It was a wire to wire win at the Crappie Masters National Qualifier on Lake Washington near Greenville, Mississippi April 9th and 10th hosted by the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and sponsored by B n M Poles, for the husband and wife team, Richard and Ashley Faulk who led after day one with a weight of 11.81 pounds, and sealed the victory with a two day weight of 22.12 pounds, and won the $10,000 first place prize.
Severe storms, wind, Flood stage Mississippi River conditions that relegated tournament waters to Lake Washington only, and post spawn conditions made for one of the toughest bites and fishing conditions Crappiemasters tournament anglers have faced in a while, and weights reflected just that, however as someone always does, the Oklahoma and Bass Tank team of Richard and Ashley Faulk stayed on the move and had some key and important luck on their side to scratch out a 14 fish two day limit on their way to their first Crappiemasters victory taking home a total of $11,100 dollars in the process. Richard said practice was challenging as each day their weight went backward, but he did figure out one thing, that not spending too much time in one location was going to be key to finding and catching the “right fish” to get the win. That win did not come without drama as the first 3 of their 14 weigh fish nearly weren’t! Without the netting prowess of Ashley, the Faulk’s win was unlikely. The first two fish actually came unhooked and were caught in air or at water level by Ashley, but the third fish of day one was even more amazing as the fish came unhooked at the top of of the water and laid on its side for less than a second before taking of, but by then Ashley had the net a couple of feet under the surface and when the fish took off to go down it went right into the net, Ashley brought it up and into the boat, and the rest is history, but not easy as following the day one weigh in, hot on the teams heals was the team of Matthew and Bruce Rogers just .35 pounds behind, and fellow Bass Tank pro staffer Chad Turner behind them. Richard said it made for a restless night, but were confident with their plan to keep moving which eventually secured the championship. Richard stayed with basically the same colored 2 1/2 inch orange and pearl jig both days to catch the winning fish. Richard and Ashley Faulk claimed the $10,000 winners prize along with an additional $500 dollar Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, American Ethanol bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat, $500 dollars from The Bass Tank for being enrolled in Crappie Cash program, and $100 dollars from Jenko Fishing for using Jenko products, plus a Humminbird graph for being the top Male/Female team.
After finishing day one in third place, Chad Turner leap frogged Matthew and Bruce Rogers to settle into the runner up position on Crappie Masters Championship Saturday with a two day weight of 21.22 pounds and good for $2,500 dollars. Chad stayed consistent using electronics to locate the fish suspended in various depths of water. It was Turners highest finish in a Crappue Masters event and keeps him in the running for Angler team of the year.
Taking home third place was the father/son team of Matthew and Bruce Rogers with a two day weight of 20.62 pounds and the $1,700 check that went with it. Matthew said he never found the quality or quantity of fish he needed in practice or tournament days to claim victory and took what he could see. Matt also stated it was likely the hardest tournament he has fished due to never being able to get on a good pattern.
Fourth place went the Missouri Father/Son team of TJ and Alex Palmer who spent time in the Millennium Marine Hot Seats with a two day weight of 20.37 pounds, good for a $1,250 check, plus were the top placing Adult/Youth team garnering them an Amped Outdoors 12 amp lithium battery and charger, along with $100 dollars Everharts Outdoor Store gift card.
Rounding out the top 5 was the always strong B n M pro staff team of Lamar Bunting and Greg London who weighed in 20.32 pounds, good for a $900 payday.
Big fish honors went to the team of Zack Kaltefleiter and Mike Moulton who brought in a 2.06 pound Lake Washington post spawn dandy and were rewarded with a check for $532 for that fish.
Second place big fish of the tournament was brought in by 8 time National Champion Steve Coleman with a 2.05 pounder and won $226 dollars.
Crappie Masters would like to thank The Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, B n M Poles and Fishing, and Roy’s Store for hosting the weigh in along with all the other local sponsors.