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Florida Crappie Champ to be named

Pro crappie anglers Matt Morgan and Kent Watson show off some huge crappie at the Crappie Masters Classic.
Pro crappie anglers Matt Morgan and Kent Watson show off some huge crappie at the Crappie Masters Classic.
Ron Presley

Some pretty serious crappie anglers are taking on the cold weather to compete for the title of Florida State Champion on the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Trail. The first leg of the championship is a two-day event on the Harris Chain of Lakes out of Tavares. The first day’s results are in and the weather probably played a role. Cold temps and high winds greeted the anglers from the get-go.

After the first cold and windy day the team of Brad Meyer and Dave Pfoutz held the lead. They caught their seven fish limit and weighed in at 7.47 pounds. John Shannon weighed in the second heaviest bag at 7.14 pounds and Mike Parrott came in only .01 behind Shannon at 7.13 pounds.

Other teams in the top ten include John Schantz-Scott Hunt, Larry Durden-Vicki Durden, Don Collins-Toni Collins, Billy Williams-Scott Williams, John Peyton-Bettie Peyton, Matt Morgan-Kent Watson and TC Lloyd-Roland Addy.

Each team will have the opportunity to weigh in another seven fish on Saturday. The two day total from 14 fish will determine the Harris Chain Champ. The Saturday fishing ends and the weigh in starts at 3:30 with contestants required to be in line by 4:30. The public is welcome to attend the weigh in At Wooton Park, 200 S. Rockingham, Downtown Tavares.

From Tavares the anglers move to Sanford, FL and Lake Monroe, Jessup and the St. Johns River. Many will pre-fish the week before the actual tournament day of Feb 1. Tournament fishable waters include the area from Blue Springs south to Lake Harney.

Other events in Sanford include a Media Fish Off, a Seminar and a Kid’s Fishing Rodeo. The Rodeo is open to kids aged 15 and under, with registration from 8:00 am- to 9:00 am on Saturday, Feb 1. The kids will fish from 9:00- to 10:30.

Competitors can begin fishing on Feb 1 at 7:00 am and must stop at 3:30 pm. All anglers must be in the weigh in line by 4:30. The heaviest 7 fish will determine the tournament champ and the total weight from the previous weeks 14 fish from the Harris Chain and 7 fish from Lake Monroe will determine the Florida State Championship.

The final weigh in will occur at Ft. Mellon Park in downtown Sanford on the river. It begins at 3:30 pm. The team of Billy and Scott Williams, are last year’s Florida champs. They finished day one in Tavares in 7th place.

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Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program.

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