March 2018
Outdoor Life

Crappie’s Public Enemy No.1

Gerald “Tiger” Overstreet guides anglers on what he calls Clarke County’s “fishing gold mine.”


Tiger Overstreet knows where to find the big ones. He has spent years fishing the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. Now, he is on a mission to let everyone know the fishing bounties available in this area.

Gerald "Tiger" Overstreet is a dedicated sportsman and angler. He knows firsthand the fishing bounties available in the two rivers surrounding Clarke County, where he has lived all his life. In fact, he is so proud of the plentiful fishing opportunities here that he is on a mission to let everybody know about the excellent fishing available on the Lower Tombigbee and Alabama rivers.

"We have a fishing gold mine right here in Clarke County with our two rivers on each side of us," he said, "but people don’t know it. We have not got the word out yet!"

Tiger grew up in the Gainestown Community near Jackson. His father, Gerald Overstreet Sr., was a commercial fisherman, so fishing was a way of life for the family. Tiger cannot remember when he did not go fishing with his dad.

Tiger grew up catching bass and catfish on the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. However, in 2004, he discovered crappie fishing, and suddenly he had found a new passion. He still enjoys all types of fishing, but crappie fishing is now his favorite.

In 2015, Tiger started his own fishing guide service, Overstreet’s Guide Service.

"There were no crappie guides in this part of the state," he said, "and we have some of the best crappie fishing anywhere!"

Tiger guides groups all over the Alabama and Lower Tombigbee rivers. He is very familiar with the creeks and sloughs along the rivers.

On the Alabama, he keeps up with the generating schedules of the Miller’s Ferry Lock and Dam because he has learned firsthand that the currents impact the fish in both the main river and feeder streams. His success at catching quality crappie has spread by both word of mouth and social media.

"People kept contacting me about taking them fishing," he said, "so, I started guiding. Now, I’m averaging a trip a week."

Many people think crappie can only be caught in the spring, but Tiger said this is a misconception. Fishermen can catch crappie at any time, especially in this area. In colder months, crappie will gather in holes made by the currents in the main river channel. They seek cover under sunken logs, bushes or trees. This is when the electronics really help to locate the honey holes.

Tiger told one story about a young man who gave his father a guided trip for Christmas.

"I took them out the week after Christmas," he stated, "and we caught 25! Most were over 2 pounds!"

Tiger works at BASF in McIntosh. Since he works shifts, he has to schedule his fishing trips around his time off. His guided fishing trips usually last eight hours. He prefers to take guests in his own boat because he has everything he needs right at his fingertips.

Tiger and his daughter, Beth Ann, show some of the fish caught on one of his guided trips.


Overstreet’s Guide Service is also helping anglers in another way. When Tiger bought his boat with the latest technologies, it took him two years to learn how to use his Humminbird Helix Mega imaging unit. Frustrated, he decided to offer a six-hour, hands-on, learning experience on the water. His Humminbird Electronics Training session is very popular with anglers, especially since technologies change so rapidly.

"Knowing how to use the electronics makes all the difference," he explained. "It is the only way to compete in unfamiliar water because you can locate structures easily. The images will help you have fewer hang ups, too."

Tiger also enjoys competition fishing. In fact, he has fished tournaments all over the country. In 2015, he was fifth overall in the Crappie Masters standings. He fishes on all three circuits: Crappie Masters Tournament Trail, American Crappie Trail and Crappie USA. He prefers the American Crappie Trail because the first prize in each tournament is a Ranger boat.

Having competed against some of the best, he has great respect for those who have advanced the sport and made it more accessible to all.

"When you’re fishing in these tournaments," he explained, "you are fishing against the pros. These are the guys who developed the techniques for crappie fishing."

Tiger said the largest crappie he has ever caught was 3.01 pounds in a Crappie Master’s tournament. The most he has caught in one day is 165, with three people fishing.

Big Daddy Lawler, who hosts the "Gettin’ Outdoors" radio show, has called Tiger "public enemy No. 1 in the Miller’s Ferry crappie world."

Many satisfied customers would agree. Tiger’s Facebook photos show satisfied customers with rows of large fish. The comments also verify his talents in finding and catching big fish.


Jennifer Overstreet often fishes with her husband. She enjoys crappie fishing and enters a few competitive tournaments.

Fishing has always been a shared event for the Overstreet family. Jennifer loves fishing with her husband. When their daughter, Beth Ann, was born, Jennifer and Tiger did not let a baby keep them from fishing. They strapped a fold-out playpen on their boat and the family went fishing.

"I remember seeing that boat coming down the river with that baby bed on it," Lawler recalled. "That little girl was as happy as a lark!"

Jennifer even won the Wilcox County Chamber of Commerce Big Crappie Tournament with "Baby Girl" (as they call Beth Ann) on board, contentedly playing in the playpen.

Beth Ann has definitely inherited her parents’ love of fishing. Recently, when her Dad’s fishing partner had to work, she filled in, capturing Top Place in the Adult/Youth Division of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail, held on the Alabama River in Prattville.

Tiger’s passion drives his desire to share his knowledge and improve the sport of fishing. He also continues his quest to let the world know about the excellent crappie fishing on the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers.

"These two rivers are as good as it comes for crappie fishing," he said. "You just gotta get out there to try it. Let’s go fishing!"

Overstreet’s Guide Service can be found on Facebook under Gerald "Tiger" Overstreet Jr. Watch him catch some big ones on YouTube. You can contact him at 251-589-3225 in Gainestown.



Carolyn Drinkard is a freelance writer from Thomasville. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..