Over the past weekend, the American Crappie Trail’s final regular season tournament took place on Truman Lake in the Missouri Ozarks, as anglers battled it out for over $55,000 in cash and prizes. Heavy rainfall the week prior to the tournament brought the lake’s water level up considerably and caused most popular fishing areas to become muddy, leading many anglers to abandon vertical jigging, the staple tactic on Truman, and adapt to spider-rigging minnows, which produced a more consistent bite. With the top ten day-one weights within one pound of one another, and with one-polers and spider-riggers throughout, the winning team was as closely contested as the winning tactic. The conclusion played out as many believe it should have, with Truman living up to its reputation and giving up the first and third place weights to vertical jig fishermen against the best field of spider-riggers in the country.
Local pros Jeff Lewis and Matt Beckman have won at Truman before, but with only 9.44 pounds on day one, placing them 1.5 pounds out of first and in sixteenth place, they had a long way to go to reach the top. The Jenko Fishing team spider-rigged briefly the first morning, but quickly returned to one-poling, their bread-and-butter, and put together a solid stringer of fish.