John Shannon, from Warsaw, Mo., celebrated a win at the Crappiemasters Tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes, Tavares, Fla. last month. The win was especially gratifying because his teammate was not able to attend and Shannon had to fish both days alone.
Moderate Central Florida weather greeted the anglers for practice and tournament days, allowing patterns to hold for the duration. In spite of the stable weather, most anglers found their second day weights slightly lower.
Shannon was in fourth place after the Day One weigh-in with 8.32 pounds for his seven-crappie tournament limit, only .68 pounds behind leaders Joe Meyer and Debbie Sosinski from Stoutsville, Mo. After the weigh-in, tournament director, Paul Alpers commented, “Folks, this is anyone’s tournament, just a little over one pound separates first and tenth places.”
True to his prediction, four teams came from 13th to 19th place to finish in the Top Ten.
On Day Two, Shannon weighed 8.49 pounds for his winning total of 16.81 pounds. Fishing on Lake Dora, he slow-trolled spider rigs in 6-feet of water, fishing 4-feet deep. His gear consisted of Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor, Mercury outboard, and Ozark Rods.
He tipped pink-and-white jigs and purple jigs with minnows to enhance the bite. For his efforts, Shannon collected $4000.00 and 200 points toward the Angler Team of the Year race.
Joe Miller, Dennis, Miss., and John Peyton, Leesburg, Fla., took Second Place and $2,000 with 16.44 pounds. They weighed 7.60 pounds on Day One and 8.82 pounds on Day Two, anchoring Second Place for both days. They used Tite-Lok rod holders, Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motors, and rods from B’n’M Poles.
Sponsored by Slabmaster, Third Place and $1,000 went to Billy and Scott Williams from Cochran, Ga. They weighed 8.01 pounds on Day One and dropped slightly to 7.89 pounds on Day Two for a total of 15.90 pounds, edging the Fourth Place team by .26 pounds. They fished 8- to 12-feet deep in the Chain’s southernmost Beauclair and Carlton Lakes. Pink-and-white jigs tipped with minnows were their most productive presentation.
Fifth Place went to Whitey Outlaw, from Berry, Ga., and Mike Parrott from Charlotte, N.C. with 8.21 pounds on Day One and 7.07 pounds on Day Two for their total of 15.28 pounds.
Gilford and Shannon Sipes caught the Big Fish of the tournament on Day One, it weighed 1.82 pounds.
The Missouri teams of Ross Enloe, from Finley and Joe Bacon from O’Fallon finished 18th with 13.17 pounds; Dianne and Lonnie Stevens from Lincoln, finished 19th with 12.90 pounds while Larry Drunert from Warsaw and Ralph Niemeyer from Bowling Green finished 21st with 12.83 pounds.
James and Barbara Reedy from Charleston finished 25th with 12.19 pounds, and Meyer and Sosinski finished 37th with 9.17 pounds.
Page 2 of 2 - A total of 520 fish were weighed, all alive, and returned to the Harris Chain, averaging nearly one pound each. The average daily weight for the seven-fish tournament limit was just over six pounds.
Missourians obviously welcomed the warm weather break from the upper Midwest cold because the following week they made a short trek 32 miles east to Sanford, Fla., and the final Leg of the Florida State Championship on Lake Monroe.
At the One-Day Lake Monroe/St. Johns River tournament, the Missouri teams of Enloe and Bacon finished 10th with 8.39 pounds, and Dianne and Lonnie Stevens were 12th with 8.35 pounds.
Shannon was 13th with 8.23 pounds, while Drunert and Niemeyer captured 16th weighing 7.71 pounds; James and Barbara Reedy were 23rd with 6.56 pounds while Meyer and Sosinski were 33rdwith 5.68 pounds.
On Lake Monroe, the teams caught 245 fish with an average weight of 1.08 pounds. There were three fish over two pounds at 2.43, 2.11, and 2.03.
By virtue of the combined totals from their Third Place finish at the Harris Chain and their Second Place finish on Lake Monroe, Billy and Scott Williams are the Florida State Champions, collecting $2,500 for their efforts.
In Lake Monroe, they fished in 6-feet of water, occasionally moving to the St. Johns River where they fished 18-feet deep in 20 feet of water. Jigs with minnows proved to be their most productive technique. Tackle consisted of B’n’M poles, Humminbird electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor.
Southwick Angler Survey Results for Nov/Dec
Of the anglers who responded to Southwick’s surveys, 63 percent fished reservoirs or lakes from a boat; 76 percent of the freshwater anglers used artificial baits and 51 percent fished for largemouth or spotted bass.
Lures were the most often purchased items with Rapala the top hardbait choice and Berkley Gulp the most popular soft bait category. The St. Croix and Shimano led the list for rods and reels. The most often purchased line was monofilament and the top brand was PowerPro.
You may sign up for monthly surveys at www.anglersurvey.com/, prizes are awarded and no electronic tracking is done.