Going into this weekend there was some concern over the weather but we decided to do battle anyway. We faced 20 mph winds gusting to over 30. I doubt anyone else liked Mother Nature calling the shots as to what areas could be sat on and which ones couldn't, but we all planned out stratagies that took that into account and made the best of it. Even with the weather, 15 of the best Teams in the State came to play for 1800 dollars in total payouts. Not to shabby a paycheck for a weekend of fishing.
Lucky for us the fishing wasn't as bad as the weather. There were some good fish to be had, but the numbers of shorts was pretty high. Seems like only 1 in 5 would be over 10 inches, and with the fish being scattered between Winter haunts and staging off the Spawning grounds, it meant hitting just about every waypoint you had that the wind would let you fish. With the whitecaps, fishing anything shallow proved pointless and all of my better fish came from the Main Channel fishing a solid Chartruese or White & Chartruese jig on a 1/4 Oz head.
Todd Morstorf Won the Snowball fight and Big Fish Sunday with a 2.07 and Brandon Manis won it Saturday with a 1.84.
Saturday Big Fish- Brandon Manis, 1.84
Sunday Big Fish- Todd Morstorf, 2.07
Overall Top 5-
Polter/ Jennings- 18.38
Bybee/ Bybee- 15.02
Allen/ Allen/ Parker- 14.68
Eustice/ Beckstrom- 14.55
Morstorf/ Harmon- 14.16
It turned out to be a better weekend of fishing than we expected, and the fish that were weighed in were cleaned and donated to the Emporia Rescue Mission to help stock the freezer for them, and were very appreciative of the 3 Gallons of fresh Crappie.
Going into Saturday for the start of our 2 day combined weight event here at Melvern,.. you could tell that Mother Nature was in a seriously bad mood. Temps were hovering around the mid 20's at Takeoff with a 25 mph wind by Noon. I guess there are several things you could call that, but I'm pretty sure ideal fishing conditons won't be one of them. That's the game of Tournament fishing and even though it's the last thing we want on Tournament day, it didn't stop 13 Teams from coming out and fishing anyway. That says alot about the Teams and the confidence they have in themselves to get it done regardless, and that's exactly what they did too.
Dub-L-Seat & Fle-Fly Tackle Pro Staffer Dustin Hobbs along with his partner John Stadler, fished the most perfect game I've ever seen. Fishing out of his Ranger boat, rigged with Lowrance Electronics and a Motorguide XI 5 to hold him on the spot in 20 to 25 Mph winds, They went on to Win Big Fish both days as well as take the overall win.
It's always nice to see new Teams show up to fish with us. The Husband & Wife Team of Craig and Meagan Schmitt made a great showing by placing the highest weight of the weekend by putting 10.80 on the scales. She said with as fast as she was pulling 14 and 15 inch fish over the side of the boat, It was a good thing her husband is really good at taking fish off the hook and keeping the boat on top of the fish, with the Motorguide XI 5 playing a big part in that. It was really neat to see them having an absolute blast out there, and can't wait to see them again at Clinton.
The Top Secret Jigs Team of Morgan/ Roberts placed well, making the Top 5 and still holding onto the record for single biggest fish to ever hit the KCC Scales that he pulled off back in Dec of 2015. Which happened to come from Melvern as well with a 2.09. Any time Chris Morgan and his Son, Parker rolls in to fish you better watch him. For a 14 year old kid, Parker, who is also the Youth Rep and a Board Member for KCC, can bring fish up like he's been doing it for 25 years or something. Looking forward to watching this kid grow into the Tournament Scene, He is somebody your gonna want to keep your eye on in the coming years for sure.
Sunday greeted us with almost perfect conditions,...although the wind shifting around to an Easterly kick did slow the bite down as the day went on, But it didn't stop anyone from getting into them pretty good.
We are coming up on the tail end of the better part of the Winter bite as the days start to get longer and water temps begin to rise. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at Clinton on March 4th & 5th for our next, and final 2 day combined weight event for 2017.
