Sponsors: The Crappie Shop in Georgia, Show Down, AWD Baits, Humminbird and Minn Kota, Williamson Body Repair
Beth- We’re targeting these fish in open, deeper water because they are not as suseptable to water fluctuations and weather pattern changes. Also, with the rains it appears things are going to start muddying up in the shallower water. Another reason is that the shallow fish are getting beat to death right now.
The fish are biting much better when we have a slight wind and it’s overcast. We would be tickled to death if it rained the whole tournament. I think the fish probably hit better when it’s cloudy because of the fronts coming in. On an incoming front they bite best. The barometer is bad after the front and when the sun pops back out.
(Danny fished from the front and Beth from the back. BnM short/sensitive poles in back and 18-ft BnM in front. Beth drops the baits into the water and then counts one count per second as the baits drop so she can repeat if successful.)
Our baits are Road Runner heads, Show Down heads, AWD curly tails all tipped with large minnows; these fish do not like the small minnows. We use Vicious Line, 4 lb test, fluorocarbon as well as the monofilament. Yellow line for pushing, clear line for long lining.
Also Crappie Shop, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Williamson Body & Repair. Earl Brink, Show Down, not only has supplied a lot of baits he has give us a lot of advice that’s been good.
We are longline trolling out the front and back using a 1/4-ounce on top and either a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce on bottom. We let out different amounts of line until we find the right depth and we also change colors until we find the right combination. AWD has a june bug/red tail that has worked really well. We use the Spike-It Color C Lector.
We are fishing at 13 to 17 feet but I’m not as worried about depth as I am how many counts is working to catch fish. That is what I repeat.
Our speed is 2.0 to 2.5 mph. We’ve been married since 1993 and fishing the whole time.
I like to work with different craft products so some of these wild colors and bait variations are right down my ally. The one thing Danny complains aoubt is that I’ve got to keep my baits wet to catch fish. If I’m not catching fish I’m going through the colors. My boxes are all sorted by colors and I put black on the tops to keep colors from fading. I like the shallower boxes so I can get more in my bag.
<Danny> Crappie Masters. Being in the hot seat at the AL River was fun. We finished 9th overall and top male/female team.
We take one hook off of each treble hook on crankbaits to make it much easier to retrieve the hooks without killing the fish.
Thermometer in livewell. Usually 15 degrees cooler than surface temperature. or at about 70 degrees. Use catch and release and will use oxygen. I froze zip-lock bags with water for our ice and place those in a bigger plastic bag just to keep from knocking the fish in the head when running don the lake.
Ejoy Talquin for number and size; they are pretty fish because of the vegetation. Enjoy Logan Martin and am disappointed the people there won’t support it. Ross Barnett, wow. What a fishery. We are planning to be there again.
Live in south Georgia. Home lake Oconee.
CRAPPIE MASTERS CLASSIC 2009 Grenada
Sportsman of the Year. This year was very close with four or five that would have been good choices. We bas it upon the credibility of the person, how much help he does, how he gets along with other people. How loyal he is with the company and what he does for the overall sport of crappie fishing. I don’t know of anyone out there who has worked harder to promote the sport of crappie fishing more then Bill Braswell. With him being loyal to the trail. He is just a good person overall. He has dedicated his whole life to the outdoors including his career as a wildlife officer.
(bill) It’s an honor to accept this award. It was created in honor of John Schantz, Sr. He was a friend and that makes it more meaningful to me. There are many good fishermen on the circuit and many good people who deserve this as much or more than me. I’m really in shock and want to thank you for the award. It’s something I’ll cherish forever.
Angler of the Year. Dedication is the key word to getting this award. You must be loyal by fishing all or most of the tournaments because of other good fishermen fishing the trail. Their were several teams very close but them missing a couple of tournaments cost them a title. Jim and Barbara Reedy always have a good time and represent themselves well all the time. Being the first male/female team. (jim) It’s been a long time but we really enjoyed the people we’ve met from Florida to Minnessota.
