May 11, 2013 11:55:36 PM
Coming off a banner 2012 crappie fishing season, Roy Logan and Wade Hendren have gotten off to a slow start this season.
Outside of a fourth-place finish at Reelfoot Lake (Tenn.), Logan and Hendren had only fished two other events this spring.
Their luck changed Saturday.
The duo, which won national titles in 2008 (Crappie Masters) and 2012 (Crappie USA), pocketed $3,000 and earned their first victory of the year Saturday at the Crappie USA tournament at the Tennessee-Tombigbee River.
Hendren (Troy, Tenn.) and Logan (Union City, Tenn.) topped the leader board with 17.74 pounds, while Kyle Schoenherr, who fished without partner Rodney Neuhaus, bagged 17.69 pounds of fish.
"The water is in pretty good shape," Logan said. "The current was back and forth due to the dam, and that slowed the fish at times, and sometimes helped it. There was lots of old weed floating around, too."
Nearly all of the teams that finished in the top five of the semi-pro division and amateur division slow-trolled and used either a minnow rig or a jig. Logan and Hendren fished almost exclusively at Columbus Lake.
"Most of them were in 5 to 6 feet of water," Logan said. "We were using 14-foot poles and 8th ounce Midsouth jigs. It worked out well for us."
Schoenherr (Oakdale, Ill.) won $1,700 and took home $200 for the tournament's biggest fish (2.07 pounds). He fished Aberdeen Pool and found success at depths between 4-5 feet. He'd pre-fished in water as deep as 9 feet, but struggled to get quality fish. Though he still found it tough to catch many fish, he struck on quality. He did so without his partner, who recently had a baby.
"The water was a bit muddy, but pretty ideal for shallow water fishing," Schoenner said. "I hit the shallow hard with single jigs, roadrunners and 16-ounce tubes, just like I did on day one."
Steve Coleman (Tiptonville, Tenn.) and Ronnie Capps (Tiptonville, Tenn.) took third and won $800 in the semi-pro division with a two-day weight of 16.67 pounds. Dan Hudgens and Bruce Christian, both of Dexter, Mo. rounded out the money winners ($500) in the division with 16.66 pounds. Hudgens and Christian also pocketed $125 for a 1.77-pound crappie that was the tournament's second-heaviest fish. The duo said they caught more than 100 fish in the tournament.
Columbus' Larry Baldridge and partner Willis Bonner (Columbus, Tenn.) took fifth at 15.58 pounds, while Columbus (Miss.) residents Steve Perritt and Joe Wilson took seventh with 14.11 pounds.
Humber brothers win amateur division
Caledonia angler Tracey Humber and brother, Scott (Fayette, Ala.) had such a good day-one haul they were scared they'd fished their favorite spot dry heading into Saturday.
"In a stump field in about 3 feet of water, we were using a double-hook minnow rig and Slap Bandit jigs," Scott said. "We also caught a few center-poling some brush tops in about 10 feet of water, but the shallow water really worked for us."
The Humbers' success was captured early, up until 8 a.m., before the John C. Stennis lock pulled water from the river and dropped the level by 8 inches, Scott said.
"It made it kind of tough at times, but the bite was good up until 8 a.m.," Scott said.
The Humbers finished 23rd in the Crappie Masters Event at Columbus in the fall.