**Day 1 Top 5**
Hobbs / Stadler- 9.70
Harmon/ Moresdorf- 9.70
Eustice / Beckstrom- 8.91
Mike/ Wade- 8.40
Morgan / Roberts- 7.41
**Day 1 Big Fish Top 5**
Hobbs/ Stadler- 1.93
Harmon/ Moresdorf- 1.92
Mike / Wade- 1.74
Eustice / Beckstrom- 1.69
Polter / Jennings- 1.69
** Day 2 Top 5 **
Schmitt / Schmitt- 10.80
Kruse/ Dowell- 10.79
Hobbs / Stadler- 10.37
Harmon / Moresdorf- 10.07
Eustice / Beckstrom- 8.15
** Day 2 Big Fish Top 5 **
Hobbs / Stadler- 1.98
Schmitt / Schmitt- 1.86
Harmon / Moresdorf- 1.82
Sleeper / Leonard- 1.79
Bragg / Brown- 1.45
** Overall Top 5 **
Hobbs / Stadler- 20.07
Harmon / Moresdorf- 19.77
Eustice / Beckstrom- 17.05
Kruse / Dowell- 15.19
Morgan / Roberts- 14.91
Winter Tournaments here in Kansas are always a gamble, even at the best of times. This one was no different, it seemed all the gremlins were bored and felt like playing games with us. Icy roads, Icy ramps, Ice on the Lake, cold natured Outboards and so on. After working through all that and getting on with business at hand, I was kinda worried with the ice covering a few of the spots I had planned on fishing. This was only the 2nd time I had ever put my boat in Hillsdale and didn't have much to go on.
After beating a dead horse for about 2 hours and only coming up with a single 11 inch fish, I noticed a crowd of locals, about 7 boats, fishing a cove not 200 yrds from the ramp we put in at. After idling a bit closer to them I noticed they were onto one serious Crappie bite. After noticing that one of the waypoints I had saved was open I pulled my Ranger 518 VX up to the brushpile and with the push of a button, set the parking brake with my Motorguide XI 5 and got to work.
After dialing in the color, the Crappie were coming over the side of the boat every few minutes and ended up catching in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 fish, most of which were keepers but not really any significant size to them, mainly 12 inch clones, but with the way the morning started, I was more than happy with them.
Upon heading back to the ramp, We got about weighing in the days catch. My Partner for the day Kalin Canton got about sorting out our best 7 fish, We managed to put 5.04 on the board after having 2 of our better fish die on us and replacing them with a couple of 11's with our best fish only being a .81.
The Team of Ryan German and Greg Graham found the better fish and made a clean sweep of it, Taking 1st Place and Winning Big Fish bringing in 6.51 overall with their Big Fish coming in at 1.09, with the Team of Frank Haidusek and Patric Mitchell taking 2nd with 5.47 and a Big Fish of .82.
1st Place- Ryan German/ Greg Graham- 6.51/ BF-1.09
2nd Place- Frank Haidusek/ Patric Mitchell- 5.47/ BF-0.82
3rd Place- Joe Bragg/ Kalin Canton- 5.04/ BF- 0.81
As I rolled into ramp 2 at Clinton Lake Saturday for the Single Pole Shootout, it was the usual scene, Angler's in head lamps were doing some last minute tackle prep, finishing off that last cup of coffee and waiting for the Sun to rise so we could get under way. After I parked the rig I joined them, working on my last cup of coffee as well, and started catching up with everyone while getting us all signed up for the days Shootout.
After the coffee was gone and the first rays of light started to break over the horizon, we got the boats put in. As the last of us launched and started making our way to the buoys, we were greeted to a picture perfect morning as we buried the throttles and broke the morning silence with the sound of 27 Anglers heading off to their favorite spots.
After a short sprint across the lake, I pulled my Ranger up to a brush pile in 14 ft of water. I was using a White/ Chartreuse Bobby Garland on a 1/8 Oz head, also white, with a wide gap sickle hook and a drop of Brushpile Fish Attractant. It wasn't 15 minutes before I had my first good fish of the day with a couple of shorts coming before him. I had decided the day before I was only going to be fishing any single brush pile until I had went 15 minutes without a strike, any longer than that and I was off to the next waypoint. The bite was good, and using my Humminbird 1199 to put my jig about a foot over the top of the piles, We were able to keep fish coming over the side pretty regular and ended up with my boat taking 8th and 10th out of 27, falling short of Mike Schrok's 1.50 taking the Win and $540.00 Dollars.
