The Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail carried their show to Arkansas this past weekend. Crappie anglers from seven different states converged on Beaver Lake to see who could take home bragging rights, trophies and prize money. Clear water lakes like Beaver can often jinx anglers, but the pros were up to the task when fishing began on Saturday April 25, 2015. The event was what organizers call a one-day national qualifier, meaning the winners automatically qualify to fish the national championship later in the year.
Most competitors reported Pre fishing conditions tough. High winds and temperature changes kept anglers guessing on what the fish would want. As is usually the case after the pros have a couple days on the water a pattern was established and Beaver Lake gave up some impressive numbers.
Riddle and Maddux notch victory
The Johnson Fishing team of Jeff Riddle and David Maddux, came out on top with an impressive seven fish stringer totaling 9.62 pounds. The weight was enough to give them their first Crappie Masters victory. They established a pattern during the week, which held up on tournament day. Their success came by fishing 20 to 30 foot of water just off the bottom.
The team was using lemon/whiite Johnson Shad Tails fished on low pound clear Stren Line. They used Humminbird sonar with 360 imaging to help them spot fish. The team fished from a Ranger Boat with a Minn Kota Trolling Motor and used 16 foot B’n’M BGJP poles.
Riddle and Maddux took home $2650.00, which included a $250.00 bonus, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat motor. The team is sponsored by Johnson Fishing, Stren, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Tite-Lok, and Slabber Dave’s Sporting Goods.
Locals Harp and Moten take second
The local team of Phillip Harp and Anthony Moten brought 9.55 pounds to the scales to claim the second place slot. The team fished in 9-foot waters and caught their crappie near the bottom. The team was spider rigging with double minnow rigs. They fished from a Tracker boat equipped with a Mercury Motor. Their other equipment included Humminbird Electronics and a Minn Kota Trolling Motor. Harp and Moten took home a check for $1200.00 as a payoff for their accomplishment.
Walker and Cross team up for third
Home field advantage played a role for the third place finishers also. The local team of Marvin Walker and Johnny Cross rounded out the top 3 places. They weighed a seven fish limit of 9.51 pounds to claim their place. Walker and Cross caught their crappie in 20 to 25 foot of water with the fish suspended at about 15 feet. They were spider rigging with B’n’M Poles. They caught their fish on jigs and crank baits. The team is sponsored by Arkie Lures and received a check for $700.00.
Big fish honors captured by Keith and Bethell
The team of Kent Keith and Bob Bethell caught big Fish of the tournament. The1.79 pound crappie earned them $364.00. Second big fish honors went to Team Roper. Tommie and Jarad Roper brought in a 1.73 pound crappie to win a check for $156.
Male/Female title goes to Team Hawkins
Top finishing Male/Female Team was Donald and Teresa Hawkins with 6.60 pounds. They took home a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card. Runners up in the Male/Female competition were Greg and Deanna Jones.