Secona place was Redd and Redd who had never fished a tournament trail before. If they had fished the only two tournament sthey missed they might have been tournament anglers of the year. (Had fun and learned a lot.)
Big Fish of the year. Matt. A combination of skill and luck. 2.95
Big Weight of the year. We went to a new lake, the AL River, and it was definitely a good place to fish. It scared a lot of people being a river but they found that there are many places to fish in creeks and backwaters that have little current and are good places to fish. The actual big weight, almost 32 pounds, came from the river. We have extended the boundaries for next year where they say that the best big fish are located. Competition next year will be interesting because we are coming to Grenada in the spring. Ross Barnett and the AL River. We may have a new record set next year.
First time ever we had a male/female team to win a state championship. The MN state championship was won with one pole. Elwood Shepard and wife. We’ve had every age, every economic walk of life to win a tournament. Anybody can win.
It was 1:00 before we had our seven fish. We caught a couple early this morning. I think we had three fish at one spot before moving to a different location. We ended up catching 11 or 12 fish all day. It was tough. Yesterday we had a few more bites and 15 fish.
Different? Not really. We had caught some big fish in some areas. We knew they were there so we stayed with them just trying to get them to bite. We stayed patient.
Long slow runs? Different contours. When depth would change sometimes we would pick one up. Sometimes they were in flat areas. We fished 14 to 22 feet deep.
<matt> Glow pink Road Runners with orange/chartreuse Crappie Thunder tipped with a medium minnow. You get 250 of the best crappie fishermen in the world pounding on it for a while combined with all the fresh water thet’s dumped into the lake with the rains and it’s going to make it a tough bite like it’s been. Last week we were using 1.5 ounce sinkers and by this weekend we wer using ¼-ounce sinkers. Just to be able to see the bite. With the bigger sinkers we were lifting our poles up and minnos would be gone and we hadn’t seen a bite. That’s how light they were biting.
I’ve been fishing this lake for three years and the last two days have been the toughest I’ve seen.
What was the pressure like not ot have your limit in the boat and be setting in first place? If you let all that stuff get into your head you’re done. Today for example when it got daylight instead of seeing a total of 10 boats in the distance, we probably had 30 boats right in our area. We knew we couldn’t splitup those fish and come out on top. So we knew it was time to leave. Having three fish in the baot at 10:00 never bothered me. You never know when the bite would turn on for us the afternoons were the best.
There’s not many time I’m really at a loss for the right words. To compete with, and beat them, is a feat, milestone I’ll never foret.
This year we’ve been in this situation four times and putting two good days back to back isn’t easy. Company today was enourmous after people see you catch fish.
(matt) Tracker V-18 fully rigged boats with mercury 150-hp motors. Worth $45,000
This is a tough act to follow when you have no idea what three greases are out there in the lake. We came down last weekend and fished. We got lucky and found a couple good batches of fish. All the rain and fishing pressure changed things throughout the week. When we hit the water yesterday we had to go to light sinkers to see the bites. Today at daylight there were 30 boats around us. We caught a couple of fish but picked up and left. We needed every minute of fishing time and the pound lead. It was tough. Yesterday we caught 15 fish and maybe 12 today. We did adapt and change.
Pressure on day two? I try to be patient but I could tell my partner was getting nervous by the middle of the morning. At the end of the day it’s still just fishing so we tried to keep baits in the water, be patient, consistent and persistent. Having been in similar situations in state touranaments helped us today.
We tightlined, pushed minnows out the front. Pink Road Runners with orange/chartreuse Crappie Thunders tipped with minnows. We also used some orange and chartreuse glow by MidSouth. 16 foot BnM Pro Staff poles.
We had to lighten up. We caught a lot of fish when we turned the boat.
Humminbird 997 and 797 electonics helps even the field. Makes a huge difference without Humminbird we would be in trouble. It will take a few days to soak in. Had a spotter in the boat.
2nd PLACE Capps/Coleman
(steve) Different today. 53rd up to 2nd place. Yesterday was deep and today we went shallow. The deep fish we couldn’t keep the fish alive no mater what we done, oxygen, popping them. We had great fish but just lost them. The coller water deep bringing them up through the warm water on top just killed them.
