Hayden and Dan Jeffries topped the rest of the Elite Series field on the Red River in Shreveport, LA this past weekend.
The Crappie Masters Elite Series consists of the 46 best teams from all across the country. Originally, stop #1 was to be held on beautiful Cross Lake but due to mother nature causing the lake to be shut down due to flooding, Crappie Masters Tournament Director Blake Jackson was forced to move this event down the road to the Red River.
Official practice was Tuesday, January 31st through Thursday, February 2nd and anglers faced with some of the toughest conditions imaginable: rain, cold temperatures never leaving the high 30s, and rising water of nearly three feet on the Red River in Pools 4 and 5.
Shifting into the tournament days, both mornings started off in the low 30s but quickly rose to around 50 degrees throughout the day with light and variable winds.
The father-son duo of Hayden and Dan Jeffries started this event off hot, leading the way after day one with a limit weighing in at 14.14 lbs and creating a near one-pound lead over second-place team Jared Fyock and Greg McKay, who weighed in 13.33 lbs. In third place after day one was the team of Robert Carlile and Colby Barnett with 13.06 lbs.
Championship Saturday began with a lot of teams gunning to take down Hayden and Dan Jeffries and end the “Hot Streak” they have been on. The weights were tight amongst the top 20 so anything could happen if Hayden and Dan slipped up; one magical day on the Red River for any of the teams in the top 20 could lead to taking home that $25,000.00 first-place prize.
Fishing hours begin at 7:00 am and a majority of the teams quickly realized the bite had taken a turn for the worse, making it very challenging to get those tournament fish to commit to a bait. As many of you saw on Crappie Live we were with our leaders Hayden and Dan for most of the day and it did not come easy for them.
Once the scales locked in at the Red River South Marina and Resort on Saturday afternoon, Hayden and Dan Jeffries were able to hold on to their lead from day one, taking home some hardware along with a check worth $25,000.00.
Team Jeffries’ 27.51 lbs worth of Red River crappie was enough to hold off the team of Lamar Bunting and Gene Neumeier, who had the biggest bag of the day at 13.90 lbs.
Lamar and Gene’s monster bag on Championship Saturday led them to a second-place finish with a two-day total of 26.92 lbs, earning them a check worth $10,000.00.
Rounding out the top three for the inaugural Elite Series tournament was the team of Chase Petty and Greg Westmoreland with a total weight of 26.04 lbs, earning them a check worth $7,000.00.
Chris Fields and Jared Riser jumped into the fourth place position with an incredible 13.56 lb limit of crappie and earned them a check worth $4,000.00. Rounding out the top 5 was the team of Dillon Gossett and Kayle Ward with a two-day total of 25.31 lbs, earning them a check for $2,500.00.
Your champions, Hayden and Dan, along with your runner-up team Lamar and Gene were all single pole fishing in an oxbow lake off of the main river in Pool 5, targeting stumps and fallen trees.
Both teams said, following the conclusion of the weigh-in, that a majority of the fish that they weighed in were holding very tight to the structure and they were having to “Dead Stick” a bait over their nose for a long amount of time to get them to bite.
The number of fish in Pools 4 and 5 on the Red River is unbelievable but this week anglers were faced with tough conditions, making these fish very finicky and making it a tough bite on the entire field.
Tournament Director Blake Jackson would like to thank everyone in the Shreveport area for making this tournament happen with all of the changes that occurred from Cross Lake being shut down, and a special thank you to the Red River South Marina and Resort for opening their arms to their facility and anglers on such short notice.
Take a look at the complete results below!