In what seemed to be a perfect ending to a Fathers Day weekend tournament, the father/son team of Larry and Dalton Gorham leapfrogged some of the best angler teams in the country, going from 8th place after day one to 1st place after day two, claiming the win in the Crappie Masters Truman Lake National Qualifier on June 17 and 18 hosted by Clinton Tourism Championship.
With the top teams after day one stepping back a bit, the Gorhams turned a pound-plus deficit into a near one-pound victory with the help of a monster 2.80 hybrid crappie, which ended up being the biggest fish of the tournament.
The team claimed the Truman title they wanted the most along with the $10,000 tournament winners check, plus the $2,000 CarZone USA Big Fish Bonus for that 2.80 slab!
With a decent day one weight in the books, the Gorhams knew the only chance they had at the win was to bring in 12 plus pounds of weight on Crappie Masters Championship Saturday with a “kicker fish” to get there and then hope that the teams ahead of them would falter.
Controlling what they could, Dalton stated they decided to move away from open water and look for big fish associated and tighter to structure. And with 30 minutes left in the day, the team struck gold! Dalton came up on a tree and instantly identified two very large fish.
Thinking they were likely catfish, decided to drop a minnow down anyway to check…and that ended up being a $2,000 decision, as it turned out to be his personal best crappie, the eventual big fish of the tournament, a monster 2.80 pounder.
Ironically after catching that fish Dalton wanted to drop on the other fish, but his father Larry was concerned they had stressed fish and decided to take what they had and head to the weigh-in.
The decision worked out as the team brought in over 13 pounds for a two-day total of 24.53 pounds and outdistanced the runner-up team of Mike Vallentine and Weylin Shanks, who weighed in 23.57 pounds.
Dalton said the team used minnows during both tournament days and fished in various depths of water. He also stated the key to victory was moving and covering as much water as possible.
Larry and Dalton Gorham walked away with the $10,000 Champions purse along with the $2,000 CarZone USA big fish bonus, the $500 Beatdown Outdoors bonus, and another $500 from the Jellison Group for using an action camera on their boat. This was Larry and Dalton’s first Crappie Masters National title.
With a weight that would normally win most Truman Lake tournaments, 23.57 pounds, the team of Mike Vallentine and Weylin Shanks had to settle for the runner-up position and took home $5,000 for their effort. The team said they didn’t fish “clean” on day one, which likely played a factor in falling just short of the win.
Vallentine and Shanks also stayed on the move, catching their fish in open water and on trees in various depths on Mike’s hand-tied hair jigs, orange Freaky Frank’s 2.5-inch worms, and even a few minnows.
The Texas team of Jordan Sander and Jason Holleman turned their first trip to Truman Lake into a profitable one by staying consistent weighing in 23.48 pounds over the two days, good for 3rd place and a check for $3,000.
4th place was occupied by the current Crappie Masters National Championship team of TJ and Alex Palmer, who had a strong second day of the tournament winding up with a total weight of 23.30 pounds and a check for $2,500.
Rounding out the top five was the husband and wife team of Richard and Ashley Faulk, who started Championship Saturday in second place but struggled a bit on Saturday. They eventually weighed in a total of 22.98 pounds, good for $1,800 along with an additional $200 for being the top placing Male/Female team of the tournament.
The top Adult/Youth honor and the $200 that comes along with that was the Louisiana team of Trey and Tucker Underwood with 17.75 pounds.
Crappie Masters would like to thank Clinton Tourism for being great hosts for many years.
Crappie Masters would also like to thank Bucksaw Resort and Marina for serving as the Host Hotel and weigh-in site, and Westbridge Inn and Suites in Clinton for their support as well.
Fantasy Fishing Results
It was 7 fish limit who took the sixth Fantasy Fishing win of the season with a very impressive score of 768.24 fantasy points at Truman Lake. The best possible score in Fantasy Fishing this week would have been 810.72 points.
You can click here to see the full Fantasy Fishing results from Truman Lake.
On the overall season Leaderboard, River Bottom Boys Guide Service leads the way after six events with 4,617.22 points, with AustinCarey6969 and Sword Fighters close behind in 2nd and 3rd. Click here to see the Fantasy Fishing 2022 Standings.
Crappie Masters Rend Lake Final Tournament Results