The top team on the professional crappie circuit these days, Hayden and Dan Jeffries
– fishing under the ACT circuit’s new “Catch, Weigh and Release” format –
seem to be unbeatable so far. (ACT Photo)
American Crappie Trail Goes to “Catch, Weigh and Release” Format
Seemingly following in the footsteps of the Major League Fishing (MLF) bass tournaments, the American Crappie Trail (ACT) has changed the game for professional crappie fishermen.
There are no more live weigh-ins at ACT tournaments. According to the ACT Rules, each competing team will have an official ACT Marshall in the boat both days of competition with an official ACT scale.
A scoreable crappie must weigh at least 1 pound to be included in the anglers’ official catch. Each fish is weighed immediately and then released back into the water. Winning anglers are determined by the TOTAL weight of all scorable crappie during the tournament.
In the second ACT tournament of the season, Feb. 17-18 on Mississippi’s Grenada Lake, the powerhouse team of Hayden and Dan Jeffries basically lapped the field against 24 other teams. In two days, Team Jeffries boated an incredible 329 scorable crappie that weighed a total of 489 pounds, winning $7,500.
The second-place team, Blake Cook and John Lee, boated 177 crappie that weighed 259 pounds.
Team Jeffries also took top honors in January on Lake D’Arbonne in Louisiana where a total of 22 teams competed. Team Jeffries won the $10,000 First Prize, catching 208 scorable crappie that weighed 259.30 pounds, winning $3,000.
The second-place team, Les and Keaton Standstipher, caught 153 scorable crappie weighing 200.45 pounds, winning $3,000.
Unlike MLF, the ACT tournament does not have live streaming from the top boats. On Lake D’Arbonne there was a follow boat and ACT reporter providing periodic live updates from the water on the ACT Facebook page.
In an apparent effort to attract more competitors, ACT lowered its entry fees following the Lake D’Arbonne event from $500 per team to $350.
The next ACT event will be held March 17-18, 2023 on Ross Barnett Lake in Mississippi. Find the new ACT tournament rules here.