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With pre-fishing a challenge for teams with falling water and changing weather conditions, tournament day at the Crappie Masters Ozark Rods Open on Rend Lake, sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association "Ethanol Fueled With Pride", American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops brought perfect weather conditions. Sunshine and light winds played right into the hands of eventual winners, the Ozark Rods team of David Cox and Steve Hockett who went with what they know best and spider rigged their way to a victory at the home of their sponsor Ozark Rods and solidified their goal of winning Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year which they lost by one point in 2016.  The team decided not to single pole the buck brush like most local teams and used their Mercury Motor, Humminbird Electronics, and Minn Kota Trolling Motor to go as slow as possible to catch their tournament fish in an area that had produced in the past, but had not in practice. The decision by Hockett to fish that area with light winds paid off.  Using 16 foot Ozark Rods with white and chartreuse jigs and minnows, Cox and Hockett found their fish 6 feet deep in 9 feet of water bringing 7 fish weighing 10.33 pounds to the scale, leading them to an over one pound victory. Cox and Hockett stated the key to victory was slowing down to trigger their bite.  Cox and Hockett took home $3800.00 for the win along with the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol $250.00 bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat.  Cox and Hockett will also receive an additional $250.00 for winning and being in the Power Pole Captain's Cash Program.  Cox and Hockett are sponsored by Ozark Rods, Everhart's Outdoor Store, and Do-It Molds.

Second place went to the Missouri team of Shane Cappel and Jesse Shoemaker who weighed 9.26 pounds. Much like Cox and Hockett, Cappel and Shoemaker spider rigged B’n’M Poles in twelve feet of water catching fish six feet deep using minnow rigs, moving slowly with their Minn Kota Trolling Motor and Mercury outboard. Cappel and Shoemake won $1900.00 on the day. Cappel and Shoemake are sponsored by Muddy Water Baits, K2 Coolers, Perotti Bilt Rod Holders, and Thumper Jigs.

Coming in third was the local team of Sean Drury and J.P. Onhiser who weighed 9.01 pounds buoyed by the second place big fish of the tournament, a 1.77 pound kicker that garnered them an additional $276.00 on top of the $950.00 for finishing in third place.  Drury and Onhiser one poled the infamous buck brush and bushes with minnows to catch their weigh fish.  They also stated their Humminbird electronics and Minn Kota Trolling Motor were vital in their success.  Drury and Onhiser are sponsored by ACC Crappie Stix, and I'll Be Jig Company.

Fourth place with 8.74 pounds was Lee Buehnerkemper and Tyler Brandenburg. They received a check for $750.00.

Josh Dudley and Jason Dudley finished in fifth place with 8.68 pounds a took home a check for $550.00.

Big fish of the tournament, a 2.16 pound Rend Lake dandy was weighed in by the team of Randy Phelps and Matt Morris who took home $644.00 for the fish.

Top Male/Female team honors went to the Green Machine Team of Jackie and Holly Linton who won a $100.00 Grizzly Jig Company certificate for their effort.

Top Adult/Youth team honors went to the team of Mike and Daniel Melton who won the $100.00 Everhart's Outdoor Store gift card.

Download full tournament results here.

Crappie Masters would like to thank Ozark Rods, Lake Cove Resort, and Lake Zone Bait and Tackle for their sponsorship of the Crappie Masters Ozark Rods Rend Lake Open.

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,, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.