Going into Sunday morning for the Toy Drive, it was a repeat of the day before, with another breath taking sunrise being reflected off of glass top water. After dealing with the time change and getting everybody put in, We got to our spots to find the bite was even better than the day before. I was still using the same color jig as the day prior, but today I had my Tournament Partner, Phil Taunton using minnows as well. We were going through the short fish like crazy but were having some problems getting anything with size to it from my regular spots. With about 3 hours left in the day we started working some more isolated and smaller stuff, and began to find a few good fish along the way.
The Family Teams did well, Chris Morgan, fishing with his son Parker and Chris's buddy Mike Roberts, had Top 5 finishes on both days, Frank Haidusek, fishing with his Wife and Daughter, Donna & Madyson took 3rd with 7.67 on Sunday getting them some extra Holiday cash of their own, with the Teams of Will Bevan & Dustin Hobbs taking 2nd with 9.28, and Greg Sleeper & Daniel Leonard bringing in the winning weight of 9.44.
With the help of Rockytop Ranch Outfitters in Oklahoma we were able to put on a Big Fish Contest that made it possible for us to raise the toys to Donate to the Topeka Toys for Tots Program. They were kind enough to Donate a Guided Hog Hunt for 2 that was won by Brandon Manis, who ended up bringing in the biggest fish of the entire Weekend with a 1.84. For information on booking a hunt with Rockytop Ranch, or just to thamk them for helping us put on our Tournament, you can give them a call at
918-656-3564 or visit them at www.huntrockytop.com.
Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation Benefit Crappie Tournament, Tuttle Creek Lake, Manhattan KS Oct 1st & 2nd
Tuttle Creek is the 2nd largest Lake in the State of Kansas, and is surrounded by the beauty that only the Flint Hills Region of Kansas can offer. I must admit I was a bit uneasy going into Tournament Weekend, I had never fished there before and to make it worse, I was to busy to squeeze in any Pre Fishing.
Saturday morning was a bit on the Chilly side, with Temps in the low 50's and a think fog bank hanging over the Lake until 10:00 AM or so. I started of by fishing several different areas of standing timber that didn't give up a single fish, so by 11:30 I completely changed my approach and left the Timber in the 12 to 20 ft range, and went looking around near the Main Channel in almost 30 ft of water.
After scanning around for 15 mins or so, and much to my delight I might add, I found a stretch of submerged timber along the main channel in 30 to 38 Ft or so, and the tops of every single tree was just loaded with fish, and with about an hour left,...I had some good sized Slabs coming over the side of my boat, and settled for a 14 1/4 in Slab to take back to Weigh In for the Saturday Shootout, where it, and every other fish brought in by the Kansas Crappie Club Anglers was shot down in flames by Dustin Hobbs, who not only won the Shootout, but also won him the Top Spot in the KCC Big Fish of the Year Contest with a 2.04.
As we went into Sunday, I was felling pretty good having found a good batch of fish, and was pretty confident we would be able to squeeze our way towards the top, and by 11:00 Am, We were sitting pretty good.
After finishing out the day Spider rigging minnows over the tree tops, we headed to the ramp to get loaded up and on our way to the scales, where we placed 3rd.
It was a great time all around, and our Sponsors made it even better, Rockytop Ranch Outffiters supplied a Fully guided Hog Hunt for Two, Won by Todd Moresdorf for having the Big Fish on Sunday, as well as Rod Selby of Brushpile Fish Attractants and Andy Lehman of ACC Crappie Stix, we saw some solid fish all weekend long and learned quite a bit about Tuttle Creek Lake, and I must say, with Quality Slabs and all that the City of Manhattan, KS has to offer, we are really excited about hitting it again next year.
