Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail travelled to Sunrise Beach, Missouri on Lake of the Ozarks for their April 16, 2016 competition. The weekend event was the first leg of the Missouri State Championship. Millennium Marine headlined this one-day national qualifier that put over $20,000.00 in cash and prizes up for grabs.
The activity began with registration and a seminar at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill on Friday night. Crappie anglers could fish from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with a requirement to be in the weigh-in line by 4:30 p.m. or be disqualified.
Beautiful prefishing weather greeted crappie anglers to Lake of the Ozarks event. When teams took to the water on tournament day it was a little tougher due to high winds and recreational boat traffic.
The weigh-in was also held and Captain Ron’s where hundreds of fans were in attendance to cheer on their favorite teams. When the tally was complete the tournament was won by shooting docks. The former founder and owner of Ozark Rods, Tony Edgar, teamed up with Travis Lepley to chalk up the win.
Edgar and Lepley shot docks the entire day using 6- and 7-foot Ozark Rods Dock Shooters to land their winning 10.62 pounds. “We targeted docks in 30 feet of water,” reported Lepley. “Using a pink 132 ounce jig we would shoot as far under the dock as we could and let it free fall back. We concentrated on the darkest, shadiest spot on each dock.”
“We pre fished 5 days using a shad colored plastic,” explained Lepley. “It kept working so we never changed colors. Fortunately everything went real smooth except for losing 3 fish that we would like to have weighed in. Sometimes those bigger fish get caught up on the dock and you loose them.”
Dock shooting is one of the more physically demanding ways to catch crappie. “Fishing that way is a work out,” said Lepley. It requires squatting down, lying down, what ever it takes to get the best angle to put the bait back under dock. It was work but it paid off for us.”
Edgar and Lepley are sponsored by Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Anglers Port Marine, and Ozark Rods. They earned an additional $250.00, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat.
Second place went to the team of Stacy Helton and Steve Seifert. They weighed 7 fish at 10.52 pounds. Helton and Seifert were also shooting docks, catching their crappie around three feet under the surface with a combination of Bobby Garland’s Baby Shad and 3 inch Slab Slayers in white and chartreuse. The team took home a check for $2200.00. They are sponsored by Troutt and Son’s, John’s Firestone, and Cashion Rods.
Travis Stevens and Rich Campbell pulled down the third place honors. Their 7 fish weighed 10.45 pounds. Also shooting docks, Stevens and Campbell were catching their fish at 1 to 3 feet deep with a combination of jigs that included Bobby Garland 3 inch Slab Slayers in white and chartreuse. Sponsored by Bucksaw, Skeeter, Yamaha, Daiwa, Huckabee Rods and Beaver Bottom Baits, the team earned $1400.00.
The team of Travis Bullock and Clint Hibdon placed fourth with a weight of 10.40 pounds. Team Bullock/Hibson also weighed in the Big Crappie of the Tournament at 2.57 pounds. Bullock fished the tournament by himself and took home a total of $2390.00.
Another Ozark Rods team won the fifth place spot. David Cox and Steve Hockett, both from Missouri, won the spot with 9.90 pounds. They won $1000.00 for their efforts.
Mike and Angie Baker, Missouri, won the Male/Female Division with 8.34 pounds. They were the recipients of a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
Mike and Sheldon Schulte won the Adult/Youth division. Their 7.15 pound bag won a $100.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card and a $100.00 Everhart’s Sporting Goods gift card.
The next Crappie Masters event will be on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma on April 23rd.
For more results, photos and future events click on the Crappie Masters Facebook page or visit their website.