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Final Leg of the Florida State Championship Held on the Harris Chain of Lakes

Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail held the final leg of the Florida State Championship and national qualifier on the Harris Chain of lakes, Tavares, Florida. Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Marine, Nitro Boats, Humminbird, Minn Kota, city of Tavares and Lake County, Florida Department of Tourism, anglers participated for over $10,000.00 in cash and prizes and the opportunity to qualify for the 2015 National Championship to be held on Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tennessee.

During the second leg of the Florida State Championship continual cold fronts and high winds played a major roll in the pre-fishing and the tournament. Anglers from eleven different states figured out ways to handle the tough conditions andshow what the Harris Chain can produce.

Tavares, FL kicked off the week on Thursday morning with a media fish off where the team of Gilford Sipes and GeneLaJeunesse weighed in a 1.32 pound crappie to win the fish off. Both anglers took home a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card donated by Bass Pro Shops of Orlando.

Friday was the first day of competition that left some of the anglers scratching their heads and looking for a Day 2 game plan. The Johnson Fishing Team of Billy and Scott Williams took the Day 1 lead with a weight of 8.52 pounds but only had a .02 pound lead over local team George Parker and Tim Eberly.

Saturday brought calmer winds and warmer temperatures, which in return brought larger weights to the final weigh in and a shake up to the leader board.  Local anglers, George Parker and Tim Eberly, fished consistently both days by weighing in a Day 2 seven fish limit of 8.67 pounds which gave them a two day total of 17.19 pounds and the title of 2015 Harris Chain of Lakes Champions. The team stated they were slow trolling from their Big O Boat in 8-10 foot of water catching their crappie just off the bottom with Skippers Jigs, Humminbird Electronics and a Minn Kota Trolling Motor. Parker and Eberly are sponsored by Skippers Jigs, Wally Marshall, Evinrude, Lews, and ARG Marine. They took home the a check for $4000.00 and also won a $500.00 bonus, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat motor.


Second place went to the 2013 National Championship team of Tommy Skarlis and Kyle Steinfeldt from Iowa. The team started off Day 2 from the 13th placeposition and posted a monster weight and the largest weight of the tournament on Day 2 of 9.63 pounds to leap up in the second spot with a two day total of 16.50 pounds. Tommy and Kyle were able to put their Off Shore Tackle OR-12 w/Tattle Flag planer boards and Inline Trolling Tad Poles to work by trolling Berkley Power Baits, Hutch Tackle, Salmo Lures, and JB Lures in 6-10 foot of water from their Ranger boat with a Minn Kota Trolling Motor. Sponsored by Evinrude, Do It Molds, Off Shore Tackle, Power Pole, Ranger Boats, Raymarine, St. Croix Rods, Optima Batteries, Gemini Jerseys, and Awesome Walleye & Awesome Crappie, Tommy and Kyle took home a check for $2000.00.

Matt Morgan and Kent Watson, last week's winners, also made a day 2 move up the leader board to finish in third place with a two day weight of 16.35 pounds. Morgan and Watson stuck with their Day 1 game plan on Day 2 by slow trolling their 16 foot BnM poles using double Daiichi Hook minnow rigs in 8-12 foot of water while catching their fish 6-10 foot deep. Matt and Kent are sponsored by Lucas Oil, BnM Poles, Hydro Force, Road Runner, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Driftmaster, and Fatheadz and earned $1200.00 for their efforts. 

Big fish of the tournament, worth $413.00, was weighed in by the team of John Peyton and Michael Herbst topping the scales at1.61 lbs. Second big fish at 1.60 lbs. was weighed in by the team of Brad Meyer and Dave Phoutz, they received a check for $177.00. Winners of the $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card for top male-female team was Phil and Eva Rambo with a two day combined weight of 13.52 lbs. Winning a Minn Kota Trolling Motor was the team of Scott Broxton and Scott Broxton Jr. for top adult-youth team with 6.11 lbs.

Click to review results for Day 1, Day 2Total.

Next on the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail will be a national qualifier, February 28, 2015 on Lake Marion, Manning, South Carolina.

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: City of Tavares, Lake County, Florida Dept. of Tourism, Lakeview Inn, Inn On The Green, Nobles Marine, Al's Landing/ Al's Sand Bar/ The Cajun Quarter, Focus Magazine, O'keefe's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Lake Dora Sushi & Sake, and Southern Tackleworks.

Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Nitro Boats, Minn Kota, Humminbird,  Mercury Motors, Missouri Corn Growers Association, American Ethonal, Ozark Rods, Martin Metal, Johnson Fishing, Road Runner by Blakemore, Power-Pole, Tite-lok Rod Holders, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Rockport Rattler, Midsouth Tackle, Grizzly Jig Company, Spike-It, Sten, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, B’n’M Poles, Slider, Crappie Now, Bug Band, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, KeepAlive, Wild River, Crappieholic, Valley Fashions, Ziptailz, Off Shore Tackle, Navionics, Zeko Shoes, Southern Tackleworks,Fizards, Silent Stalker, Rod Safe, Timbuktu Outdoors, Gator Guards, Hook Line & Threader, Skinzit, Crazy Angler, Stump Jumper Series, Rig Rap, American Angler, Fish Balls, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.