Saturday Shootout- Dustin Hobbs/ 2.04
1st Place- Wall/ Wall/ Moresdorf
2nd Place- Team Bales
3rd Place- Bragg/ Taunton/ Ireland
After having spent three days Pre Fishing and being on a solid bite that produced some nice fish, I felt pretty good as my Partner for the Single Pole Shootout, David Sidel and I Idled out to the No Wake buoy to get ready for the Take Off on a picture perfect Kansas Summer morning just as the Sun was breaking.
After all the Anglers were set at the start point, and making sure everyone was ready to go, I gave the signal to Take Off. As I floored the hotfoot hooked to a 200 Horse Merc, we felt ourselves being forced into the seats as the prop began to get a solid hookup, and it wasn’t long before we were screaming along, enjoying the race as Jim Bybee, Ryan Harmon, and Myself rounded the corner heading into Slough Creek running our Ranger Bass Boats wide open on our way to a cluster of fallen trees sitting in 20 ft of water or so near the mouth of Slough Creek. It had been a very productive spot during Pre Fishing the Monday prior, So, I figured it was a good a place as any to start.
After we reached the brushpile I wanted to start on, I went with what had been working the best for me during Pre Fishing and started with a White / Chartreuse with an Orange head in 1/8th Oz with a few drops of Brushpile Fish Attractant. The first fish to go into the Livewell was in the boat within 10 minutes of our arrival to the spot with a fish that was just shy of 13 inches. It was pretty much a repeat of the action I enjoyed while Pre Fishing. The Bite was on fire, a lot of the strikes were from short fish, but by the 2nd hour of fishing, David and I were both already culling fish. After enjoying a super day of Crappie Fishing, we headed off to the Scales for Weigh In. After arriving and talking with the other Anglers, It was pretty much the same across the board, a hot bite, with plenty of fish, but the best fish of the day came from an area on the Northern end of the Lake near Ozawkie off of structure that Tod put in himself, and with that end of the Lake being relatively shallow, it was caught in only 8 ft of water. Tod would go on to just completely dominate the weekend, and even though I didn’t do as well as I was hoping to, I still enjoyed a picture perfect weekend, along with good fishing and great company.
You could tell it was going to be a hot and muggy Kansas Summer afternoon as we took off from the ramp Saturday Morning. There was a steady wind that had the Lake kicked up into whitecaps by 930 and kept it that way till it started to die off around 1 in the afternoon or so, with bright blue skies and only an occasional passing cloud offering a brief moment of relief from the heat with a bit of shade as we went about our business fishing stands of hedge trees looking for a $300.oo dollar Slab.
With it being my first time having my own boat down there, I decided to follow Bud and Bob through the stumpfields to the BNSF Railroad bridge I wanted to fish since they are very familiar with that area, and enjoyed the run as 2 Merc powered Rangers screamed across the water cutting through trees at 50 plus Mph as we followed the Channel to the area I wanted to start from.
Try as we might, my Tournament Partner David Sidel and I couldn't seem to buy a bite even though the electronics were telling me we were all over the fish. I went through just about every color of jig I had in the boat topped off with Brushpile Fish Attractants with my partner doing the same topping off with every color of Crappie Nibbles we had in the boat but it didn't seem to matter.
Wanting to make the most of it, I started to make mental notes of what the guys that call El Dorado home were up to in hopes of having better luck on Sunday. With the Club Tournaments being aimed at Family, Freinds and Fun, all of us are pretty quick to offer up tips if we see someone having it rough, and after a short chat with Jim Bybee, a local legend so to speak, and his Sons Tom and Cody, who would go on to dominate the weekend, I had a pretty good warm and fuzzy on some new spots to try and fairly sure Sunday would turn out better than Saturday proved to be for me.
It wasn't long before everyone out there was hearing buzz about a 16 inch plus fish that Tom Bybee had hauled in. With Shane Eustice of Hook Em Guide Service and several others also holding a 15 1/2 - 16 inch fish in the livewell as well, I knew we were going to be seeing some really nice fish at the scales, but it was Tom Bybee with a 2.07 that earned him Braggin Rights and $ 300 Dolars that won the Shootout.
