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Rogers And Mead Make Statement Winning First National Championship

In what some might call a minor shocker, the young gun team of Mathew Rogers and Baylor Mead outlasted a stellar 150 boat field and let them know they plan to be a force for years to come in claiming the 2018 Crappie Masters sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops National Championship September 26-29, 2018 at Truman Lake in Clinton, MO hosted by the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Benton County Tourism, The Missouri Corn Growers Association, and Everhart’s Outdoor Store on a nearly perfect weather weekend. Rogers and Mead both 21 years of age, were able to control nerves, stay focused on their plan even with a couple of minor fronts passing through during the week, and capitalize on recent success to go wire to wire for the victory. With the teams starting point decided, Rogers and Mead found success early on when they boated a 2.11 pound fish which turned out to be the biggest fish of the National Championship, and they where off to the races eventually taking the day 1 lead weighing in 11.19 pounds on 7 fish. National Championship Saturday started differently as the bite had slowed for the team so they made the first of 2 key decisions that led the win, and that was moving quicker from locations which did produce keeper fish but not the quality they were looking for to reach their projected weight of 10 pounds they felt would give them a legitimate opportunity to win the tournament which led to a second critical decision, to return to the area that produced the biggest fish over the week and they chose right as the bigger fish returned and Rogers and Mead were able upgrade significantly in the final 90 minutes of competition reaching their stated goal of 10 pounds exactly totaling 21.19 pounds on 14 fish and claiming the $30,000.00 top prize along with an additional $2,100.00 for the 2.11 pound big fish, and the $2,000.00 Missouri Corn Growers Association/American Ethanol bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat. Rogers and Mead fished various depths generally from 3 to 12 feet using Rogers homemade Jigs catching fish as most teams just off the bottom. Rogers also said that really honing in his knowledge of their Electronics was vitally important to finding the locations where the bigger fish had moved. Rogers and Mead are sponsored by Outlaw Rods.


A year long stated goal almost came to fruition for the second place team of Mark and Aaron Engelhart. When hearing the 2018 Crappie Masters National Championship was coming to Truman Lake, Mark decided he and Aaron would take a break from fishing out of state tournaments and focus in on truly learning Truman Lake and that plan nearly worked out as the team spent time in the Millennium Marine Hot Seats after entering National Championship Saturday in the 7th position after day one only to see the eventual champions bump them down to the runner up position. The Engelhart’s weighed in 10.10 pounds on day one, and backed it up with 10.80 pounds on day 2 to total 20.90 pounds on 14 fish taking home a check for $10,000.00. Mark and Aaron were one and two pole fishing in 6-8’ of water, catching their fish just off the bottom with Bobby Garland Junebug being the most productive bait on a Probuilt Jig head. The Engelharts give praise to their Humminbird Electronics with 360 Imaging and Minn Kota Trolling Motor plus saying “being at the right place at the right time” was the key to their success.   

The third place position was shared between two teams that each weighed in 20.27 pounds. The team of Frank Haidusek and Austin McClure who moved up two positions after day one, and the father/son team of Shannon and Kyler Beckmann who made a huge jump in the standings going from 18th place and 9.73 pounds after day one then topped the scales with 10.54 pounds on National Championship Saturday after many teams above them faltered. Each team took home $4,000.00. 

Haidusek and McClure fished in 5-8’ of water and caught their fish on Spike-It Junebug jigs and Top Secret white/chartreuse jigs just off the bottom while using HH Rods and Ozark Rods equipped with HH Reels. Patience was stated as being the key to success. Sponsors include HH Rods and Reels, Spike-it, Crappieholic, Dietz Family Buffett, Dairy Queen, and Top Secret Baits.

The Beckmann’s targeted fish in shallower waters, 6-8’, catching them just off the bottom two poling with Jenko Rods equipped with HH Reels, 1/16 oz. Slablander jig heads, Crappie Monster Trophy Wife jigs, scented with JB’s Fish Sauce. The key to success was described as in a speech thanking their longtime mentors for the simple advice of just slowing down. Kyler and Shannon also weighed in the second place big fish of the tournament, a 2.03 Truman Lake dandy collecting $900.00 in additional money. The father/son team are sponsored by RaceTrac, Lucas Oil, Jenko Fishing, Dub-L-Seat, Vera Cruz Restaurant, JB’s Fish Sauce, Slablander Jigs, Crappie Monster Baits, HH Reels, Martin Metal, Commander Rods.   

The 2018 Crappie Masters Male/Female National Champions are the Green Machine team of Jackie and Holly Linton who eventually settled into 5th place in the tournament. For the Male Female honor the team won a Minn Kota I-Pilot along with $2,500.00 for placing fifth.

Top Adult/Youth team honors went to the team of the team of Larry and Dalton Gorham who became Crappie Masters National Champions in that division taking home a Minn Kota Fortrex, a $100.00 Everhart’s Outdoor Store gift card, and a $3,000.00 scholarship to be used for furthering education in a 2 or 4 year college or trade school. 

Click HERE to download full tournament results. 

Crappie Masters sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops would like to thank The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Benton County Tourism and Recreation, City of Warsaw, The Missouri Corn Growers Association, and Everhart’s Outdoor Store, along with all the participants.

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 Dietz Family Buffet.

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, Muddy Water Baits, 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.