20 Questions with a Crappie Pro Series 3 Warren Cotton

20 Questions with a Crappie Pro Series 3

Warren Cotton

Guide and Crappie Fishing Pro Warren Cotton (photo courtesy of Crappie Masters)

Name: Warren Cotton
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Years Pro: 13 years
Tournament Partner: Thomas Hill/Jeremy Davis
Home Lake: Sardis, Granada, Arkabutla, & Enid Lakes
Favorite Lake: Sardis
Boat & Outboard: Yamaha Boat
Sponsors: Cabelas, Big Bite Baits, Power Pole, Drift Master Rod Holder, Crappit 101, P-Line, TTI-Blakemore

Accomplishments/Awards: 1st Place 2013 Crappie Masters MS State Championship (Grenada Lake).
2nd Place 2010 Crappie USA Classis (semi-pro div) (Pickwick
4th Place 2012 crappie USA Classis (semi-pro div) (Kentucky
Crappie Masters Class Qualifiers 2016; Won Plaque/Poles
(Granada Lake)
American Crappie Trail 2017; Tournament Big Fish Winner
(Sardis Lake)
Grenada Star featured me
1st Place 2012 Crappie USA Classic (semi-pro div) (Pickwick
1st Place 2012 Crappie USA Classic (semi-pro div) (Lake
1st Place 2013 Crappie USA Classic (semi-pro div) (Patoka

10 Questions Non-Crappie Fishing Related:
1. What is your favorite hobby/activity other than Crappie Fishing? My other hobby/activity other than Crappie Fishing is working with the under served in the Greater Memphis area and assisting them with housing; in addition, to playing a hand in dominoes from time to time.

2. What is your favorite meal? My favorite meal is garlic, lemon, butter, herb Salmon, with Asparagus, and Mash Potatoes

3. What kind of music do you like? Who is your favorite singer or band? I like old school music. My favorite band is The Commodores.

4. Name your favorite vacation getaway and why? My favorite vacation getaway is to Orlando, FL. Why, my wife (Jamie Cotton) and I love to stay there and then drive down to the gulf for various water actives such as but not limited to: great restaurants, Jet Ski, boating etc. The water really is a part of my entire life.

5. When you were a child, what did you have dreams of becoming for a profession as an adult? When I was a child, I dreamed of being just like my dad. Working a job till retirement, taking care of my family/children being a pillar within my community; never once knowing I would be so blessed, being able to do one of my and my dad’s favorite pastimes (fishing) as a job.

6. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? No I do not have any pets at this time; however, I do plan on purchasing a dog very soon.

7. Name for us the most influential person in your life, past or present and why? My dad/uncles are the most influential people in my life. I feel so blessed, as a minority, being able to grow up with so many strong men in my life who showed me so much in terms of manhood. I remember, clearly, being taught the importance of hard work, commitment to family, and keeping God first in my life.

8. If you had a warning label, what would yours say? Warning!! Crappie Fish Hunter on Deck!!

9. Do you prefer watching the sunrise or the sunset? I absolutely love watching the sunrise with my lovely wife OR even better on the lake early, watching the sunrise, while catching crappie slabs!!

10. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? The hardest thing I have ever done is watch my daughter lying in a hospital bed while she courageously battled diabetes.

10 Crappie Fishing Related Questions:
1. What is your favorite Crappie Fishing Technique and why? Spider rigging is my favorite technique; it gives the angler an opportunity present lures or live bait at various depths and also covering open water or fishing cover with various speeds.

2. Here is a scenario; 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 knowledge of that lake along with my electronics to locate other areas of that lake that have active Crappie. Searching for big crappie also based around the time of the year, water temps, and water clarity.

3. What is your go-to lure or bait, color and why? Orange/Chart or Pink/Chart.

4. How do you approach a new body of water that you have never fished before and what are you looking for? My first step is to study the contours of that lake from my Navionics chip in my electronics. I also would find out lake levels, water clarity along with any history of the species I’m searching for on that lake.

5. Do you pre-fish before your tournaments? If so, please explain your approach. Do you thoroughly cover water catching as many crappies in the area or contact fish and keep moving not to pressure an area? Yes, I pre-fish before each Tournament. I hit as many areas as I can search for the larger fish but releasing those fish trying not to disrupt those schools.

6. Name the most important tool/equipment in your boat or tackle that you could not fish without. My electronics, poles and Big Bite Bait Lures

7. In cold weather conditions, what is your approach to catching Crappie? On my home lakes technique is spider rigging using my electronics locate those huge balls of bait fish being followed by monster crappies. Critical Tips: are location, depth, and speed

8. Please name the gear you fish with; (Poles, Reels, Line, Electronics, etc.) Bnm Poles and Reels, Pline, Big Bite Bates, Cabelas, Drift Master Rod Holder, Power-Poles, Lowrance

9. Do you have a Pre-Tournament Routine? If so please explain. Yes, gather as much information on that lake as you can and spend time on the water prior to the tournament.

10. To date, what is your proudest moment in your Crappie Fishing Career? My proudest moment in my crappie fishing career has included winning 1st place in the Crappie Masters MS State Championship; however, it is ongoing in terms of showing people, who guide with me, all across the country how to fish and the best tools to use while fishing.

BONUS TIP: Please give one TIP that will help us catch Crappie. Paying attention to details while fishing can increase your catch.

BONUS question #1- If you could fish with one person, who would it be? If I could fish with one person, at this time, it would be Eddie Cotton, my dad. He is getting up in age, just endured surgery etc. and if would mean the world to me to experience one of our favorite past times together again.

BONUS question #2- Does rigging more than one hook on a line really give an angler that big of an advantage? If so which way do you prefer to tie your rig? Yes, I prefer to tie my rigs with my top hook coming off of a 3-way swivel. My bottom line, will go down to a egg sinker, followed by a bottom hook.

Warren says, “I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to do what I love for a living; this opportunity if not what many have and I take full advantage by showing gratitude daily. I thank my parents (Eddie & Fannie Cotton) and the men in my family for showing me this craft and sparking the fire within me to constantly want to perfect the art. I thank my beautiful wife (Jamie Cotton) and children (Kiara & Saieed) for standing with me and helping me to manage and work such a demanding business. I thank Cabelas, Big Bite Baits, Power Pole, Drift Master Rod Holder, Crappie 101, and TTI-Blakemore for being willing to sponsor me, work with me in a partnership, and grow me as a fellow angler.”

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