Going into Sunday knowing we were going to be facing some really strong winds, I stayed within 3 miles or so of the ramp all day just to spare myself from a brutal boat ride as much as I could and still be on fish, even though that didn't mean we were catching them all as the Husband and Wife Team of Jake and Catie Wilson were in the bow of my boat trying to win a day at Timber Hills Lake Ranch.
By noon we were having a tough time just staying in the boat, much less catching anything. Trying to stay on the trees when your trolling motor is in the air more than the water is anything but easy, but that was the hand the Fishing Gods dealt us so we all tried to do the best we could and deal with it.
The wind seemed to kill the bite for everybody, We had some nice fish at the scales, but not like the ones we saw the day before. Father and Sons Jim, Tom and Cody Bybee owned the weekend at one of their regular haunts bringing in 7 fish that went 8.20 on the scales, with Bud and his Tournament Partner Bob Thomas finishing 2nd with 7.77 as well as winning a day at the range at TimberHIlls Lake Ranch by hauling in the Biggest Fish of the day with a 1.61, and 3rd going to Frank Haidusek and his Tournament Partner Phil Taughton, of " What's In" Outdoors with Phil Taughton on KVOE Radio out of Emporia, KS with 7.25 at the scales.
Even with the horrible forecast, we still gave it our best with all but 2 Teams entering for a shot at the Big Fish Prize offered up by TimberHills Lake Ranch, we managed to raise $130.00 dollars to give to NWTF and see some really nice fish, as well as catch up with some good friends, and learn a few things about a great lake for big Slabs.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning as we headed out for the Single Pole Shootout. Those mornings you dream of while your at work all week, where the entire surface of the lake was comparable to a mirror, that is until we blasted off from the ramp in search of some Slabs that we knew were gonna be tight lipped.
Don Beckstrom managed to battle the recent floods and high, murky water to bring in the winning fish with a spawned out Female weighing in at 1.41 using a hand tied jig he makes his self and Brushpile Fish Attractants. Brushpile has helped him take 2 different Big Fish wins this year, winning him a total of $ 140.00 in cash, a Fully guided Youth Whitetail hunt with Lodging provided by The Beverly Woods Fishing and Hunting with Kids Foundation, a gift pack from Brushpile Fish Attractants, as well as a Crappie pole from ACC Crappie Stix, and Tightlines Bait, Tackle & Trapping.
After doing battle with 20 Mph winds and White Capped waters that kicked up Saturday afternoon, The weather conditions on Sunday were a much welcomed delight. Moderate to calm winds, the Barometer was a bit more in our favor as well and it didn't take long for the fish to confirm our line of thinking. The best performers were jigs in any combination of Purple, and the minnow bite was strong as well, fishing minnows under slip bobbers was the ticket to my Team winning big fish of the day,...that won them a weekend at Timber Lake Ranch, with Lodging included.
Sunday offered up some beautiful weather as well as great fishing. Overall Winners William Bardwell and Kyle Brady brought in the winning bag, with Ryan taking 2nd, and Don taking 3rd. We didn't see any of the 12 lb stringers we saw back in November, but still had plenty of fish to donate to a Local Radio Show, " What's In Outdoors with Phil Taughton for a charity fish fry.
It was a great weekend, spent with great people.
Milford Lake is the Largest Lake in the Entire State of Kansas. Comprised of nearly 17000 Acres, and teaming with Quality Game fish of all types.
Like most Tournaments, everything you figure out while Pre Fishing, goes straight out the window, The Weather did a complete 180 on us.
Every fisherman really had his work cut out for him. Out of 14 Anglers that showed up for the Singlepole Shootout, Only 3 of us were able to bring anything to the scales. The only 3 fish to be brought in to the scales were not at all anything to Brag about.
Top 3 Fish from Saturday were as follows.
1st Place- Frank Haidusek
2nd Place- Joe Bragg
3rd Place- Don Beckstrom
After the extremely tough day at Milford, the guys decided to cancel out of the Sunday Regular Tournament.
Beverly Woods Fishing & Hunting with Kids Foundation Benefit Crappie Tournament. Apr 9 & 10th 2016, Perry, KS.
