Just weeks after the B’n’M Poles team of Kyle Schoenherr and Rodney Neuhaus claimed victory in the 2015 National Championship, the 2016 Crappie Masters Trail was launched. Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail held a two-day national qualifier for 2016 on Grenada Lake, MS.
Billed as an early bird national qualifier the October 30, and 31, 2015 event produced the first anglers to qualify for the next Crappie Masters National Championship right back on Grenada Lake the weekend of Oct. 28 to 30, 2016.
The weather was not what anglers or organizers would have chosen. Those big waves on an open lake like Grenada are just not fun. Nevertheless, the draw of big crappie on Grenada had participating anglers hopeful that Grenada would produce for them and the lake did not disappoint. “It is almost surprising given the weather,” said Brian Sowers, the voice of Crappie Masters. “The weights were off the charts.”
Eventual winners Brian Kelly and Brian Cleland got started on day one with a good weight of 16.11 pounds. “We started on the Yalobusha and got skunked,” said Kelly. “We moved over to the Skuna side and caught a bunch of great fish the first day.”
The second day found the two Brians on the same Skuna side that had favored them on day one. “Saturday was a struggle,” reported Kelly. “We caught two big fish right away and then didn’t catch any for hours. We moved a couple of times and caught 5 fish between 1:00 and 3:30 pm to finish the day.”
The Illinois team of Kelly and Cleland were fishing double minnow rigs with one-ounce weights. “We used Crappie Logic all the way,” said Kelly. “We used double minnow rigs with Crappie Logic Gnats and Jigs tied on instead of plain hooks.”
“Patience and perseverance was the key to victory,” exclaimed Kelly. “We just didn’t give up. Two days ago we were not even sure we were going to do the tournament. We had a tough time prefishing. We decided to do it and we’re glad we did. I told Brian that yesterday was the best day of fishing I ever had in my life.”
The Grenada Lake Champions weighed in a two-day total 28.85 pounds to take the top spot. The team took home a check for $5,500.00 for their efforts. The amount included a $500.00 bonus, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat.
Other winners included Terry Stewart and Tonya Stewart. The Stewarts brought in a two-day total of 28.21 pounds to the scales at Granada Landing to claim the second place spot. That weight was also good enough to give them the top spot in the Male/Female Division.
Third and fourth places also went to Male/Female teams. Roger Womack and Katie Womack caught a two-day limit of 14 fish weighing 26.84 pounds to take third place. Michael Nowell and Paula Nowell also caught their 14 fish limit. They weighed in at 26.73 pounds, just ounces back of the third place team.
Fifth place went to Larry Holmes and Charlie Massey. The team’s 14-crappie limit pulled the scales to 26.67 pounds.
The Rockport Rattler team of Elijah Wooten and Billy Gardner took home the Top Adult / Youth Team trophy. Along with the honor of being the top Adult/Youth team they took home a Minn Kota trolling motor.
Big Fish of the tournament went to Vic Finkley and Kim Gray. The team weighed in a 2.74 pound Granada slab.
For more Grenada result visit the Crappie Masters Facebook page at
The next stop on the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail will be a national qualifier and Florida State Championship. The January 22 and 23, 2016 event will be held on the St Johns River near Deland, FL.