex.

9. Do you have a Pre-Tournament Routine? If so please explain.
All depends on the history I have on the body of water. 80% of my pre-fishing is done before the boat hits the water, but I fish through science and the nature of fish. The weather 5 days before the tournament can change everything you planned for, so if one thing remains constant, I watch the weather (wind, barometric pressure, fronts).

10. To date, what is your proudest moment in your Crappie Fishing Career?
I really enjoy teaching crappie fishing through seminars, clinics and Crappie University. People maybe impressed by your tournament accomplishments, but you’re more likely to be remembered if you pass the knowledge along and help others be successful when they’re on the water.

⦁ TIP: Please give one TIP that will help us catch Crappie.
Use a loop knot, and make sure your jig is on PERFECTLY straight. Bonus tip: don’t be to proud to learn from others.

Doug says, “I’d like to thank Crappie Crazy for the continued dedication to the crappie fishing industry and helping anglers find success on the water. Lastly, I’d like to thank everybody who took to the time to read my response. If you find the information helpful, please find time to pass the knowledge to our youth… take a kid fishing.”

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