Unlike the spring weather that seems to change by the hour, one thing remains constant and consistent. David Cox and Steve Hockett generally dominate Grenada Lake in the spring. With a nearly pound and a half lead following the day one weigh in, and predicted severe weather facing the competitors, the Ozark Rods team of David Cox and Steve Hockett held off a charge by the red hot team of Paul and Elizabeth Turner to claim the victory in the 2017 Crappie Masters Mississippi State Championship sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association "Ethanol Fueled With Pride", American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shop, and Millennium Marine.
Cox and Hockett weighed in 18.07 pounds on day one to make a statement to the field that they were going to be a force to be reckoned with once again in the spring on Grenada Lake. That turned out to be the case with a two-day total weight of 32.98 pounds enough to secure the win and the teams third Mississippi State Championship. Teams faced two major weather challenges each day of the tournament with high winds on day one, thunderstorms to start day two. The wind caused many of the 91 boat field to fish different water from where they had prefished prior to the tournament, and that set the stage for Cox and Hockett who planned for the anticipated weather for both tournament days, and stayed with their game plan throughout the competition combating winds by putting over 400 pounds of weight in the front of their Ranger boat, and flooding it with water for the purpose of keeping the boat and their Ozark Rods still to detect the bites of the huge Grenada Lake Crappie. A strategy they employ most if not all the times they spider rig feeling it gives them a competitive advantage, a strategy that obviously works for them. The Ozark Rods, Everharts Outdoor Store, Do-it Molds, and Rod Sox team spider rigged in five to seven feet of water with most fish being caught five foot deep. Cox makes his own jigs and he and Hockett used black and chartreuse color tipped with large minnows to trigger the big bite that included the tournaments big fish that weighed 3.40 pounds and was caught somewhat by accident near the end of day one. Cox stated, "I was picking up my outside rod and saw it was bent backward, thinking it was hung up on a stump, but instinctively set the hook and told Steve to get the net." The Missouri team credited their Mercury powered Ranger boat, Minn Kota trolling motor, and Humminbird electronics keeping them on the fish and getting to the area they were confident held tournament winning fish. Hockett also said patience played a large role, and Cox praised the performance of the Ozark Trolling Rods they use to not only hook the huge Grenada Lake Crappie but to get them in the boat. Cox and Hockett took home the $6,500.00 first place check, $1,274.00 for big fish of the tournament, they also claimed the $500.00 Missouri Corn Growers Association/American Ethanol bonus for using E10 fuel in their Mercury motor, and $250.00 for having Power Poles on their boat and being registered in the Power Pole Captains Cash Program.
Something else that seems consistent these days at a Crappie Masters event is finding the Crappieholic husband and
wife team of Paul and Elizabeth Turner near if not at the top of the leaderboard. The Tennessee team showed no signs the hot streak they've been on is slowing down anytime soon. Making a run on Championship Saturday from fourth place on day one to find themselves in the Ozark Rods, Millennium Marine Hot Seats eventually settling for the runner up position behind Cox and Hockett with 31.75 pounds. The Crappieholic team used their Minn Kota Trolling Motor and Humminbird Electronics to find their weigh fish in three to eight feet of water. The Turners spider rigged using black and chartreuse Midsouth Tackle jigs to a second place finish earning them a check for $3,300.00. That gives them two firsts and a second place finish in their past three tournaments. The Turners also finished as the top Male/Female team and won a $100.00 Grizzly Jig gift certificate for the honor.
Moving up two positions on Crappie Masters Championship Saturday was the always formidable team of Jeremy Aldridge and Clint Egbert weighing in a two-day weight of 31.06 pounds. The team spider rigged B’n’M Poles, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and Humminbird Electronics in a mere two feet of water catching their bigger fish on the bottom. Aldridge and Egbert took home a check for $2,300.00 for their third place finish.
Fourth place went to the team of Dan Hudgens and Bruce Christian with a two-day total weight of 31.01 pounds. Earning them a check for $2,000.00.
Rounding out the top five was the husband and wife team of David and Lisa Kingsmore weighing in a two-day total weight of 30.97 pounds. They took home a check for $1800.00.
Second place Big Crappie of the tournament was weighed in by the Power Pole Missouri team of Charles and Travis Bunting who brought a 3.28 pound Grenada giant to the scale. Earning them a check for $546.00.
The $100.00 Everharts Outdoor Store and Minn Kota Trolling Motor Top Adult/Youth Team Award went to the Grandfather/Grandson team of Don Brooks and Dylan Brown who weighed in 12.16 pounds for their two day total.
Click HERE for full tournament results.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Grenada Tourism Commission, Comfort Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Star 92.3, Kirk Auto Company, US Army Corp of Engineers, No Way Jose, TLC Marine, Vic's Guide Service, B's Grocery and Bait, and Coldwell Banker.
Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Prefish Gear, Power-Pole, Heartland Fish Fry, Ozark Rods, Skinzit, Mercury Motors, Millennium Marine, Off Shore Tackle, Jenko Fishing, Navionics, Spike-It, B’n”M Poles, Tite Lok Rod Holders, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, Crappie Now, Crappieholic, American Angler, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company, Valley Fashions, Crazy Angler, Grizzly Jig Company, Everharts Outdoor Store, Marine Metal Products, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Rod Safe, Zeko Shoes, Crappie King Cakes, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Crappie.com, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.
Next up on the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail, Lake Fork, Texas One Pole Artificial Bait Only Ultimate Challenge on April 8. Find out more at www.crappiemasters.net and on Facebook.