Mike Vallentine, president of Crappie Masters, wants to make one thing perfectly clear:
“We have guys who travel around the country fishing in our tournaments, but a lot of the time, it is the local guys who win the big prizes in our events,” Vallentine said. “We want people in northeast Louisiana to understand that this is for everybody. Local fishermen are certainly welcome and are expected to make a good showing in our events.”
The fact is, 60% of the Crappie Masters tournaments are won by locals. And you don’t have to be a touring pro to fish this tournament. As was witnessed last weekend in the D’Arbonne King of Kings tournament, everybody has a chance to win. The young man that won that tournament, Andy Taylor, won wit a fish caught off the bank! You must fish in a boat in the Crappie Masters tournament, but anybody that crappie fishes has a chance to catch seven nice crappie and win, or at least place in the money!
The first-ever Crappie Masters tournament to be held in Louisiana is scheduled for a trio of north Louisiana lakes on Saturday, April 18. D’Arbonne will draw the majority of the anglers, but there are some big crappie in Lake Claiborne and Caney Lake as well. The tournaments are set up for two-man teams and require a $200 entry fee per team. That’s a little pricey for some crappie fishermen, but you can be assured that 100% of the entry fee money collected for the tournament goes back out in prize money. Numerous, and generous, I might add, sponsors take care of paying all the other expenses. Deadline for entering without paying a late fee is April 4.
Here’s a scoop for the north Louisiana tournament: A lot of local fishermen are already getting in the tournament. We can let you know that two well-known crappie fishermen who are regulars on Lake D’Arbonne that will bring a distinctive flair to our event are Duck Commanders Jay Stone and John Godwin. They are signed up and ready to give the tournament their best shot! Not only do you get a chance to top rest of the best local and national crappie fishermen, you can go head to head with the Duck Commanders, or should we say “Crappie Commanders” in this case? Is your jig pole up to it? I’m sure they will be giving it their best with the new B’n’M Duck Commander poles!
If you are thinking about fishing the tournament, go to the Crappie Masters website (address listed below) and check out the membership, frequently asked questions, entry blanks and rules. This is coming to our area at a prime time and will no doubt be the premier fishing event we’ve had here in a long, long time. Taking part in it will be an awesome experience. You can count on that. I’m sure the tournament will also be a great source of information for crappie fishermen to learn more about catching crappie as well.
“Crappie Masters is a crappie fishing tournament trail with a goal of providing a professional crappie fishing trail for crappie anglers and to provide a crappie trail that local grass roots anglers and families can enjoy and compete for great prizes, ” Mike said. “In fact, a large number of our teams are made up of family members. Our goal is to promote, enhance and preserve our outdoor heritage and specifically crappie fishing. They promote national sponsors, local sponsors and area lake sponsors that want to share products, services and lake tourism areas.
Crappie Masters holds various activities other than tournaments in an effort to promote crappie fishing, tournament fishing and our outdoor way of life. We will have more on that at a later date. You can learn more about Crappie Masters and keep up with tournaments and results at http://www.crappiemasters.net
In case you are wondering, here’s out the payout for the event would go based on a field of 100 boats (PAYOUT: 20 places in cash plus 3 in prizes).
7th $ 900.00
8th $ 800.00
9th $ 700.00
10th $ 600.00
Big fish would be $1,400.00
2nd big fish $600.00
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