The Season Officially started Saturday morning with the Single Pole Shootout as 14 Anglers took off from Lake Perry Yacht & Marina boat ramp in a chilly North wind. It stayed windy most of the day and made the fishing anything but simple, especially on the guys banging jigs around in thick brush piles. The water temps were between 54 and 56 degrees, and targeting brush in the 11 to 16 ft range seemed to work for everybody. If we went out to deeper water, all of the fish were suspended around the 16 ft mark, and not especially holding to any noticeable cover. Todd Morstorf took the Win with a 1.47, that earned him $ 280.00. Not bad for a day of fishing.
Saturday Top 3
Todd Morstorf- 1.47
Mr. Beckwith- 1.34
Will Bevan/ Cody Bybee- 1.10
As we left the ramp Sunday morning for the Regular Tournament, the weather had completely changed on us. The wind had died way down and shifted directions, coming out of the South, and not nearly as chilly as the day before.
With the wind being calmer, we were finally able to hit some of my favorite spots out on the Main Lake, where I was hoping to run into some better fish.
It wasn't long before we found them, and by the time it was over, Don Beckstrom, using a jig he made himself topped off with Brushpile Fish Attractants, had a 1.86 in the Livewell that won him the Big Fish Contest on Sunday, as well as Bragging rights since it was also the biggest fish of the weekend.
Even though the bite was tough, we still had a great time, and with the help of Sponsor Donations from Brushpile Fish Attractants, ACC Crappie Stix, Tightlines Bait, Tackle, & Trapping, Whats In Outdoors with Phil Taughton, Kansas Farmland Outfitters, and Patriot Jigworks, we raised 150 dollars to donate to the Beverly Woods Hunting & Fishing with Kids Foundation.
The Guys that came up to Hookers & Reelers for Burgers and Beer after the Weigh In enjoyed some great food and conversation with an amazing view of Perry Lake. It was a really good time with great people. It's always fun to see Tournament Teams that consist of Father & Son or, as in the case of Team Bybee, 3 Generations of Crappie Anglers all in one boat.
Sunday Top 3
Team Bybee- 7.85
Mr. Beckwith- 6.78
Dennis Polter- 5.66
Don Beckstrom- 1.86
It was a real pleasure to be able to help out the U.S.M.C Reserves, Toys for Tots Foundation. There was a lot of anxiety over the weather forecast for Tournament Day, with the Weatherman predicting a 100 % chance of Thunderstorms, Luckily for us, as usual, the Weatherman missed it by a mile, and we were blessed with calm waters and overcast skies. The fishing ended up being absolutely amazing, the Crappie were on the Brush piles and ledges ranging in depth from 18 to 25 feet. Chris Morgan showed up with his Partner and Son, and absolutely cleaned house that day with the Overall win, and also splitting the Bonehead Tackle Big Fish Bonus between Lynn Beckwith & Himself, Both of them had a fish that hit 2.09 on the scales.
Big Fish Results: Top 5
1 Chris Morgan 2.09
2 Mr Beckwith 2.09
3 Justin Petry 1.72
4 Bill Brown 1.62
5 Joey Wall 1.58
Tournament Results : Top 5
1 Chris Morgan 10.48
2 Justin Petry 10.03
3 Scott Wall 9.65
4 Bill Brown 9.39
5 Jim Bybee 7.93
The largest body of water located in Kansas, Milford Reservoir is home to some of the best fishing in the State. Milford has it all, Bass, Blue Cats, Walleye, Wiper, and Monster Slabs. The Weather on Tournament Day was perfect ! Calm winds, blue skies, and mild temps. Just a perfect day for fishing. KCC Anglers had a tough day with a Front rolling through the day prior to the Event, but still had some nice fish at the scales, with Husband and Wife Team, Shane & Anja Gohetti bringing in some nice Black Crappie, and taking the Bonehead Tackle Big Fish Bonus. Not only did they have a blast fishing,
but they also helped raise just shy of $ 300.00 to help
Heroes on the Water / KS Chapter replace a stolen Kayak. To learn more about Heroes on the Water / KS Chapter, be sure to check them out under the " Charities " Tab.