We started out using Capps and Coleman minnow rigs with a 1.5-ounce siker. We ended up using black/chart Southern Pro tubes. When the bite got finicky we just losedned the drag. 8 to 10 feet in 30 feet of water. We were moving fast. We were pulling through the bushes. We were covering a lot of waer busting the brush. Threre were three type weeds and only one type was holding fish. You had to know what to look for. That took us a while to learn.
You had to get into the brush with minnows early, thn switch to jigs as soon as the sunlight broke through. Jig and medium minnow. We did switch from a 214 EL to a regular 214 because of the brush. 12 lb test P-Line. BnM 16 ft jig poles.
When the fish aren’t biting people will start moving. We just stayed there and was patient. We were on big, big fish in deep water catching 2.7s and 2.8s so we had no choice but to try and catch them on the first day but just couldn’t keep them alive.
(Ronnie) Double minnow rig. Every time we would grab a bite of structure I would turn the boat. It’s like a bad dog, if you turn and run what’s he going to do. The same with the crappie here today. Hit the structure and stop and you wouldn’t get a bite. Turn the boat and take the baits away from the fish and they would hit. Circle to the right and the left pole would get bit. The last minnow coming through was usually the one that would get hit.
We were using very heavy weights to locate the structure. But it was very scattered. But when I found the right weeds, 1.5-oz would show us. We were doing circles.
At the end we put 1/8-oz lime/chartreuse skirts tipped with a minnow and we caught several keepers. I was putting them on bottom in 9 feet depths. Fish were buried in the weeds.
I thought I was an expert at keeping fish alive but I didn’t pay attention. In five minutes they were gone. It wasn’t even a question after 10 minutes. I made a bad move going for big deep fish because that’s what I though it would take to win. I went for the home run and it didn’t work out.
Big monsters are at 26 feet deep suspended over 36 feet of water. I caught 3 in 30 minutes the other day.
(Ronnie) 53rd to 2nd place. $10,000
We’ve worked hard for 3 weeks practicing. I was fishing for deep fish but couldn’t keep them alive so went shallow the second day. We just do what we know best and that’s slow trolling. BnM poles. They make a pole for every technique for catching crappie so we carry a lot of poles with us.
Never quit. Sometimes I think we over fish and over analyze a lake but we did find the big fish if we chould have kept them alive.
I want to thank all the folks at Grenada Lake and Hampton Inn for a great time.
We were most productive when going fast. Side Imaging. Can’t compete without it.
(steve) 1.5 ounce weights with Road Runner heads and 2-oz weight. There were three different grasses in the lake and only one was holding fish. We had to be in it to catch fish. But the right one was productive.
Pushed Road Runners.
3rd Place Kenny and Kerry Browning $5000
(Kenny) We just went out and pulled crankibaits in deep water 30-32 feet. Pulled them about 20 feet deep. Bandit 300s. Using Vicious spiderwire, thin line so we could get it deep. 150 to 200 feet.
We had two good weigh-in fish die yesterday before 10:00. We tried a different method to keep them alive today and it helped. W ehad over 14 pounds yesterday by 10:00 but only weighed in 12.02 because of fish dying.
Awesome pink, some we painted.
I’m disappointed losing fish but its awesome to finish this high. It’ our best finish. We varied from 1.3 to 2.0 mph. We constantly changed depths and speeds. Main par of lake in deep water. The river channel pokets were always good.
Lost fish by letting the air out and punching them in the wrong spot. We learned a valueable lesson. Bandit 300s 32 feet water at 20 feet. Vicious line.
4th PLACE (tie)
Ron and Barbara Hollingsworth. Pulled Bandit crankbaits on Vicious line. 20th up to 4th. Trolling 16 to 18 feet deep. BnM and Wally Marshall poles.
Practice we came there on the 17th fished every day. All I do is look for a big fish or two in an area. After pre-fishing is over I try to put the whole story together and pick the spots that give us the best odds for catching big fish. We fished both days in the same area. I had rotator surger on my shoulder so I set up 8 rods across the back and planned to troll crankbaits.
