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Hot temperatures, changing bite, and fluctuating water levels greeted the 105 boats that took part in the Crappie Masters sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops Truman Lake National Qualifier One Pole Ultimate Challenge hosted by The Clinton Chamber of Commerce, and also sponsored by Midsouth Tackle June 15 and 16, 2018. With $10,000.00 in cash and prizes on the line, redhot team of Barry Morrow and Chad Maupin topped a stellar field to claim their second Ultimate Challenge Championship. Morrow and Maupin targeted a big fish area where they had success before and sure enough the area did produce again but not without some adjustments and sticking with their plan. On day on the team weighed in 10.13 pounds to take a narrow lead over the team of Rich Campbell and Travis Stevens. The day one bite for the champions came later in the day, but was not the case on Championship Saturday as the bite came earlier easing the mind of Maupin! Morrow and Maupin downsized their baits which they agreed was the eventual key to victory. Morrow credited their use of Humminbird Electronics and MinnKota Trolling Motor as key in finding the better fish and stay on a tree longer especially with the underwater structure they targeted at times. Using Power Crappie Rods, Morrow and Maupin used a variety of baits to accumulate their winning weight of 20.91 pounds fishing in 5 to 8 feet of water catching fish near the bottom using the Beaver Bottom Truman Tornado, Bobby Garland Baby Shad, and Midsouth Tackles Wyatt’s Blue Magic Tube. Morrow and Maupin took home $8,400.00 for the win, plus numerous sponsor bonuses including a $500.00 bonus from The Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 fuel in their boat, along with an additional $100.00 for using Jenko products, $250.00 in Power Pole Captains Cash, Day One Leader incentives of $100.00 each from Humminbird and MinnKota, The $500.00 Midsouth Tackle bonus for winning and using a Midsouth Tackle Tube, and a $50.00 Bobby Garland Baits package. Morrow and Maupin are sponsored by Off Shore Tackle, Beaver Bottom Baits, Bobby Garland Baits, Puddle Jumpers, Stump Jumper, Crappietown Baits, Everharts Outdoor Store, Huckabee Rods, B'n'M Trolling Poles, Electra-Air Heat and Air, and Performance Fiberglass.  

Landing in the runner up position moving up one spot on Championship Saturday was the strong Truman Team of Matt Beckman and Jeff Lewis who over two days managed to weigh 14 fish that totaled 19.49 pounds for the $4,200.00 second place check. Beckman and Lewis targeted the same big fish areas they fish in every tournament on Truman Lake and as they stated being in the right place at the right time was key as they made several trips back to spots they were confident held quality fish hoping to be there when the fish bit and that game plan paid off.  Beckman and Lewis also credited the use of Humminbird Electronics and MinnKota Trolling Motor as vital keeping them on the move and going to the proper structure. The team caught the weigh fish on the Kevin Rogers Signature Series Jenko Rod fishing in 8 to 10 feet of water with the quality bite at 8 foot using a black and chartreuse Muddy Water Bait on a 1/8 ounce Orange Pro Built Jig Head. Beckman and Lewis are sponsored by Jenko Fishing, Pro Built Jigs, Muddy Water Baits, A-Game Camo, and Midwest Marine.

The third place skit was filled by the reigning Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year, and Ozark Rods team of David Cox and Steve Hockett who also moved up one position on Championship Saturday winding up the tournament with a two day weight of 19.38 pounds taking home a check for $2,800.00. Cox and Hockett stayed true to what has made them so successful fishing black and chartreuse Jigs in 8 to 10 feet of water catching better fish at 8 foot using Ozark Rods, Mercury Motor, Humminbird Electronics, and MinnKota Trolling Motor to bring it all together. Cox felt the key to the teams third place finish was being patient and waiting for and until the afternoon bite. Cox and Hockett are sponsored by Ozark Rods, Everharts Outdoor Store, and Do-It Molds.

Fourth place went to the team of Rich Campbell and Travis Stevens with a two day total weight of 19.09 pounds. Campbell and Stevens earned a check for $2,200.00.
Tony Neimeyer and Levi Irwin rounded out the top five with a total weight of 18.86 pounds. Neimeyer and Irwin received a check worth $1,800.00 for their efforts.
Top Male/Female honors went to the husband/wife team of Mark and Tara Engelhart who took home a new Humminbird Helix 5 for that honor.

The top Adult/Youth Team was Larry and Dalton Gotham who won not only a $100.00 Everharts Outdoor Store gift card, but also a new MinnKota Trolling Motor.  

One of the interesting stories from a fantastic tournament was the Big Fish prize that went to Ryan and Howard German who after having a self proclaimed horrible day one, looked for one big bite on Championship Saturday and it paid off in a very productive way weighing a Truman Lake 2.51 pound giant, the only fish the team weighed but was good enough for a $1,470.00 pay day. 

Crappie Masters would like to thank The Clinton Chamber of Commerce and Doyle and Phyllis Hudson of Midsouth Tackle for a hugely successful tournament.  Next up, the 2nd Leg of the Missouri State Championship  at Mark Twain Lake.  

Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Inn, Westbridge Inn and Suites, KDKD 95.3, Everharts Outdoor Store, Hawthorn Bank, Benson Center, The Wood Shed, Puddle Jumper's, Wal-Mart, Slugger's 66, and Golden Corral

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, Louisiana Fryers, 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.