Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail held a national qualifier, March 14, 2015 in Greenville, Mississippi with fishable waters including lakes Washington, Lee, Paradise, Ferguson, and Whittington. Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Marine and Nitro Boats, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Greenville/Washington County Mississippi Tourism and Visitors Bureau, the tournament qualified anglers for the 2015 National Championship to be held on Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tennessee.
Lake Washington was yet again the stage for another exciting finish on one of the country’s premier big crappie lakes as 184 anglers from 17 states competed for over $22,000.00 in cash and prizes. Tournament week presented many challenges to the quality field with Mother Nature playing a major role to the changing weather patterns daily and sometimes hourly to stay with the quality of fish needed to win this one-day tournament.
With an early mark of sixteen pounds being set, it became clear it was going to take an exceptional limit of crappie to secure the win and did it ever. Tim Blackley and Jackie Vancleave were one of the final teams to come to the scale and shocked the crowd and fellow anglers with an astounding weight of 17.95 pounds to secure their third Crappie Masters tournament win. Blackley and Vancleave sealed the victory with an impressive 3.22 pound Lake Washington slab to take home the big fish of the tournament honors as well. The team was fishing from their Ranger Boat powered by Mercury Motors in six to seven foot waters, using a Minn Kota Trolling Motor to slow troll at .2 to .3 mph, catching their crappie 24 inches deep on BnM poles. Blackley and Vancleave stated the keys to their win were maintaining the right speed and using double jig trolling rigs with Strike King Slabalicious Paddle Tails pink/chartreuse jigs tipped with tiny minnows. The team won $7,200.00 which included $5,000.00 for the win, $1,274.00 for the big fish pot, $500.00 for breaking the Crappie Masters big fish target weight along with a $200.00 bonus from Mitchell Distributing for the Budweiser Big Crappie of the tournament, and $250.00 from the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 gasoline in their boat. Blackley and Vancleave are sponsored by Strike King, Vicious, Drift Master, Ranger, Mercury, Abernathy Power Sports and Simms Fishing.
Steve Marquis and Troy Garrett finished in second place by posting the early weight of 16.00 pounds off of Lake
Whittington. The local team reported catching their crappie while spider rigging in twelve foot of water, six to eight foot deep on black and chartreuse jigs. They were using Mercury Motors, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, Humminbird Electronics, and BnM Poles. Marquis and Garrett earned $2,500.00 for their effort.
Third place went to the Tite-lok Fishing Team of Wade Hendren and Roy Logan with a weight of
15.22 pounds. The Tennessee Team and past National Champions fished on Lake Washington from their Ranger Boat in five to six foot of water, spider rigging with a combination of double minnow rigs and Midsouth Tube Jigs, catching their crappie three to four foot deep from their BnM poles. Hendren and Logan used a Minn Kota Trolling Motor and Humminbird Electronics to help them take home a check for $1,500.00. They are sponsored by Tite-lok, BnM Poles, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, and Simpson Jigs.
Top placing Male/Female Team went to Vic Finkley and Kim Gray with a total weight of 13.81
pounds. This was also good for sixth place overall finish which earned them a check for $900.00 and a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card.
Adult/Youth tournament champions went to the father and son team of Joe and Will Welch with 10.44 pounds. They received a $100.00 Bass pro Shops Gift Card.
To download full results click here.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Greenville/Washington County Mississippi Tourism and Visitors Bureau, Trop Casino, Mitchell Distributing - Budweiser, Greenville Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn, Rodeway Inn, Econolodge, Lighthouse Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Wdms 100.7, Roy's Store/Cabins/RV Park/Campground, Southern Stars RV Park and Cabins/Bait N Thangs Bait Shop, Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub, South Shore Cottages, Sherman's Restaurant, Harlow's Casino Resort & Spa, and Cicero's Restaurant.
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 Ethanol, 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, Stren, 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.
Next on the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail will be a two-day national qualifier, March 27, 28, 2015 on Grenada Lake, Grenada, MS.