No Denial! Carlile And Nichols Stay Hot To Claim American Ethanol/Arkansas State Championship

Combating a high powered field, night and day weather changes, and fishing without his partner, Robert Carlile kept the teams stated goal of competing for the Angler Team of the Year in great standing by claiming the teams second Crappie Masters Tournament victory of the year narrowly holding off the other two-time winning team of Wade McDonald and Eric Cagle at the Crappie Masters sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops Lake Dardanelle National Qualifier American Ethanol Arkansas State Championship hosted by American Ethanol and the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce April 12 and 13. Making runs of nearly 30 miles if needed and timing fish bite in areas, Carlile was able to leapfrog day one leaders Edward and Reuben Shawn bringing in 14 fish weighing 28.27 pounds and taking home the $4,700.00 winners check along with an additional Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol $500.00 bonus for using E10 fuel in his boat and a $100.00 Jenko Fishing Product bonus. Carlile started off spider rigging but quickly went back to his preferred single pole technique catching fish near the bottom in 10 to 14 foot of water using his preferred crawdad colored Dunkin hair jig giving praise to the dependability of his Mercury outboard and Minn Kota Trolling Motor on his long runs and shortened fishing times due to those runs. Carlile also said that staying with his game plan was a huge key to the victory. Robert Carlile and Craig Nichols are sponsored by Huckabee Rods, Lowrance, and Dunkin Jigs.


Moving into the runner up position on Crappie Masters Championship Saturday was the Alabama team of Wade McDonald and Eric Cagle who narrowly missed claiming their 3rd victory of the 2019 season weighing in 27.89 pounds of Dardanelle Crappie garnering the team $2,300.00 in prize money. McDonald and Cagle with the second place finish stayed firmly in the Angler Team of the Year race giving them four top ten finishes so far including two wins. McDonald and Cagle also chose to single pole Skippers Toad Thumper Jigs using black and chartreuse Bobby Garland Minnow Mind’Rs on HH Rods in 10 to 24 foot of water targeting fish 8 to 12 feet deep. The team also credited their Humminbird Electronics and Minn Kota Trolling Motor along with their Mercury powered Tracker boat as a key factor in making a move from eighth place after day one to second place on Crappie Masters Championship Saturday. Wade McDonald and Eric Cagle are sponsored by HH Rods and Reels, Foxy Fishing Gear, Southern Light LED, Pautzke Bait, Rod Sox, Skippers Jigs, and K9 Line.

After leading day one as the only team above 14 pounds and having a 2.46 pound kicker fish which would eventually be the big fish of the tournament, the father and son team of Edward and Reuben Shawn settled for third place after stumbling just a slight bit on day two but still weighing in a two day total of 27.59 pounds to take home a $1,400 check for finishing third plus $504.00 for the big fish. Running their Mercury powered Tracker boat the Shawn’s used their Humminbird Electronics and Minn Kota Trolling Motor to target shallower fish spider rigging minnows in 4 to 10 feet of water getting the better bite and fish 5 to 6 foot deep. 

Taking home the $1,100.00 fourth place money was the current Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year Barry Morrow and Chad Maupin who had another strong finish bringing a two-day total of 27.33 pounds of fish across the scale keeping the team firmly in the Angler Team of the Year race with their better lakes yet to come. 

The team of Lamar Bunting and Greg London held the fifth place position with a two-day weight of 27.31 pounds, moving from twelfth to fifth on Championship Saturday and collecting a $900.00 check for the effort.  

Second big fish of tournament money of $216.00 went to the team of Wade Dunn and Rick Borum for their 2.39 pound Lake Dardanelle dandy. 

Top Male/Female team honors went to the Ozark Rods team of David and Kim Cox who struggled on day two finishing in a respectable 11th position and walked away with a Humminbird Helix 5. 

Click HERE for full tournament results. 

Crappie Masters would like to thank American Ethanol, the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Kentucky Corn Growers Association’s Adam Andrews for their work and support in bringing back a Crappie Masters Event after a long absence from Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas. 

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, Americas Best Value Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Best Western Inn, Boat in the Water, LLC, Brangus Steak House, Morelos Mexican Grill, Logan County Marine Inc, and Feltner’s Inc. 

Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Ozark Rods, Mercury Motors, Power-Pole, Millennium Marine, Muddy Water Baits, Jenko Fishing, Wyld Gear Coolers, Everharts Outdoor Store, HH Rods and Reels, Off Shore Tackle, Navionics, B’n’M Poles, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Midsouth Tackle, American Angler, Crappieholic, Frontier Metal, Valley Fashions, Crappie Now, Slider, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Marine Metal Products, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company,, Ardent, Fish-D-Funk, Skipper’s Jigs, Foxy Fishing Gear, ProBuilt Jigs, Sure Life, Pautzke Bait Company, Mossback Fish Habitat, Freaky Frank’s Custom Tackle, Fish N Tools, Quickfire, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.

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