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With unseasonably cool August weather and beautiful conditions, fishing on Mark Twain Lake was anything but hot for many of the 67 teams competing in the Crappie Masters Mark Twain Lake National Qualifier, sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association "Ethanol fueled with pride", American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops and the Missouri Corn Growers Association. The exception of the rule was the winning team of Brad Ruyle and Reggie Riedinger who blew out the field by nearly two pounds over the second place team of Tony Edgar and Travis Lepley with an astounding Championship weight of 9.21 pounds compared to Edgar and Lepley's 7.31 pounds. Ruyle and Riedinger powered their boat and Mercury Motor to an area not being fished by other competitors after minimal success early on Championship Saturday. They used their Humminbird electronics and Minn Kota Trolling Motor to identify quality fish and one pole fished Ozark Rods with Elite black and chartreuse hair jigs they manufacture in four to five feet of water, catching the better fish two feet down. The Champions credited patience as their key to victory.  Ruyle and Riedinger collected $4000.00 for the win as well as taking home an additional $250.00 from The Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 fuel in their boat. The win backs up their victory earlier in the first leg of the Missouri State Championship at the Lake of the Ozarks setting them up to claim that state championship which they just lost out on in 2016.  Ruyle and Riedinger are sponsored by Elite Jig Company and Ozark Rods.

The runner up slot played out at this tournament as it did in April at the first leg of the Missouri State Championship, with second place being claimed by the team of Tony Edgar and Travis Lepley.  Edgar and Lepley used Humminbird Electronics, a Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and Ozark Rods to spider rig various jigs and colors tipped with minnows catching their weigh fish in generally 8 to 10 feet of water on brush piles, at a snail’s pace, trolling at .1 mph, at times almost dead sticking the fish to trigger bites.  The team took home $2000.00 for the runner up finish and are sponsored by Ozark Rods, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Humminbird, Minn Kota, and Season to Season Outdoors.

Third place went to the local team of Shane Cappel and Jesse Shoemake who were powered by a Mercury Motor, then using Humminbird Electronics and a Minn Kota Trolling Motor to spider rig B’n’M Poles with jigs and minnows in very shallow water, at times in just two to three feet of water. Cappel and Shoemake are sponsored by Muddy Water Baits, K2 Coolers, Perotti Bilt Rod Holders, and Thumper Jigs and took home a check for $1200.00.

Fourth place went to Jim Dant and Donny Zufall with 7.02 pounds. They received a check for $1000.00.

Kevin Reller and Brian Creech took home $800.00 for finishing in fifth place with 6.86 pounds. 

The Big Fish of tournament prize went to the team of Glen and Mike Carroll who weighed in a whopping 1.61 pound Mark Twain dandy.  The Carroll's collected $924.00 for the big fish prize.

Top Male/Female honors went to the team of James Conklin and Cheryl Stoner who also finished in 10th place in the tournament.  Conklin and Stoner won a $100.00 Grizzly Jig Gift Card for the honor.

The Adult/Youth award went to the father/son team of Darrin and Wyatt Tucker.  Darrin and Wyatt get to enjoy the $100.00 Everhart’s Outdoor Store Gift Card that goes along with the honor at each Crappie Masters tournament.

Download full tournament results here.

The 2017 Crappie Masters regular season wraps up August 19th at Truman Lake for the final national qualifier and final leg of the Missouri State Championship which will be on the line, along with who wins the Angler Team of the Year and the $25,000.00 prize that goes with it.  Find out all the details at and on Facebook.

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Junction Inn Motel, South Fork Resort, Lake Village Hotel and RV Park, Chigger Hill Bait & Tackle, The Dry Dock, Hickman's IGA, Hickman's IGA, The Paris National Bank, and Nemo Bait & Fisheries.

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.