Crappie Masters week is here and we’ve come up with a Question & Answer primer so you can know more about the big pro tournament coming to our area Saturday!
What is Crappie Masters? Crappie Masters is a professional crappie fishing organization with a goal of providing a professional crappie fishing trail for crappie anglers, to provide a crappie trail that grass roots anglers and families can enjoy and compete for great prizes.
Where is the Crappie Masters tournament going to be? This is the first ever Crappie Masters tournament held in Louisiana and will have a unique format offering anglers the chance to fish Lake D’Arbonne, Lake Claiborne and Caney Lake. The tournament will be Saturday, April 18.
The seminar and registration will be at the Lincoln Parish Library on Trenton Street in Ruston starting at 5 p.m. Anglers must attend that. The weigh-in will be at the North Louisiana Fairgrounds on 165 Fairground Road located just north of Ruston on the Ruston-Farmerville highway. Anglers must be in line by 4:30 p.m.
The weigh-in is open to the public and fishing fans are encouraged to attend! The event is being hosted through a cooperative agreement between the Ruston-Lincoln Parish CVB, Claiborne Parish, Union Parish and Jackson Parish.
How much does it cost to enter? Entry fee is $200 for a two-man team. Payouts are based on how many fishermen enter, but 100% of entry fees go back to the fishermen! You can fish by yourself in the boat, but you still have to pay $200.
Is it too late to enter? No, it’s not. You can still enter up until Friday night at the registration, but there is a $25 late entry fee now. Just a reminder to you local guys out there — most of the Crappie Masters tournaments ARE WON by local fishermen. Just sayin…
How many teams have entered? There are 35 teams entered as of Sunday afternoon.
Which lake do you think will provide the winning stringer? Lake D’Arbonne will have the majority of the visiting fishermen on it and even though the spawn is a bit topsy-turvy right now, the lake could easily produce a 7-fish limit weighing 12 pounds. On the other hand, Caney Lake doesn’t have as many fish, but has some real monsters. If the right fishermen who know where the right brush tops are enter, it could produce a 12-14 pound plus stringer. Claiborne is a harder read, but if fishing is tough, the winning stringer could come from there as well. You want me to make a prediction? Okay, I’m going with “the Bone!”…
Who are some of the touring pros to watch? Frankly, anybody on the circuit or any of the local anglers entered have a shot to win or place high. Here are some of the more well-known touring pros to keep an eye on. It will be interesting to learn how they attack our area lakes!
* Eight time National Champion, Ronnie Capps from Tiptonville, Tennessee is fishing with his wife Kelly Capps. Sponsored by BnM Poles. Ronnie Capps can win anywhere, anytime.
* 2015 National Champions from Murray, Kentucky, Alan Carter and Tony Sheppard. Sponsored by Ozark Rods and Crazy Angler. Good everywhere they go. Always a threat.
* 2014 Angler Team of the Year, Whitey Outlaw from South Carolina and Mike Parrott from North Carolina. Sponsored by Rockport Rattler and BnM Poles. Hottest team in the country the last two years.
* Jeff Riddle from Tennessee and David Maddux from Missouri. Sponsored by Johnson Fishing. This lake sets up well for them.
* Just a hunch… Todd Huckabee and Ken Roberson from Oklahoma. They can find a way to catch the big fish by one pole fishing.
Is it true that Duck Commander anglers Jay Stone and John Godwin of West Monroe are fishing in the tournament? Yes, they are. They love crappie fishing almost as much as duck hunting and are regulars in the spring on Lake D’Arbonne.
How can I find out more? Click on the Crappie Masters logo in the center column of this page. It will send you to the Crappie Masters home page and you can find out everything you want about the organization and the tournament.
What are some of the more interesting rules in the tournaments? Well, there is a limit of eight poles per team during the tournament and teams can use rod and reel combos, hand-held pole and reel combos or hand-held poles. A maximum of two baits per pole may be used. You do have to fish from a boat in the tournament and here’s an interesting rule — All tournament boats are required to have a minimum 6 HP or greater motor. Rubber rafts, canoes and Go-Devils are not allowed.
How do they keep the fishermen honest? There have been no problems with that in Crappie Masters tournament. To ensure that, fishermen agree to submit to and pass a polygraph test or similar truth test in order to qualify for the receipt of any prize. Crappie Masters shall have the right to polygraph any competing team, at Crappie Masters discretion.
What else is going on around the tournament? Good question. There is a KIDS RODEO Saturday, April 18, at the Lake D’Arbonne State Park, 3628 Evergeen Rd. the rodeo is open to kids ages 15 and under. Registration is from 8-9 a.m. and fishing from 9 – 10:30 a.m. Contact the State Park for more details. Kids need to bring their own poles and baits. All kids entering will win a prize.
One more thing. If you see some of the visitors on the lake, show them the kind of hospitality that you’d want to get when you are visiting another lake! Have fun and be safe! And welcome, Crappie Masters.