BUYERS OR SELLERS? ON THE ST. JOHNS RIVER ITS ALL SELLERS!
Wisdom, Knowledge, Persistence, and a little luck all describe what it took for veteran anglers Robert and Tommy Sellers to go wire to wire and claim the title of 2021 Crappiemasters Florida State Champions and the $10,000 dollar top prize January 22nd and 23rd on the historic St. John’s River near Deland, Florida holding off the hard charging 2020 Champions Billy and Scott Williams by bringing in a 2 day total weight of 29.16 pounds. With warm, somewhat breezy weather on Friday and cloudy, spotty showers, a near 20 degree drop in temperatures on Saturday, plus throw in boat traffic made for a stiff challenge for all 48 teams from 14 states to bring out their A games. Relying on years of experience the 78 and 76 year old brother team of Robert and Tommy Sellers made the decision to long line troll just up river from Lake Monroe which worked as planned on day 1 taking the lead over a strong field with an eye popping 14.90 pounds of beautiful St. John’s River black crappie giving them a little over a half pound lead going into Crappiemasters Championship Saturday. Right behind the Sellers was Georgia angler Jason Little with 14.38 pounds and the big fish of day one a 2.65 dandy. The team of Lamar Young and Justin Churchwell held down the third spot with 14.17 pounds, and lurking in fourth were the 2020 Champions Billy and Scott Williams weighing in 14.03 pounds which set the stage for a dramatic shootout on Championship Saturday. With the third cold front of the week moving through central Florida of the week the weather was drastically different than the day before with not as much boat traffic, however a cold off and on rain changed strategies for many of the teams reflected in the final results. The brothers Sellers stayed consistent and persistent to their game plan staying basically in the same area as the day before waiting the fish out which they stated was tough to do as their morning bite disappeared and over midway through Championship Saturday the team had no tournament winning fish in the boat, but as luck would have it, the fish did turn on and the Sellers managed to bring 14.26 pounds to the scale giving them their combined 2 day 14 fish limit of 29.16 pounds snatching victory and the title of 2021 Crappiemasters Florida State Champions from the defending champs Billy and Scott Williams who went from fourth to a brief time in the Millennium Marine Hot Seats until the Sellers came to the scale and took home the title. Robert and Tommy Sellers not only walked away with the $10,000 first place money but also an additional $500 dollar bonus from the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council for using E10 fuel in their boat along with the $100 Jenko bonus for using Jenko products to win the title.
The hard luck runner up team of Billy and Scott Williams made a hard charge on Crappiemasters Championship Saturday only to fall a bit short of their goal to go back to back as Crappiemasters Florida State Champions weighing in a two day total of 28.59 pounds and a check for $3,400 dollars. The HH Rods and Reels team found fish shallow in a lake off the main river. Scott told the crowd that they fought the idea of moving and just about every time they were ready to make a move they would reel in another keeper. He also stated although they were on plenty of good fish they never found the big kicker fish all week. Team Williams long lined different baits to narrowly miss another trip to the victory circle.
Rounding out the top 3 was the team of Jonathan Phillips and Jared Gilbert who went from 10th all the way to third on Crappiemasters Championship Saturday making a strategic move on Saturday bringing in the top one day weight of the tournament 14.92 pounds on day two after a respectable 12.47 on day one. The team spider rigged a river lake on day one but could only catch males and knowing they needed to find the big and near spawning females decided to fish an old river channel finding the large females they’d been hoping for which brought them up to take home the 3rd place check of $2,000 dollars.
Fourth place money went to 8 time National Champion Steve Coleman and partner Randy Tomlin who jumped from 14th to 4th on Championship Saturday due in large part by weighing in the big fish of the tournament a monster 3.12 pound St. John’s River swamp donkey bringing their two day weight to 25.92 pounds. The team spider rigged the edge of a deep hole on the main river channel to leap frog 10 spots and walk away with $1,400 dollars for finishing fourth and another $672 for the big fish of the tournament.
Rounding out the top five was the HH Rods and Reels team of Jamie Kincade and Joe Maner who weighed in a 14 fish limit weighing 25.86 pounds that garnered them a check of $1,100 dollars.
The team of Scott Pride and Alan Johnson wowed the crowd bringing in the first 3 pound fish of the tournament and second place big fish, a dandy 3.02 pounder good for $288 dollars.
Top male/female honors went to the Bass Tank Oklahoma husband and wife team of Richard and Ashley Faulk who won a Humminbird graph and an automatic qualification to the 2021 Crappiemasters National Championship weighing in 24.89 pounds over the two days.
The top Adult/Youth team was the father and son team of Tracy and Matthew Tripp who for weighing in 21.89 pounds won a MinnKota Trolling Motor along with a $100 dollar Everhart’s Outdoor Store gift card.
Crappiemasters would like to thank the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority for their continued support and an outstanding location to kickoff the 2021 season.
St Johns River, Deland, FL 2021
- Robert Sellers – Tommy Sellers 29.16
- Billy Williams – Scott Williams 28.59
- Jonathon Phillips – Jared Gilbert 27.39
- Steve Coleman – Randy Tomlin 25.92
- Jamie Kincade – Joe Maner 25.86
- Terry Barker – Donald Doby 25.62
- Jason Little 25.60
- Lamar Young – Justin Churchwell 25.55
- Scott Stephenson – Matt Kastensmidt 25.08
- Scott Pride – Alan Johnson 24.96
7.BIG FISH: Steve Coleman – Randy Tomlin 3.12
MALE/FEMALE: Richard Faulk 24.89
ADULT/YOUTH: Tracy Tripp – Matthew Tripp 21.89