10 days prefishing. Pulled Bandit crankbaits; Vicious Line; 20th to 5th. 16 to 18 feet deep. BnM and Wally Marshall poles. MinnKota and Humminbird.
4th PLACE (tie)
(outlaw) Pulled crankbaits. Wally Marshall poles and Wally Marshall crankbaits. 17 different colors. Dark in the morning and light colors in the evening.
(russel l Riley) We were pulling crankbaits in 25 feet of water using Wally Marshall rods and crankbaits. We went from dark to light colors. We started on the main lake between two main points. We got a break when we saw one of the locals going faster so we speeded up and it paid off. We practiced for four days.
Outlaw) We were pulling over humps and channels with crankbaits and Road Runners tied above the crankbaits. We caught a couple of good fish on the Road Runners. Barrell swivel and hand-tied leader.
We did use a lot of colors because on my side of the boat alone I had 12 colors I had tried and taken off. We used both Bandit and Wally Marshall crankbais. We have BPS crankbait stickers and we colored some while out there.
Friday we used the 250 motor with two windsocks. Today we used the trolling motor. Yesterday at 3.0 mph and today at 1.4 mph.
We made a couple of bad decisions on Friday with the first being tightlingin in shallow water. We went to plan B but a little late. We caught catfish, whites and the drum here are crazy.
(riley) It was a great expereicne fishing with Crappie Masters and we hope to be back again.
6th PLACE Stancil and Brink
We caught fish in practice using ¼-ounce Show Down jigs while fishing deep. Those fish moved on us so Friday we decided to pull crankbaits. We pulled them 20 feet deep in 32 feet of water. Vicious line and Wiggle Warts.
2nd big fish: Richard and Peggy Lindsey: Black and Chartreuse Bobby Garland Stroller.
7:05 on first tree. 8 ft water fishing 5 feet deep. Vicious line. “I said this is going to be easy. It went downhill from there.”
Pre-fished Sunday until tournament. It has been slow but we’ve caught fish. I fished the last classic here and a couple of other weeks. Long line trolling. Been catching in 10 to 13 feet of water. Tip: Get out there and try it all over the place doing whatever you do. Slow bite now.
Favorite tournament lake: Logan Martin. Good size and numbers. Talquin good. I like them because both are good long line lakes.
Fast or slow presentations? Fast is best. More and bigger fish.
Long lining works all year. I can go heavy and fish as deep as necessary. Fast trolling not good during summer.
Colors. I can look at the water and tell. Lighter in bright of day. Spike-It Color Celector.
Classic we didn’t do well but found a fe on media day. We had a great time and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I love traveling, fishing and meeting new people. I caught three of my biggest fish here this week with a 2.45, 2.50 and 2.52 and we lost a bigger one today.
Tournaments. One in 2004. Classic in 2007. Robert Geir, partner.
US Air Force Witman AFB. Heavy equipment mechanic. Supervies 17 civilians and G.I.s. We maintain about 500 vehicles.
Upcoming trip I’ll deploy to IRAQ. I’m hoping to fish a fefew tournaments next year so hope to qaualify.
Crappie Masters have been very supportive. I was really surprised in 2007 when Paul Alpers and Kent Driscoll called me up to the stage in front of 600 people and was cheered for just coming b ack from overseas it gave me goosebumps. It means a lot to me. All the people remember me and say thanks. The CM folks are supportive of all of our military people. It means a lot to be appreciated.
Ron & Barbara Hollingsworth top male/female team.
Richard Lindsey we’ve carried cookers to all the tournaments and I end up with an empty truck because they are really selling. Best frier on the market. They are coming out with a new smoker unit next year.
Adult/youth. Chris and Olivia Naife (sp)
Media: Robert Gier and David Townsend, BPS Kevin East 2.45; Elwood Shepard, Larry Vance, city councilman 2.26; Sipes and Sipes, Alan Clemons 2.24.
