The Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters championship for Alabama is in the books. The final leg was completed Saturday April 5th on the Alabama River. Competitors were met with high muddy water from recent rains to complicate the fishing. When all was said and done the team of Whiter Outlaw and Mike Parrott had come out on top for the third time in their career.
“This is the 3rd time we have won this Championship,” said Outlaw. “Alabama has been very good to us. We won it back to back in 2010 and 2011. Nobody had ever won twice. Now for sure nobody has ever won it 3 times!”
Given the muddy water conditions the team’s strategy was to fish at the back of creeks to find decent fish. “We fished creeks and a lot of stumps from 3- down to 1 ½-feet of water.” The team rigged 16 foot B’n’M Poles with Vicious panfish line in 8 pound clear blue. The business end of the rigs included Rockport Rattler jig heads with Midsouth tubes for dressing up the bottom hooks. They used Tru-Turn #2 hooks and minnows on the top drop. “Everything was topped with a minnow,” stated Outlaw.
According to Outlaw the Rockport Rattler plays a big role every time they fish. It may have been even more important in the muddy water. “There's nothing on the market that compares to it. I don't use other jigheads at all anymore,” stated Outlaw.
Many anglers agree that the Alabama River can be an excellent but unpredictable place to fish. “The Alabama River is a phenomenal fishery,” says Matt Morgan, “yet very temperamental.” Morgan is one-half of the Morgan/Watson team that finished fourth in the championship.
Morgan explained that the fluctuation in river levels make it a challenge to fish the main river with the amount of current. “One key to fishing these rivers is to call and get a generation schedule or look online at projected water levels prior to fishing. The fish are in some of the creeks in 2-foot of water and we caught fish in the river 16-foot deep on the bottom. It provides an opportunity to catch fish from shallow water to deep river ledges. Fun place to fish when it is on!”
Outlaw described the win in a modest but proud reply. “The fishing was very hard in Alabama this year. There were not a lot of big fish but everyone was in the same boat. We are so thrilled with our win. Just remember it is 10% skill, 20% equipment and 70% luck. That's what makes fishing!”
The Alabama Championship is determined after three fishing days. The first day was Saturday, March 31 on the Alabama River, Camden, Wilcox County, AL. The next two days were Friday and Saturday the following weekend on the Alabama River in Millbrook-Elmore County, AL.
Accumulated points from the two events determine the championship. A 1st place finish gives 200 points; 199 for second, and 198 for third, so on and so forth for each event. The weight determines the winner at each event and then translates to points. Total points from both Alabama events determine the overall winner.
The Outlaw/Parrott team won the 1st days fishing outright and then finished 3rd in the final leg to win the overall championship.
The remaining teams in the top 5 were:
2nd Place - Billy and Scott Williams
3rd Place – Rick Howard and Blake Rodgers
4th Place – Matt Morgan and Kent Watson
5th Place – Gilford and Shannon Sipes
For a complete list of Alabama Championship results visit the Crappie Masters Facebook page.
The next Crappie Masters event will be on Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach, MO, April 12th .
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