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Ayers And Clinard Get First Victory...Heflins Win Alabama State Championship

Numerous storylines and variables defined the Crappie Masters sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride“, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops Alabama River and Lake Jordan National Qualifier and Final Leg Of The Alabama State Championship May 11th and 12th in Wetumpka, Alabama. The tournament saw firsts, heat, stressed fish, perseverance, and a shocker before the top ten weighed in on Championship Saturday. Facing calm but well above average heat, saw a stellar field deal with post spawn conditions in most instances weakening fish plus throw in heat, and some teams struggled keeping fish alive which made for numerous adjustments including the eventual third place team of Joe and Janette Carter losing over 12 pounds of fish on Championship Saturday, yet not giving up, went back to it again and caught another 12 pounds eventually putting them in the third position. The true shocker of the tournament took place on Championship Saturday as day one leaders Kevin Randall and John Hendrix were unable to weigh fish Saturday leaving the door open which the team of Jimmy Ayers and Michael Clinard were happy to walk through bringing in 7 fish weighing 12.99 pounds on Championship Saturday giving them a two day weight of 25.09 pounds giving them their first Crappie Masters victory. Ayers and Clinard found fish in Swift Creek off the Alabama River but when the bite slowed down on Saturday, they made a move that would be key to the win. They jointly made the decision to go out on the river and located a treetop that produced three 2-pound fish that put them over the top. Ayers and Clinard were able to locate fish with their Humminbird Electronics and stay on them in the current with a MinnKota Trolling Motor. The team spider rigged double minnow rigs using Jenko Rods in 12 to 16 foot of water catching larger fish 5 to 12 feet down. Ayers and Clinard received $3,700.00 for the win, along with the Missouri Corn Growers Association/American Ethanol $500.00 bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat, plus for using Jenko Rods they picked up another $100.00, and $250.00 in Power Pole Captains Cash.  Ayers and Clinard are sponsored by Cunningham Motors.


A name familiar at or near the top of the leaderboard at the Alabama River finished in second place, that being Scott Williams who teamed up with Jacob Sapp to overcome knocking a hole in their boat weighing in 14 fish weighing 24.80 pounds good for the $1,900.00 second place check.  Williams also credited Humminbird Electronics and MinnKota Trolling Motor helping to identify larger fish. The team long lined plastic black/blue/chartreuse Jigs at 1 mile per hour in 25 to 50 feet of water catching the better fish 10 feet down in the water column using B’n’M Poles. The Williams are sponsored by Big Bite Baits, B’n’M Poles, Driftmaster Rod Holders, and #LetEmFloat. 

The team of Joe and Janette Carter slipped a spot to third place on Championship Saturday, but could have been much worse if not for the determination to “Never Give Up” after having over 12 pounds in the live well on Saturday at 9:30am and when checked on at 10:30 found all were dead. Intestinal fortitude came into play as the team went back to grinding out another 12 pounds with many of their larger fish coming in the final hour providing a valuable lesson to all the tournament teams to fish until the last cast and minute. The team truly needed their MinnKota Trolling Motor and especially Humminbird Electronics to start over and find quality fish.  The team long lined a couple of different plastics including Bobby Garland in 13 to 20 feet of water catching fish anywhere from 1 foot to 13 feet down. The Carters took home a check for $1,000.00 for the third place finish plus for being the top placing Male/Female Team they won a Humminbird Helix 5. Joe and Janette Carter are sponsored by Vexan Rods.

Top Adult/Youth honors went to the fourth place team of Gerald and Beth Ann Overstreet who weighed 14 fish totaling 23.79 pounds, good enough for a $750.00 check for that and for the Adult/Youth award a MinnKota Trolling Motor and a $100.00 Everharts Outdoor Store gift card.  

Fifth place went to the team of James and Jamie Heflin with a two day total weight of 23.66. The heflins took home a check worth $550.00. 

Big fish of the tournament was a 2.51 Alabama Slammer weighed in by the Adult/Youth team of Jason and Parker Eichwurtzle who won $406.00 for the fish.

The Alabama State Championship was also on the line, which was decided by a cumulative point total from this tournament and the earlier in the season Weiss Lake tournament. It came down to the top three teams being separated by just 3 points with first and second being decided by a single point. The 2018 Crappie Masters Alabama State Championship went to the Ozark Rod team of James and Jamie Heflin who narrowly defeated the team of Eric Cagle and Wade McDonald with 2017 Alabama State Champions Jonathan and Alicia Phillips settling for the third position. The teams won $500.00, $300.00, and $200.00 additional respectively.

Click HERE to download full tournament results.

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Hampton Inn & Suites, Sleep Inn & Suites, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, Coaches Corner Sports Bar & Grill, Stoddard's Bait & Tackle, Cathouse Marine, Montgomery Marine, El Rancho Grande, and Big Bass Bait & Tackle.

Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Ozark Rods, Mercury Motors, Power-Pole, Jenko Fishing, Millennium Marine, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Off Shore Tackle, B’n'M Poles, Navionics, Spike-It, On This Side Catering, American Angler, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, Honey Hole Outdoors, Crappie Now, Crappieholic, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company, Marine Metal Products, Valley Fashions, Everharts Outdoor Store, ProBuilt Jigs, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Fish N Tools, Quickfire, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Crazy Angler, Skipper’s Jigs, Denali Rods, Foxy Fishing Gear, HH Rods, Rod Safe,, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.