Crappie Masters wrapped up a seven-week stretch with a very challenging two days on the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway in Columbus, Mississippi. When expected rain didn't materialize on day one of the tournament, and beautiful weather anticipated on Saturday, the forty teams from twelve states had visions of taking advantage of the conditions with big stringers of crappie that had eluded many teams during the week of practice leading up to the two tournament days. What many had experienced in practice with many teams not only struggling to catch seven keeper fish, but to get seven bites a day, continued through the tournament. In the end it was a dose of home cooking as the top five all had local ties and expansive knowledge of this diverse waterway. When the weigh in was complete veteran anglers Harold Rich and Ferrill Mitchell claimed the top spot with the title and thousands of dollars in tournament winning along with bonus money.
Rich and Mitchell weighed in a two day total of 18.46 pounds to claim bragging rights in the Crappie Masters Mid South Tackle National Qualifier One Pole Artificial Bait Only Ultimate Challenge hosted by the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. Rich and Mitchell were fishing in 12 to 15 foot of water catching their crappie near bottom both days of the tournament generally using green/white Midsouth Tackle tube jigs with Spike-It Scent added. In an interesting twist, Rich said he goes old school and uses an old obsolete flasher to locate structure. The winners took home a check for $5,000.00 for the win with an additional $500.00 bonus from Midsouth Tackle for using a Midsouth Tackle Tube, and the $500.00 Ethanol Bonus donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 gasoline in their boat.
Past champions Larry Fulton and Briggs Abercrombie took home runner up honors with 17.60 pounds and received a
check for $2,500.00 for their efforts plus a $300.00 Midsouth Tackle bonus for using Midsouth tube jigs. Fulton and Abercrombie were fishing various depths over the tournament days with their day one fish found in 12 feet of water, and day two moved their better fish into 2 feet of water using Rainbow Core colored Midsouth Tube Jigs near the bottom on 12 foot BnM Poles using Stren Line. Mercury Motor, and Humminbird depth finders were also key to their 2nd place finish.
Defending champions Ray Looney and Will Evans had another great showing in 2016 finishing third with 17.24 pounds. Looney and Evans were fishing their 12 foot BnM Poles in 12 to 17 feet of water catching their fish in the 10 to 12 foot range using a Midsouth Tackle Bullfrog colored tube jig. Looney and Evans used their Humminbird electronics and Minn Kota trolling motor to locate their tournament fish. They took home a check for $1,300.00 for their 3rd place finish along with an additional $100.00 Midsouth Tackle bonus!
Fourth place with 17.15 pounds went to Danny Walden and Bob Adkins. They took home a
check for $1,100.00.
Tim and Tom Fields finished in fifth place with a two-day weight of 16.91 pounds and collected a check for $900.00.
Top finishing Male/Female team honors went to the Ziptailz team of Jonathan and Alicia Phillips and won the Alabama husband and wife team a Navionics Platinum chip, along with a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
Big Crappie of the tournament was brought in on day one by Tommy and Wayne Nichols garnering them a $546.00 check and two pairs of Zeko Shoes.
Click HERE for full tournament results.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau, Wingate by Wyndham, Ramada, River Chase Inn, Quality Inn, Performance Marine, Columbus Marina, 45 Express Mart, H and B One Stop, Sweet Peppers Deli, Mi Toro, and Huck’s Place.
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, 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, B’n’M Poles, Slider, Crappie Now, Bug Band, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Crappieholic, Valley Fashions, Ziptailz, Off Shore Tackle, Millennium Marine, Navionics, Southern Tackleworks, Everharts Outdoor Store, Rod Safe, Gator Guards, Skinzit, Crazy Angler, Stump Jumper Series, Crappie Town, American Angler, Jenko Fishing, Marine Metal Products, Dub-L-Seat, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Zeko Shoes, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.