Sponsors at Registration
JULIE BETHEL TiteLok
We’re coming out with a new spider rig next year. We’ve reduced our pricing twice for the guys so it will be more affordable to those rigging. We have so many products we’re working on. We appreciate our customers and attempt to keep they pleased. Tough economic times so we’re helpoing in every way possible.
WALTER MCCOOL exc. Dir. Of Grenada Tourism Commission. What has tournament meant to Grenada? Having this number of people in town is tremendous. About 2.5 million dollar impact. In this economy that tickles us to death. We’vWe’re excited about going to a 2-day state championship next year, too.
HAMPTON INN ELLEN SELF
What has classic meant? Our entire hotel staff has been working all year to get ready. The economic impact has been good for the community. I feel great having so many fishermen thank me for the work my girls have done. I’m very proud. I want to thank you all for coming to Grenada and we extend an inviatation for you to come back to the community and especially the Hampton Inn.
BOBBY GARLAND BAIT COMPANY Gary Kendrik.
The company not only has good baits they are continualusly coming up with new colors that fishermen want. The Slab Slayer in the 2-inch and the Strollers have both been working good here at Grenada. They have basic colors, special colors and glow. Whether you slow troll, fast troll, cast or vertical jig they have a bait for every application. Thye take input from the fishermen and make the baits they want.
DRI GRIP Pat Landers
No new products but we’ve had independent study done and we have found that it does not attract insects like some do. It won’t kill your bait, repel fish and it will not attract insects. Many sunscreens do. There’s nothing to repel insects but the ingredients are neutral so they do not attract.
SPF 30 dry sunscreen with a pwder base. It does not burn your eyes. It won’t deteriorate line. 2.5 oz tube or individual packs. It’s a cosmetic grade sunscreen. Will be coming out with a lip balm and moisturizedr for after you get in fronm the lake.
I’m so pleased with my por staff team. When they travel they help by going in local bait and tackle stores and tell them abou the priduct. We are just now getting it available to the public and these guys are helping. It needs to be on the shelves because it is an impulse buy item, not something you plan ahead and order.
FISH HOOK REMOVAL Dr. Neil Saley www.fishhookremoval.com
I’m an emergency physician in Minnesota. We have a lot of lakes and a lot of fishermen up there. I’ve taken out hundreds and hundreds of fish hooks over the years and it seems like a lot of fishermen have sirupted their vacations and got charged a lot of money to come in and get it taken out.
It’s not difficult to remove about 90% of fish hooks. There are different ways to take a hook out and I like the string method. 90% of fish hooks can be taken out by the fishermen themselves with the string technique. It’s relatively painless and works well. A push pull and cut popular with fishermen but increases pain, damage and wound size.
We developed the fish hook removal string that’s ¼-inch mesh. The neat advantage is thaqt you can wrap it a couple of times around the hook and it usually catchs the hook when it flies out. Sometime the hook will fly 10 or 20 feet when it comes out and can cause injury again, I’ve seen that. We believe that the string is a real advantage.
We have kits and we have a movie about removing. I know for me the movie made it easier to understand than just reading about it.
Fish hook removal kit with a color brochure with step by step instructions and how to clean the wound afterwards. The kit is in a flexible bag so it will fit in your tacklebox or anywhere. Save fishing time and money.
Usually in the face or around the eyes need professional assistance. The string technique doesn’t work unless the skin is fixed in place. For example, the earlobe and lips are two places it doesn’t work.
A watermelon is good for practice. I’m nervous about demos in a room because of the flying hooks.
BANDIT Chris Armstrong sales & marketing manager
New sponsor. The hard bait sponsor for Crappie Masters in 2010. Banidit is not just known for catching bas but also catching crappie. They pull and push them. I’ve worked retail long enough to see what is here so I’m excited to be marketing to the crappie fishermen.
I’m not wishing people to lose baits but it they do I want them to know where to go to get baits. Crappie fishermen end up carrying a lot of baits. Kent Driscoll has been an influence on some of these. It seems that crappie are more color sensitive than bass. I don’t know why.
