UAFS and PRACDO to Partner on Fishing Workshop

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Center for Business and Professional Development (CBPD) and PRADCO Outdoor Brands will host an eight-hour fishing course on how to catch America’s favorite pan fish Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Windgate Theater, located at 5210 Kinkead Ave.

The course, called Crappie University, will feature regional experts who will discuss tips, tricks and regional knowledge on fishing for crappie in the Arkansas-Oklahoma area. Crappie is abundant in much of the United States and can be caught year-round with the right knowledge of the fish and its habits. Crappie University was founded to provide that information through classroom instruction.

“UAFS will provide the venue and oversee registration and accommodations,” said Kendall Ross, director of the CBPD. “Pairing with PRADCO on this is a natural extension of our mission to aid in organizational development to local businesses.”

“PRADCO Outdoor Brands Fishing Division, which was founded in Fort Smith nearly 60 years ago, is the largest domestic lure company and one of the largest in the world,” explained Tessa Galarza, customer service manager at PRADCO, “and over the decades, PRADCO has proudly employed UAFS alumni and students.”

A $99 registration fee covers all course materials, including samples of crappie lures and jigheads and lunch on the UAFS campus. Registration is open to the public. Interested anglers can register at

Area experts who will present will include:

  • Todd Huckabee of Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma, one of the top crappie authorities in the country, will discuss his experience using Garmin LiveScope to watch how crappie react to baits, colors, size, techniques and noise.
  • Payton and Tiffany Usrey of Springdale will guide students through how and when to adjust techniques according to water color, depth, and fish positioning and share lessons learned on everything from pulling crankbaits to spider rigging in reservoirs, rivers and creeks.
  • “Crappie Coach” Barry Morrow of Deepwater, Missouri, will instruct anglers of all skill levels in how to master one-pole jig fishing throughout the year and share personal experiences on local waters.
  • O.T. Fears of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, who climbed his way to the top of fishing stardom with years of success along the professional bass fishing trails, will discuss how he became hooked on crappie fishing at lakes Tenkiller, Webbers Falls and Kerr, as well as must-know tips from a master fisherman.

In addition to Crappie University, PRADCO’s lineup of brands includes Arbogast, Bandit, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Bomber Lures, BOOYAH, Cotton Cordell, Creek Chub, Gene Larew Lures, Heddon, Lindy Legendry Fishing Tackle, Norman Lures, Smithwick Lures, Rebel Lure Company, Thill Floats, War Eagle Custom Lures and YUM.

Photo: Submitted Photo, “Crappie Coach” Barry Morrow of Deepwater, Missouri

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