The Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters season finale had a lot riding on it. It was the final event for someone to earn a spot in the National Championship coming up in September; it would determine the Missouri State Championship; and it would determine the Crappie Masters Angler Team of the year (ATOY).
The August 22, 2015 event was held on Truman Lake near Clinton, MO out of Bucksaw Resort and Marina. Seventy-seven boats competed for over $18,000.00 in cash and prizes.
O’Fallon MO angler Mark Hatcher and his brother Chris won the last Crappie Masters event, the second leg of the Missouri State Championship, on Mark Twain Lake on August 8. They came to Truman looking for a repeat. “Conditions on Truman seem to be good,” commented Mark after prefishing. “The lake is in good shape, but the practice fishing was painfully slow,”
After the tournament, and as a testament to the competition at these national qualifying events, the team of brothers finished in 28th out of 77 boats. “Not the finish we wanted,” stated Chris Hatcher, “ but a great time anyway. There is nothing else I’d rather do from spring until waterfowl season. Thank you Crappie Masters for the opportunity to fish.”
When the weigh-in was complete the Stump Jumper Transducer team of Chad Maupin and Barry Morrow had not only won the Crappie Masters National Qualifying Event, but they also won the Missouri State Championship. The team brought 8.85 pounds to the scales to claim their prizes totaling more than $7,000 in cash, including a $250 check from the Missouri Corn Growers Associating for running American Ethanol in their boat.
“It’s an honor to win at Truman,” said Maupin following the weigh-in. “There are a lot of great fishermen here in this tournament. We set out to win the Missouri State Championship. We got second last year so we kinda’ sealed the deal this year. We are honored to win this thing.”
“It is an honor to represent Crappie Masters and the great fishermen that we compete against,” said Morrow. “To win the tournament and the Missouri State Championship today is awesome.”
Crappie Masters tournaments are almost always very close. In this case the Ozark Rods team of David Cox and Steve Hockett checked in 7 fish weighing 8.63 pounds to claim the second place spot just .22 pounds out of the lead.
Third place went to Richard Bowling and Garry Lee. Their 7 fish weighed 8.36 pounds. The third place team was less than half a pound out of the lead.
The Crappie Masters ATOY was not determined for 2015 until this final event. When all the dust had settled the father/son team of Billy and Scott Williams from Cochran, GA had earned the title. The ATOY is based on points accumulated throughout the year.
The next Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters event is the National Championship to be held on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee, September 23-26.
For more information on the National Championship visit their website or Facebook page for details and updates.