TTI-BLAKEMORE T.J. Stallings
What’s new. We’ve got many new things starting with the Slab Daddy we introduced last year. Over ¼-million last year so we thought we would expand on it. We’re coming out with one with a jig-spinner on it. It’s much better and longer lasting bait than one with plastic. If I were a fish I would much rather eat on something made from a chicken than chemicals.
New Natural Science Jig Heads look just like minnows. Colored like nature but with a little crappie twist to them. 3D eye, prism finish and a premium book. Work for five years. June bug opaic chartreuse tail Crappie Thunder for super dark waters. Magic lube for the inside of reels.
Pink heads, fluoro red, chartreuse, white Road runner head.
Gets me out of the office. It’s a bonus to be a sponsor of C.M. and get our name out there but it you’re not showing up working with other sponsors, working with the fishermen and teams, keeping them abreast of what’s new and helping them we wouldn’t get as much from the sponsorthop. I believe in being directly involved.
MIDSOUTH JIGS Doyle and Phillis Hudson
New sponsors. 32 years making baits. We have new colors. Black/chart glow #1 seller. Red/chart glow; green/char glow. In Floorida have a lot of greens and clears. North shad/clear; middle states chartreuse.
YAMAMOTO Chief George Braswell
This is out 2nd year to be a corportate sponsor. Gary Yamamoto is one of the top bas fishermen in the world and I too love to bass fish but I’m really partial to crappie. Our marketing director, Larry Evans, and I doing sales shows.
I use to be a commercial minnow dealer and they asked me to design a minnow. That was our first design followed by the Ika. The Ika to not only a great bait but one that holds together very well. We had it in our bass line and designed it in a 3-inch crappie size that fits great on a Road Runner or Charlie Brewer Slider head or any others.
We wrapped Crappie Masters fisherman Bill Braswell’s boat and he represents us well.
Colors. As an avid crappie fisherman solid pinks and glow is asked for a lot. We try to design the colors that fishemn want.
VICIOUS LINE Glen Cunningham
The only thing we’ve added is 1-lb ice fishing. We’ve added some different sizes we have the 100 yard pony spool in the fluorocarbon and a ¼- spool in the Panfish to accommodate the long-line trollers.
A lot of fishermen are using fluorocarbon a lot as a leader because it has a faster sink rate and low visibility. You can go with the same pound test or bigger than your main line.
We are very proud to be associated with Jim and Barbara Reedy. They are not only good fishermen but they are good people, too. They have done a great job representing us.
We have seen an exponential growth in our distribution in both major chain stores and mom and pop tackle shops across the country. It has been a great partnership being with Crappie Masters and we look forward to years to come.
SLIDER Charlie Brewer Jr
We’ve got several new colors. Pearl with a pink glow tail. We’ve started taking a lot of our old favorites and making three colors out of them. Like a babby bass with a chartreuse tail.
We’ve taken the Junebug/chartreuse tail with a heavy saltcontent. We’ve got a spin jig with our Crappie Grub and addeda an overhead spinner.
Our 1/16 and 1/32 heads with the thin, needle sharp wire that tends to straighten out easily and reshape it easily. It’s been popular with the crappie fishermen.
Since 1977. Our baits tend to fast troll very easily.
Crappie Masters lets us have direct exposure to the crappie fisherman, talk to them and give them samples.
FUTURE FISHERMEM FOUNDATION SUTTON, KEITH
I’m the executive director of the future Fishermen Foundation. Crappie Msters is one of our big supporters. They take donations at each tournament. Our programs line the Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs are supported through efforts like these. The FFF has been around for 23 years. Our keystone program is Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs which is a mentor-based program that’s used in schools, parks, and by state wildlife agencies to thelp get youngsters out fishing who otherwise don’t have the opportunity. It’s not one day, but working with them over and over so they want to continue fishing once they get older.
We also have a program called Fish Ed. In 30 states so we raise money to train the educators so they can deliver those programs. So we work directly with the educators. In 23 years more than a million kids have gone through our program. www.futurefishermen.org. Look at our program. $1500.