With a 145 boat field, perfect weather, and the best Crappie Anglers in the world, something was going to give, and at the Crappie Masters sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops National Championship September 27th and 28th on Grenada Lake in Grenada, Mississippi, it was the huge Crappie that inhabit the waters. With nearly spring like weights, the cream rose to the top and was filled with some of the top teams of the 2019 season topped by the Oklahoma team of Robert Carlile, and Craig Nichols who already had three victories during the season added a fourth and the biggest of all, the Crappie Masters National Championship with a two-day incredible fourteen fish weight of 31.97 pounds with a 2.85 pound kicker, out lasted day one leaders Richard Bowling and Garry Lee, and the Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year of Matthew and Bruce Rogers to claim the $25,000 top prize.
Sitting in second place after day one, Carlile and Nichols found Crappie Masters Championship Saturday to be a bit tougher than day one when they had a 15 pound plus weight early in the day however Saturday found a tougher bite and more boats in the area they were targeting. But the team stayed vigilant and fished ditches and depressions above the Graysport Bridge. Carlile and Nichols single poled both tournament days following fish using their electronics, at times in excess of 200 yards before getting the fish in position to be caught pitching Jigs and a Jenko bladed jig head tip with a minnow, and popping the weight and jig in front of the fish to trigger a reaction bite in generally 10 to 17 foot of water. The team overcame nerves and were able to secure their first Crappie Masters National Championship by .13 of a pound. Along with the $25,000.00 top prize, Carlile and Nichols received an additional $2,000.00 from The Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat, and a $100.00 Jenko Fishing bonus for using Jenko Fishing products.
Winding up in the runner up position was the 2019 Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year, Matthew and Bruce Rogers who had a big Championship Saturday and took their place in the Millennium Marine Hot Seats after putting a two-day weight of 31.84 pounds on the scale and putting themselves in position to claim for Matthew a back to back Crappie Masters National Championship, but fell just short. The father and son team took home a check for $10,000.00 for their work. The Rogers also used their electronics to find, target and follow big fish in usually 10 to 18 foot of water with fish biting in various depths depending on the time of day single poling Matthews handmade Jigs and minnows. Matthew stated losing a couple of huge fish on day one was the difference in the win and second place.
Day one leaders Richard Bowling and Garry Lee fell to third place after an impressive day one weight of 16.16 pounds, but found Crappie Masters Championship Saturday much more challenging with additional boat traffic around them not allowing them to fish their prime areas along with breaking some monster fish off both culminated in coming up just short, but the 31.21 pounds the team weighed in over the two days was good for a $7,000.00 check and a top three finish in the Crappie Masters National Championship. Bowling and Lee used strictly a heavier weight on a minnow rig to get in front of the fish quicker that they also were chasing using their electronics at times in excess of 100 yards. Bowling stated they also fished in the 10 to 17 foot range, and on a lighter note, said he continually asked his partner to make sure he wasn’t running into stumps or boats while watching his graph.
Fourth place was occupied by the HH Rods and Reels Rookie Team of the Year Joey Johnson and Chris Coffman who weighed in 30.42 pounds over the two days that was good enough to receive a $5,000.00 check and wrap up a very successful year with a top five finish.
Rounding out the top five was the Alabama team of Eric Cagle and Wade McDonald who brought in a two-day weight of 29.50 pounds. An impressive feat considering Cagle had to fish by himself as McDonald had prior commitments. For finishing in fifth place Cagle walked away with a check for $3,500.00.
The Male/Female National Championship honors went to the Ozark Rods team of David and Kim Cox who were able to finish in fourteenth place with a two-day weight of 26.83 pounds and took home a new Minn Kota Trolling Motor.
The Adult/Youth National Championship went to the team of Gerald and Beth Ann Overstreet who weighed in 24.01 pounds and won a $1,000.00 scholarship, a $100.00 Everharts Outdoor Store gift card, and new Minn Kota Trolling Motor.
Big fish of the tournament went to the Adult/Youth Team of Jerry McCready and Jake Hood. The team weighed in a 2.86 pound monster and earned $2,000.00 for their effort.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Grenada Tourism Commission, Comfort Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hambone’s Rental, Star 92.3, Vic’s Guide Service, Landmark Realty, US Army Corp of Engineers, Rip-N-Lips Bait & Tackle, TLC Marine, B’s Grocery and Bait.
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, Crappie.com, Ardent, Fish-D-Funk, Skipper’s Jigs, Foxy Fishing Gear, ProBuilt Jigs, Sure Life, Pautzke Bait Company, Fish N Tools, Quickfire, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.