St. Johns River, FL Tournament Preview: 2022 Crappie Masters Stop #1

Crappie Masters will be kicking off their 2022 season on the St. John’s River in Deland, Florida on January 21 & 22, hosted by the West Volusia Tourism. The best of the best anglers from all over the country will be hitting the water in hopes to take home the first National Qualifier Champion of the 2022 Season. 

Weights to Expect

Stop #1 for 2022 is shaping up very similar to how our 2021 event right here on the St. John’ River last year was set up. The Team of Robert Sellers and Tommy Sellers won this event last year with a weight of 29.16 lbs over two days of competition. Expect to see weights just like that for this event coming up in 2022.

“I believe we will see a team break that 30lb mark over two days of competition this weekend with the top ten all being over that 25lb mark. This river system is a very healthy fishery with a large amount of Crappie along with many pre-spawn giant Crappie,” states Blake Jackson, Tournament Director. 

How It Will Be Done

Down here in Deland, Florida on the St. Johns River, predicting how the event will be won is a very difficult question to answer. Different techniques to put these giant Florida crappie in the boat are all a possibility. From Spider Rigging, Long Line Trolling, and One Pole Fishing.

The spider Rigging technique will be in play this week with teams focusing on the pre-spawn females waiting to pull up to spawn that are hanging out right outside their spawning areas. The spawning areas down here on the St. Johns River are plentiful with lily pads to cypress trees and everything in between. This is what makes this fishery unique, as there is so much coverage on this river system. Everything is in play for this event.

Long Line Trolling is always a great way to win the event, just like Tommy and Robert Sellers, the 2021 event winners did last year. With this river system having current run through it, long line trolling is one of the best ways to catch these crappie that are still hanging on the edge of the river, waiting to move in the different bays and lakes along this river. This weekend you will see some of the all-time best Long Line trollers in crappie fishing. 

One Pole Fishing will be another technique many teams will be doing this weekend. This technique will be done in a lot of different ways, many of the teams try to find spawning crappie tucked back in the lily pads or under different cover this river system offers. Many teams will be using a forward-facing sonar like Garmin Livescope, Humminbird Mega Imaging, or Lowrance Active Target to find these fish roaming in the main river or right outside of their spawning areas. 

With so many different techniques in play this week on the St. Johns River, state tuned to Crappie Masters Facebook page for pre-tournament interviews starting on Thursday, Jan. 20th. Then, on Friday and Saturday, tune in to watch your favorite teams come across the stage and share what technique they are using to put these giant florida crappie in the boat during our Live Stream Weigh-Ins.

Last Years Results: Top Ten

  1. Robert Sellers – Tommy Sellers = 29.16
  2. Billy Williams – Scott Williams = 28.59
  3. Jonathon Phillips – Jared Gilbert = 27.39
  4. Steve Coleman – Randy Tomlin = 25.92
  5. Jamie Kincade – Joe Maner = 25.86
  6. Terry Barker – Donald Doby = 25.62
  7. Jason Little = 25.60
  8. Lamar Young – Justin Churchwell = 25.55
  9. Scott Stephenson – Matt Kastensmidt = 25.08
  10. Scott Pride – Alan Johnson = 24.96

BIG FISH: Steve Coleman – Randy Tomlin 3.12

2022 St. Johns River Tournament Information

Click here to register for this event.

DATE = January 21 – 22, 2022


HOST = West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority


  • Thursday, January 20
  • Sanborn Activity and Event Center
  • 901 S. Alabama Avenue, Deland, FL 32724
  • Registration: 5:00pm -6:30 pm Rules Meeting 6:30PM


  • Ed Stone Park Boat Ramp
  • 2990 W State Rd 44, Deland, FL 32724
  • Fishing Hours: 7:00am – 3:00pm both days
  • Must be in line by 4:00pm both days


  • All accessible waters from the St. Johns River
  • Including Lake Monroe at the State Road 415 to the South
  • Up to the State Hwy 40 Bridge to the North


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