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What turned to be a hot, but near perfect weather day with light winds turned out to be an exciting pressure cooker with numerous positions on the line at the Crappie Masters, sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association "Ethanol Fueled With Pride", American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops, Truman Lake National Qualifier and final leg of the Missouri State Championship, hosted by Missouri Corn and locally by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce August 19th. With big money on the line and year end positions to be decided, a stellar field of 85 boats, spotty and sporadic bite challenged the field that didn't disappoint with some of the best teams nationwide rising to the top of the leaderboard. When the smoke cleared the Power Pole team of Charles and Travis Bunting accomplished something that has eluded them, a major tournament victory on Truman Lake, topping the elite field with a seven fish limit that weighed 10.40 pounds, outdistancing the second place team of Tamie McGrann and Bruce Sprague who weighed in a strong 9.67 pounds, and the third place team of Matt Beckman and Jeff Lewis who continued a Truman Lake hot streak with a 9.39 pound weight. Team Bunting credited their Mercury Motor, Humminbird Electronics, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and especially their Power Poles and drift paddles for allowing them to spider rig B’n’M Poles at a snail’s pace of nearly still to .01 miles per hour which was the key to triggering the bite in two to ten feet of water on the bottom using an orange and glow Muddy Water Bait which Travis makes. For the win Charles and Travis took home $4000.00 along with the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol Bonus of $250.00, combined with the Jenko Fishing $100.00 bonus for using Jenko Fishing products, and the $250.00 Power Pole Captain’s Cash bonus, totaling $4600.00. The Buntings are sponsored by Power Pole, B n M Poles, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Muddy Water Baits, Tite-Lok, Off Shore Tackle, Dub-L-Seat, Balzout, Ranger Boats, Mercury Motors, Engel Coolers, Missouri Gold Fish Hatchery, and Pro's Choice Marine. 


Second place went to the Midsouth Tackle team of Tamie McGrann and Bruce Sprague who brought in seven fish that weighed 9.67 pounds, good for the $2000.00 runner up prize. The Iowa team used B’n’M Poles, Humminbird Electronics, and a Minn Kota Trolling Motor to one pole minnows in 4-6 feet of water catching most of their weigh fish at a four foot depth. McGrann and Sprague are sponsored by Midsouth Tackle, and Big Boys Guide Service. 


Third place went to one of the hottest Truman Lake teams, Matt Beckman and Jeff Lewis who weighed in a seven fish limit tipping the scales at 9.39 pounds for the $1300.00 third place money. Beckman and Lewis did what they do best, using single poles fishing black and chartreuse jigs in 4-10 feet of water catching fish on or near the bottom using Jenko Rods. They also mentioned that their Humminbird Electronics, Mercury Motor, and Minn Kota Trolling Motor were a big part of their success. Beckman and Lewis are sponsored by Jenko Fishing, Muddy Water Baits, Alenco Home Improvement, and Midwest Marine. 


Fourth place and a check for $1200.00 went to Jenko Fishing team members Chad Nugent and John Wood with a weight of 9.18 pounds. 


Rick Fajen and Earnie Cox finished in the fifth place spot with 9.13 pounds and took home $1100.00. 


Top Adult/Youth team honors went to the team of T.J. and Alex Palmer who walked away with a $100.00 Everhart’s Outdoor Store Gift Card. 


Top Male/Female honors went to the Grenada, Mississippi team of Vic Finley and Kim Gray who also finished sixth in the tournament and had the big fish of the tournament, a 2.03 pound Truman Lake slab. Finkley and Gray walked away with a $100.00 Grizzly Jig Certificate, $1190.00 for big fish, along with $1000.00 for their 6th place finish which vaulted them into second place in the final Angler Team of the Year standings. 


Click HERE for full tournament results. 


Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Hampton Inn, Westbridge Inn and Suites, Everharts Outdoor Store, KDKD 95.3, Hawthorn Bank, Benson Center, The Wood Shed, Puddle Jumper's, Walmart, Slugger's 66, and Golden Corral.

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.