Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters crowned the 2013 National Champions on September 28th in Grenada, MS. Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Marine, Humminbird, Minn Kota and the Grenada Tourism Commission, the tournament was a challenge for even the best in the United States.
192 teams competed for the top honors as fishing conditions challenged anglers to weigh in 7 fish each day. Only 7 teams were able to weigh the limit of fish on both days. Lake levels were drawn down a few weeks earlier than previous years as dam maintenance began. Finding fish and getting bites was frustrating for many anglers as some caught good fish in pre fishing only to have difficulties during the tournament, while others caught more fish on tournament day than pre fishing.
The Do-It Molds-Navionic’s fishing team of Tommy Skarlis and Kyle Steinfeldt from Iowa figured it out, using a walleye fishing technique of pulling crank baits with Off Shore’s In-line planers boards. The team weighed in 13.13 lbs. on day one and was sitting in third place. On day two they took the hot seat near the end of the competition with only two teams left to weigh. They had 14.70 (the biggest basket of the tournament) on the second day, for a two-day total of 27.83 lbs.
Skarlis and Steinfeldt explained to the crowd how they prepared to work the lake using Humminbird electronics to locate fish suspended 8 to 10 feet below the water’s surface and over 100 feet off to the side of the boat. Skarlis described how the Humminbird’s Side-Imaging featured helped them find and maintain the best depth and distance from the boat for catching their crappie while the Off Shore’s kept their lines separated, turning the boat: “from a two-row corn picker into a combine” to allow them to cover more water and put their baits in front of more fish. They used Berkley Flicker Shads and Salmo Hornet crank baits, changing sizes for different depths. Their Minn Kota trolling motor allowed them to troll quietly and slowly through the finicky/spooky fish, resulting in more bites.
Skarlis and Steinfeldt also took the big fish honors weighing in a 2.67 lb. slab worth $1344.00. The 2013 National Champions each won a fully rigged 2013 Z7 Nitro boat with a 150 Optimax Mercury motor.
The second place team used very similar techniques to catch their limit. The adult-youth and father-son team from Iowa, Cory and Cody Batterson weighed in 13.46 lbs. on day one placing them in second place going into day two. On day two they weighed in 12.25 lbs. for a two-day total of 25.71 lbs.
The Bobby Garland-Crappie Town team started out fishing shallow and moved to fish deeper waters with crank baits. They used Humminbird electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor.
The Batterson’s took both second place and adult-youth honors winning $10,000.00, a Minn Kota trolling motor and a $3000.00 youth scholarship.
BnM’s Poles’ Michael and Derak Walters, another father-son team, took third place. The team has a state championship win on Grenada Lake previously. They spider rigged using 1/4oz weights below the second line pushing as slow as possible over brush in 14-16 foot waters. They used 16-foot BnM poles and Tite-lok rod holders to be sitting tied in fourth place after day one with 13.00 lbs. even. The Ohio team weighed in 12.21 lbs. on day two for two-day total of 25.21 lbs.
Billy and Scott Williams from Georgia was the first to take the hot seat. The team was in 30th place after day one with 11.55 lbs. They weighed in 12.31 lbs. on day two for a total of 23.86 lbs. The top male-female team was Phil and Eva Rambo who took 10th place overall with 21.30 lbs. The second big fish was Kevin and Charlie Rogers with a 2.63 lb. crappie.
The top ten were:
1 TOMMY SKARLIS-KYLE STEINFELDT 27.83
2 CORY BATTERSON-CODY BATTERSON 25.71
3 MICHAEL WALTERS-DERAK WALTERS 25.21
4 BILLY WILLIAMS-SCOTT WILLIAMS 23.86
5 JIM ODONNELL-DALLAS BANDY 22.58
6 BRIAN RAMM-JEFF HEATHCOTT 22.11
7 JEFF RIDDLE-DAVID MADDUX 22.07
8 DAVID COX-STEVE HOCKETT 21.95
9 JOHN SHANNON-TIM EBERLY 21.82
10 PHIL RAMBO-EVA RAMBO MF 21.30
Special thanks to the local sponsors including: Grenada Tourism Council, The City and County of Grenada, Hampton Inn & Suites, Howard Johnson (Formerly Hampton Inn). Western Sizzling, Comfort Inn & Suites, Kirk Auto, Knights Inn, Super 8, Vic’s Bait & Tackle, Vic’s Guide Service, Lakeway Triple Stop, American Best Value Inn, Restaurant 333, Orleans Bistro, B’s Grocery and Bait, No Way Jose Tex-Mex, Collins Bait Shop, Coldwell Banker, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Bait Shop and Star 92.3 Radio.
Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Nitro Boats, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Mercury Motors, Toyota, Road Runner by Blakemore, Tru Turn Hooks, Power Pole, Titelok, Martin Metal LLC., Bobby Garland, Grizzly Jig Company, BnM Poles, MidSouth Jigs, Spike-It, Cajun Fryer, Bugband, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Kodiak Scents, Slider, Vicious Fishing, KeepAlive, Monster Crappie, Koolwell, The Body Furnace, Lake Fork Lures, Transducer Saver, Trucast Lubricant, Fish Sticks Lure Enhancer, Crappieholic, Engel USA Coolers, Rockport Rattler, Wild River Outfitters, Riccu Cut & Clean, Porcupine Fish Attractor, M-YWedge, Valley Fashion and ZipTailz.