The Indiana Slab Masters 2012 Classic brought in the worst weather conditions that could possibly happen before any tournament, a major cold front dropping the temperatures over 20 degrees on Saturday, backed up by another cold front dropping the temperatures even further on Sunday. The majority of the teams were finding it difficult to find decent crappie prior to the cold front, and during the tournament most teams struggled to put together a 9" keeper, much less a 7-fish limit. But as always with the Indiana Slab Masters, there were teams that figured the fish out and made the most of the conditions to dominate this tough tournament.
Coming out on top and becoming the 2012 Indiana Slab Masters Classic Champions was the team of Doug Sikora and Michael Bledsoe with a two day total weight of 12.86lbs. Doug and Mike were vertical jigging the main lake fishing in 12'-14' of water using Crappie Pro jigheads and Bobby Garland plastics, along with HHD hair jigs to capture the big win. Doug stated that while most teams were tipping with minnows or shiners, that they found that tipping with bass minnows was a huge key to their success. These men won this tournament with class and dignity, and we are very proud to call them champs!
Finishing in 2nd place with a two day total of 10.08 lbs was the team of Doug Laake and Ryan Rohl. Doug and Ryan are a very well known crappie team in the Patoka Lake area, and are always a threat to win on this lake. Ryan and Doug were fishing Shiners and Rosie Reds 1'-2' deep under a float up in the river area of the lake to secure a solid 2nd place finish. Great job men! Ryan and Doug also won the largest crappie of day 2 with a 1.21 lb crappie.
Finishing in 3rd place for an amazing end to their 2012 season is the Husband/Wife team of Rick and Krissy Hancock with a total weight of 8.76 lbs. Rick and Krissy were Spider Rigging main lake points in 20' of water to capture the highest finish of a husband/wife team. There were many men that had trouble braving the brutal winds and temperatures, and Rick told us at the weigh-in that Krissy not only fished right out in the toughest wind, but caught all the fish on day 2. Congratulations on an awesome finish and braving the elements to pull out the 3rd place finish!
Finishing in 4th place was the Ohio team of Larry Yates and Doug Allen with a total weight of 8.52 lbs. Larry and Doug have capped off an outstanding year of fishing with the Indiana Slab Masters where they have traveled over 2700 miles to fish our tournaments. Larry and Doug is still our clubs leading heaviest sinlge day stringer from the spring Patoka tournament of 9.98lbs. Larry and Doug was fishing timber pitching Southern Pro jigs in 6'-16' to lock up another of their many top 5 finishes this year. Congratulations on an outstanding year!
Finishing in 5th place with 7.38 lbs. was the team of John Quinn and Gale Risner with a total weight of 7.38 lbs. John and Gale have become a steady and tough team that has frequented the top 5 during this 2012 season. They were jigging timber in the 18' range to capture a solid finish. Great job men!
Catching the big fish of the tournament and the big fish of the year was this years Presidents award winner Ron Bilbrey fishing with Donnie Mandrell with a monster 16" 2.48lb. slab crappie on day 1 of the tournament. Ron caught the big fish spider rigging shiners on a Jiffy Jigs. Ron will also receive the Ted's Big Fish award for the largest fish of the tournament.
In closing I would like to thank each of our members for another successful year of the Indiana slab Masters! Thanks to each of you, we have made an impact on tournament fishing in Indiana and constantly raise the bar and bring the level of skill up every tournament. We are all looking forward to the 2013 season where our classic qualified members voted on the 2013 Classic Lakes, which will be Morse Lake Day 1- Geist Lake Day 2. This will be a very interesting challenge that will test us all and is guaranteed to be a very close finish. Keep an eye on the website for the announcement of the 2013 schedule and dates. We have learned in our first two years that keeping tournament fish alive during the hot weather in the summer months is very difficult, and we usually lose the bulk majority of our weighed fish. You will notice that we are going to alter our schedule to compete during times when the water temps are cooler and we are able to assure a lively release. We are going to have spring and fall tournaments and skip some of the warmest weather of the year to allow our members to spend time with their families. Keep and eye on the website and crappie.com to see when we will have several crappie workshops during the winter to teach what many of us have learned and hopefully help our membership get better and bring the level of competition to its highest level possible. At each of our crappie workshops we will be accepting memberships and sharing a lot of good information. for someone not wanting to join the Indiana Slab Masters, but want to attend these workshops, we are going to have a nominal $5.00 fee to attend these events, if you are a paid member the workshops will be free. The workshops will be located at Westside Bait and Tackle. They have a back building that has a stage and a seating area. We are hoping for a good turnout and good information shared at these events. Until then, good fall fishing to each of you!
Advisory Board Members