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Brian Kelly and Brian Cleland Win The 2016 Early Bird On Grenada Lake

The 2016 season officially kicked off this past weekend, Oct. 30,31, in Grenada, MS with 59 teams from 12 different states competing in a two-day national qualifier on Grenada Lake. Despite battling high winds, cold fronts, and rain, anglers reported catching lots of quality fish during the week while pre-fishing. 

Day one of the competition got off to a hot start when the first team to weigh in, Roger and Katie Womack, brought seven crappie to the scale weighing 14.10 pounds only to find themselves two pounds out of the lead when all was said and done. Brian Kelly and Brian Cleland, both from Illinois, weighed in an impressive 16.11 pounds to lead the way after day one and set the bar high.


Championship Saturday was a repeat of day one with teams continuing to bring impressive weights to the scale despite high winds and rain. The Ozark Rods team of David Cox and Steve Hockett were in the hot seat with a two day total of 25.98 pounds as the top ten from day one began to weigh and they did not stay there long as each team continued to set a new mark.

Following up their day one weight with 12.74 pounds for a two day total of 28.85 pounds, Brian Kelly and Brian Cleland held on to win the 2016 Grenada Lake Early Bird National Qualifier. The team stated they were spider rigging in 6-16 foot of water with a combination of colored jigs, MidSouth tube jigs as one, tipped with minnows and were catching their crappie from 6-12 foot deep. Kelly and Cleland were fishing from a Ranger boat equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Humminbird Electronics and were using BnM poles and Stren line. They took home a check for $5500.00 which included a bonus of $500.00, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat.   

Second place with a check for $3000.00 went to Terry and Tonya Stewart, from Mississippi, with 28.21 pounds. The Stewarts were spider rigging in 14-16 foot of water, catching their crappie just off of the bottom with straight minnow rigs, using BnM Poles, Stren line, a Minn Kota trolling motor, and Humminbird electronics. Terry and Tonya also took top honors in the Male/Female division and took home a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card.

Roger and Katie Womack, Mississippi, finished in third place with a combined weight of 26.84 pounds. The Womacks were spider rigging in 14-18 foot of water while catching their crappie just off the bottom on a combination of minnows and jigs. Also using BnM Poles, a Minn Kota trolling motor, and Humminbird electronics, Roger and Katie took home a check for $2000.00.

Big Fish of the tournament was caught by the team of Vic Finkley and Kim Gray weighing 2.74 pounds on a straight minnow rig. This big Grenada Lake crappie was worth $826.00.

The Rockport Rattler sponsored team of Elijah Wooten and William Gardner, first time crappie tournament anglers, won the Adult/Youth division and received a new trolling motor, donated by Minn Kota.

Click HERE to download full tournament results. 

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Grenada Tourism Commission, Comfort Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Star 92.3, Holiday Inn Express, US Army Corp of Engineers, America's Best Value Inn, No Way Jose Tex-Mex Restaurant, 333 Restaurant, B's Grocery and Bait, Lakeway Triple Stop, Vic's Guide Service, McCoy's Tire & Appliance, Collins Bait Shop, Parker's Grocery & Sporting Goods, TLC Marine, and Coldwell Banker.

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, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Ozark Rods, 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, Everharts Outdoor Store, Silent Stalker, Rod Safe, Gator Guards, Hook Line & Threader, Skinzit, Crazy Angler, Stump Jumper Series, Rig Rap, American Angler, Marine Metal Products, Millennium Marine, Fish-D-Funk, 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 and Florida State Championship January 22, 23, 2016 on St Johns River, Deland, FL.