Competing against a field of 118 teams can be daunting. That is unless you’re a team that is as hot as the duo of Hayden and Dan Jeffries, who weighed in 14 fish for a total of 29.07 pounds over the two-day Lake D’Arbonne tournament and claimed the $10,000 first-place prize at the Crappie Masters National Qualifier on February 25th and 26th in Farmerville, Louisiana.
This tournament was hosted by the Union Parish Tourist Commission, Union Parish Chamber of Commerce, City of Farmerville, Union Parish Police Jury, and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
Hayden stated that they caught their fish on a combination of 1/16 ounce hair jigs, Road Runner jigs with a Bobby Garland Baby Shad, and minnows in 11 to 16 feet of water with fish anywhere from 4 to 16 feet Their biggest fish were on the bottom.
Hayden said the team had over ten pounds the first 20 minutes of the tournament on Friday, then the bite slowed and they started searching for other big fish, not wanting to burn up their number one spot.
On Championship Saturday the Jeffries went back to their main spot only to find about ten other boats in the area. Hayden said they decided to stay there, knowing that possible tournament-winning fish were in the area. They were catching the fish on wood and in open water as long as the open water fish were facing them, and not spending more than five minutes on any fish. The Jeffries concluded that the key to victory was covering water but eventually trusting their primary location.
Finishing 2nd in the tournament was HH Rods and Reels’ angler Lamar Bunting, who backed up a good day one on Saturday with a 2.66 lb kicker fish, weighing in a total of 28.12 pounds to take home the $6,500 prize.
TJ and Alex Palmer, the current Crappie Masters National Champion team, were leading after Friday and wound up in 3rd when it was all said and done with a two-day weight of 27.76 pounds. That 3rd-place finish was good for a $4,500 check.
In fourth place was the team of Chris Fields and Jared Riser with a weight of 25.51 lbs, winning $3,500, and rounding out the top five was the husband/wife team and top male/female team of Richard and Ashley Faulk, who weighed in 25.52 pounds, good for $3,000 plus another $200 for the male/female honor.
The top adult/youth team was Dusty and Anders McGehee, who claimed a $200 dollar bonus.
The big fish of the tournament was weighed in by three-time National Champion Charlie Bunting, who brought in a D’Arbonne monster weighing 3.01 pounds, which awarded him the CarZone USA $2,000 big fish bonus.
Crappie Masters would like to thank the local sponsor support including the weigh-in site Rhett’s Tails and Shells for their hospitality. Also K&M Coffee, Corks, and Camo for the support they provide to anglers. Finally, a big thank you to D’Arbonne Lake Motel, Lake D’Arbonne State Park, and Ludwig Marine.
Fantasy Fishing Results
With the last tournament, we saw many Fantasy Players load up on a few teams with their picks, but with D’Arbonne the picks were more spread out. The team of Matthew Rogers / Bruce Rogers were the highest-owned at 52.49% of the fantasy teams, while Eric Cagle / Patrick Stone came in at 48.62% ownership.
It was Rozierspicks who took the second Fantasy Fishing win of the season, with a very impressive score of 792.18 fantasy points. The best possible score in Fantasy Fishing this week would have been 842.16 points.
You can click here to see the full Fantasy Fishing results from Lake D’Arbonne.
On the overall season Leaderboard, Bammes Jig Company leads the way after two events with 1,458.36 points, with Guppies and River Bottom Boys Guide Service close behind. Click here to see the Fantasy Fishing 2022 Standings.