Lake Talquin and Gadsden County Tourist Development Council played host to the second leg of the Crappie Masters, Florida State Championship and two-day national qualifying tournament February 3rd and 4th, sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops. Fifty-one teams from twelve states battled dense fog on day one and post cold front conditions on day two. Lake Talquin cemented itself as one of the top fisheries in the country with large weights being brought to the scale. Day one saw a familiar team in the lead as former Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year Billy and Scott Williams weighed in an impressive 13.66 pounds. Day two saw the field change around as some teams struggled to duplicate day one weights. That was not the case for the team in ninth place, father and son team and eventual champions, Richard and George Hughes fishing just their second Crappie Masters Tournament who brought in 13.11 pounds on day two to seal their first victory.
The Hughes team stated they generally stayed in the same area both days as they had found quality fish there and decided to stick it out and their decision was rewarded. The team caught their fish spider rigging slowly in 12 to 15 feet of water with the fish holding near the bottom in 10 to 13 feet. Hughes and Hughes were using BnM Poles with all their fish being caught on blue and chartreuse and purple and chartreuse Mid South Jigs. The Hughes team fish from a Phoenix boat with a Mercury Motor and Minn Kota Trolling Motor and Humminbird Electronics. They cited perseverance and commitment to their plan as the key to victory. The team won $5,000.00 for the win, also claiming an additional $500.00 Missouri Corn Growers Association, American Ethanol bonus for using E10 fuel in their boat.
Second place wound up in a tie between the teams of Billy and Scott Williams and Gerald Manning and Danny Cannon who both weighed in a two-day weight of 24.71 pounds. Cannon and Manning caught their tournament fish long line trolling in 12 to 18 feet of water with the better bites coming from 12 to 14 feet deep using various colored jigs. They also mentioned their Minn Kota Trolling Motor and Humminbird electronics as a vital to finding and staying on the fish. They also power their boat with a Mercury Motor. The team won $2050.00 for their finish.
The BnM Poles, Driftmaster team of Billy and Scott Williams fell back to second place with a lower weight on Championship Saturday after leading on day one stating a few key mistakes lead to their demise. They caught their fish long line trolling in 16 to 20 feet of water generally 10 to 12 feet deep using blue and chartreuse and Popsicle colored jigs. The team was using BnM Poles, Humminbird Electronics and a Minn Kota Trolling Motor. The Williams also won $2050.00 for their second place tie.
Fourth place went to the team of Danny Williamson and Gilford Sipes with a two-day total weight of 24.70 pounds. They received a check for $1200.00.
Rick Howard and Steve Deason finished in fifth place with 23.61 pounds and earned a check for $950.00.
Big fish of the tournament was weighed in on day two by the team of T.C. Lloyd and Tyler Walker. A large 2.56 pound crappie garnered them a check for $714.00.
Male/Female division winners were Jonathan and Alicia Phillips, Alabama, with 23.48 pounds. They received a $100.00 Grizzly Jig Company gift card for their efforts.
Scott Broxton and Scott Broxton Jr. won the Adult/Youth division with 3.59 pounds. The Broxtons won a Minn Kota Trolling Motor and a $100.00 Everhart’s Sporting Goods gift card.
The 2017 Florida State Championship came down to the final fish, a day two comeback, and a tie for second place with the tiebreaker being total weight over the two tournaments. In the end, last weeks champions on the St. John's River, Troy Thiel and Ricky Willis moved up from twenty eighth place after day one to sixteenth after day two giving them just enough points to claim the Florida State Championship and a $1,000.00 check. A tiebreaker decided the teams that would finish second and third with the Midsouth Tackle team of Vic Finkley and Kim Gray claiming the second spot. The Florida team of George Parker and Tim Eberly settled for third.
Click HERE for full tournament results.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Gadsden County Tourist Development Council, Lake Talquin Lodge, Whippoorwill Sportsman Lodge, and Ingram’s Marina.
Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Prefish Gear, Power-Pole, Heartland Fish Fry, Ozark Rods, Skinzit, Mercury Motors, Millennium Marine, Off Shore Tackle, Jenko Fishing, Navionics, Spike-It, B’n”M Poles, Tite Lok Rod Holders, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, Crappie Now, Crappieholic, American Angler, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company, Valley Fashions, Crazy Angler, Grizzly Jig Company, Everharts Outdoor Store, Marine Metal Products, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Rod Safe, Zeko Shoes, Crappie King Cakes, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Crappie.com, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.
Next stop on the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops Tournament Trail will be February 24th and 25th in Farmerville, Louisiana for the Lake D'Arbonne National Qualifier Louisiana State Championship.