The water was low on Lake Fork this past weekend, but the competition was high, as 77 boats of the very best Crappie anglers in the country found some big fish at the Crappie Masters Lake Fork National Qualifier on April 1st and 2nd hosted by Emory Tourism in Emory, Texas. The event was sponsored by MidSouth Tackle with the weigh-ins taking place at Minnow Bucket Marina.
There were numerous past tournament winners and National Champions in the field for this one, and the hometown team of Jordan Sanders and Jason Holleman held the lead after day one with 17.73 pounds. But right behind them were eventual tournament winners, Josh Jones and Josh Reynolds, followed by Matthew and Bruce Rogers, Brett and Robert Luther, and Zeke Anderson and Wesley Miller.
As is the case, Crappie Masters Championship Saturday and $10,000 to win changes things, and that was the case as Josh Jones and Josh Reynolds overcame a 0.67 pound deficit to weigh in a total winning weight of 34.59 pounds, taking home the Lake Fork National Qualifier victory and edging out day one leaders of Sanders and Holleman, who finished in the runner up spot with a two-day weight of 33.89 pounds.
Reynolds said the team caught their fish on the timber edges and channel edges in 9 to 15 feet of water using a 1/8 ounce orange jig head and a 3 inch Jenko Fry Daddy in black and chartreuse and bluegrass colors.
Jones noticed because of bluebird skies that the fish had transitioned from high in the water column early in the morning down to the bottom as the day progressed. Reynolds said the key to victory was twofold, catching a 2.02 and 1.80 pound fish in the first minutes of fishing, and then upgrading throughout the day while also being able to switch their batteries to 24 volt after losing power on one at 11:00 am.
Jones and Reynolds took home $10,000 for the win plus an additional $500 for using an action cam from The Jellison Group and another $500 for using Beatdown Outdoor Products.
The hometown team and day one leaders, Jordan Sanders and Jason Holleman, finished second with a weight of 33.89 pounds, taking home $5,000.
Starting Crappie Masters Championship Saturday in third and finishing there was last year’s Angler of the Year Team, Matthew and Bruce Rogers, who came in with 33.55 pounds, which was was good for a $3,000 dollar check.
The Texas team of Clay Gann and Todd Froebe finished 4th with 33.29 pounds, winning $2,200. Rounding out the top 5 was the top male/female team last season, Richard and Ashley Faulk, with 33.05 pounds and taking home $1,800. The top Adult/Youth team award went to Michael Meeks and Michael Meeks III, taking home $200.
The biggest fish of the weekend, good enough for the CarZone USA $2,000 big check, went to the Missouri team of Brian Thomas and Kevin Pipes with a monster day one 3.24 Lake Fork giant.
Crappie Masters would like to thank Emory Tourism, the City of Emory, Minnow Bucket Marina, and the Louisiana Hunters for Heroes for their support. Next up will be Rend Lake In Whittington, Illinois on May 6 and May 7. Click here to get signed up.
Fantasy Fishing Results
It was Sword Fighters who took the fourth Fantasy Fishing win of the season thanks to a tiebreaker, as both them and GLTC had a very impressive score of 888.96 fantasy points at Lake Fork. The best possible score in Fantasy Fishing this week would have been 906.74 points.
You can click here to see the full Fantasy Fishing results from Lake Fork.
On the overall season Leaderboard, River Bottom Boys Guide Service leads the way after four events with 3,178.38 points, with AustinCarey6969 and Sword Fighters close behind in 2nd and 3rd. Click here to see the Fantasy Fishing 2022 Standings.