The American Crappie Trail’s SuperClean Showdown on Sardis Lake in northern Mississippi was held over the weekend as 77 boats competed for over $60,000 in cash and a Ranger RT188C boat. With the ACT’s extremely popular ten-day off limits period, anglers are not allowed to be on the lake prior to the four days of pre-fishing leading into the tournament, but local anglers and many traveling pros were experienced with the normally steady fishing patterns at Sardis in the summer. Enter Tropical Storm Cindy: the weather forecast for tournament weekend, namely Friday, was bleak on Monday, and grew to slightly less than catastrophic by the week’s end. The decision was made to back up the fishing hours on day one to 10-6PM to avoid the brunt of the storm, but high southwest winds still plagued the lake and made the majority of the water unfishable.
The father and son team of Terry and Cole Stewart grinded out the awful weather and made the correct adjustments to bring in solid stringers on both days, which is exactly what it took to win. Although the Magnolia Crappie Club team had a tough time pre-fishing, they were able to locate decent fish in the timber on the east side of the lake. After putting in at Engineers Point and attempting to make the run to the back of the lake in the standing timber, they quickly decided the waves were too large and pulled into Clear Creek, where many anglers found refuge from the wind. The Stewarts stayed out closer to the mouth in 18-20 feet of water and concentrated on suspended fish 15 feet down, utilizing straight minnows on ¾-ounce double hook rigs around 0.5 mph to catch their 10.98 pounds.