Ruston, Louisiana along with Union, Claiborne, and Jackson Parishes played host to a one-day national qualifier on Lakes D’Arbonne, Caney, and Claiborne on Saturday, April 18th. This much anticipated event did not disappoint as 112 anglers from thirteen different states reported catching large numbers of crappie daily during pre fishing. A lunchtime media day was held on the new D’Arbonne Pointe, which helped generate much interest for this first time Crappie Masters tournament in Louisiana. Once again, local knowledge played a major role in the outcome.
First time tournament participants, Jay Stone and John Godwin were the first team to make their way to the scales after fishing for only five and a half hours. Their decision to stop early paid off by weighing the top weight of the tournament with 12.30 pounds and claiming their first Crappie Masters win. The team reported catching their winning fish by long line trolling with their BnM Duck Commander Series rods, pulling Lake Fork Sickle Tail Baby Shads and Big Bite Curly Tails in 22 foot of water and catching fish at 9 foot deep on Lake Caney. They were using Mercury Motor, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and Humminbird Electronics. Stone and Godwin stated the key to victory was “covering lots of water and keeping their baits in the strike zone.” The team took home check totaling $4350.00 which included a $100.00 bonus for using Lake Fork Sickle Tail Baby Shads and a $250.00 bonus, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat motor. Stone and Godwin are sponsored by BnM Poles, Driftmaster, Crappie Magnet, Minn Kota, and Humminbird.
Second place went to the team of Whitey Outlaw and Mike Parrot with a 7 fish weight of 11.00 pounds. Outlaw and
Parrot were spider rigging on Lake D’Arbonne from a Nitro Z-8 boat, powered by Mercury Motors, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and Humminbird Electronics in 2-5 foot of water, catching crappie with Midsouth blue/chartreuse jigs on Rockport Rattler jigheads on 16’ BnM BGJP Poles. The runner up finish earned the team $2000.00. Outlaw and Parrot are sponsored by Rockport Rattler, BnM Poles, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Vicious, Midsouth Tackle, and Driftmaster.
Josh Gowin and Josh Chipman finished third with 10.75 pounds and received a check for $1200.00. The team stated they were catching good fish all week while spider rigging on Lake D’Arbonne in 6 foot of water, catching their crappie 5 foot deep. Gowin and Chipman use 16’ BnM BGJP Poles, black and pink Crappie Magnet Jigs, and owe their success to shallow water fishing with the Silent Stalker. They are sponsored by BnM Poles, Silent Stalker, Crappie Magnets, Ego Nets, Hi-Tek Rod Holders, Navionics, and Wilson Outdoors.
Top placing Adult/Youth team went to the Texans of Jason Ewton and Jordan Knipp with a weight of
5.50 pounds. They took home a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
Male/Female division winners were Jason and Kasey Thomas. They finished in a tie for 17th overall with 9.93 pounds and received a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
Big fish of the tournament honors went to Texans Freddie Dooly and Dwaine Barthol with a Lake D’Arbonne monster weighing 2.03 pounds. This crappie earned them a check for $784.00 plus a check for $500.00 for finishing 7th in the tournament.
To download full tournament results click here
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB, Claiborne Parish, Union Parish, Jackson Parish, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Lester's On The Lake, Z 107.5, ESPN 97.7, The
Peach 99.3, and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot.
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 national qualifier April 25, 2015 on Beaver Lake, Fayetteville, AR.