Victory as Sweet as a Georgia Peach on Alabama’s Weiss Lake for Randall and Hendrix
by Dillion Stocking
A recurring nemesis made another unwanted appearance challenging angler’s boating and fishing skills, as well as their nerves, at Crappie Masters on Weiss Lake. Sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association “Ethanol Fueled With Pride”, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops, the Weiss Lake, Alabama National Qualifier and the first leg of the Alabama State Championship took place on March, 3rd in Centre, Alabama.
That nemesis that has plagued the start of the 2018 season is Mother Nature. Wind, rain, and cold challenged some of the best crappie anglers from across the country.
Showing their skills were the champions from nearby Rome, Georgia, Kevin Randall and John Hendrix. The Georgia team weighed 7 fish totaling 10.47 pounds in a narrow victory. They took home the first place check of $3,200.00 along with an additional $250.00 bonus from the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 Fuel in their boat.
With winds gusting above 30 miles per hour, making boating treacherous, Randall and Hendrix used all the power their Mercury Motor, MinnKota Trolling Motor, and Humminbird Electronics had to catch the winning weight. Randall and Hendrix fished up the river near the Georgia line. On tournament day they wondered if they made the right decision staying with their game plan, as the team had no fish in the livewell at 10 a.m.
However, the fish did turn on and the team went shallow catching fish just below the surface in 4 to 6 feet of water. They slowly spider rigged with B’n’M poles. Randall and Hendrix stated that their key to victory on their home lake was staying with their game plan and not wavering from it. Randall and Hendrix are sponsored by Big Bite Baits, Ego Nets, Koolwell, B’n’M Poles, TTI Blakemore, and Go Lights.
It was a close second for the Missouri team of Aaron Frederick and David Ash who brought 7 fish to the scale. They held the lead for an extended time and finished a mere .08 pounds behind Randall and Hendrix with 10.39 pounds.
Frederick and Ash used their Mercury Motor and MinnKota Trolling Motor to spider rig minnows. They used their Jenko Trolling Rods in 14 to 23 feet of water with their better bite 10 to 12 feet down. Frederick and Ash earned $1,600.00 for the runner-up prize.
Third place went to the team of Brandon and Jason Threadgill who also used Humminbird Electronics and MinnKota Trolling Motor to identify and spider rig their weigh fish 10 feet down. They caught them on the bottom using Bobby Garland Baby Shad tipped with minnows. The team cashed an $800.00 check for their efforts. The Threadgills are sponsored by Mr. Crappie, Lews, Strike King, and Amphibia.
The top Male/Female team honors went to the reigning Alabama State Champion team of Jonathan and Alicia Phillips who won a Humminbird Helix 5 for the honor. They also ended the day in fourth place, which landed them a check for $600.00.
In fifth place was the team of Eric Cagle and Wade McDonald, they received a check for $500.00.
Big Fish of the tournament went to the HH Rods and Reels and Foxy Fishing Gear team of Eric and Leann Howard who weighed an impressive 2.19-pound Weiss Lake dandy. The big fish was their first of the day and earned them a check for $518.00.
Crappie Masters would like to thank the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism along with the other local sponsors for bringing this premier event back to Weiss Lake.
Next stop on the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail, an angler favorite, Greenville, Mississippi and Lakes Washington, Lee, Paradise, Ferguson, and Whittington. The event will be Saturday, March 10th. Get all the details at Crappiemasters.net and on Facebook.
Special thanks to local sponsors that include: Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Weiss Lake Lodge, Little River Marina and Lodge, and WEIS Radio.
Special thanks to our National Sponsors that include: Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Ozark Rods, Mercury Motors, Power-Pole, Jenko Fishing, Millennium Marine, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, Off Shore Tackle, B’n’M Poles, Navionics, Spike-It, On This Side Catering, American Angler, Tite-Lok Rod Holders, Midsouth Tackle, Slider, Honey Hole Outdoors, Crappie Now, Crappieholic, Timmy Tom’s Jig Company, Marine Metal Products, Valley Fashions, Grizzly Jig Company, Everharts Outdoor Store, ProBuilt Jigs, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, The Original Rod Sox, Fish-D-Funk, Ardent, Crazy Angler, Skipper’s Jigs, Denali Rods, Foxy Fishing Gear, HH Rods, Rod Safe, Crappie.com, Monster Crappie Media and Huffman Publishing, and KMMO Brad & Brian in the Outdoors.