GADSDEN, FL (February 2018) - It turned out to be a slow day with windy conditions limiting areas where fishing was possible, but a motor breakdown turned into the perfect break that George Parker and Tim Eberly needed to turn misfortune into fortune in a wire to wire win at the Lake Talquin Crappie Masters National Qualifier and Final Leg of the Florida State Championship, sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association "Ethanol Fueled With Pride", American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, and the Gadsden County Tourist Development Council.

What looked to be a dismal two tournament Florida State Championship run for Florida's own George Parker and Tim Eberly turned into an impressive victory at Lake Talquin.  On day one, Parker and Eberly found their big motor would only run at idle speed in forward and reverse which would limit the area they could cover. Knowing they had tournament quality fish in an area that was now inaccessible with a bad motor, these two crappie fishing veterans had to adjust and that they did nearly in site of the weigh-in location at Ingram's Marina, shocking the large crowd and topping the scales with a seven fish limit weighing 13.49 pounds; this resulted in nearly a pound and three quarters lead over day one and second place team Billy and Scott Williams.

Day two saw much of the field weighing in much bigger weights with an outstanding morning bite and afternoon adjustments. With the Millennium Marine Hot Seats changing teams repeatedly, in the end, Parker and Eberly ended up on top with a nearly two pound victory with fourteen fish weighing an impressive 25.25 pounds, over the Georgia team of Billy and Scott Williams weighing in 23.21 pounds, and also head of the fan favorite and local team of Jonquarius Richardson and Derrick Haynes who one poled their way to 22.93 pounds.

Parker and Eberly, sponsored by Wally Marshall “Mr. Crappie”, AWD Baits, Lews, Evinrude, Skipper’s Jigs, and Strike King, long lined in 18 to 30 feet of water catching their weigh fish in a 14 to 15 foot range using Skippers Jigs and an orange and chartreuse plastic combo taking advantage of their Humminbird Electronics, Minn Kota Trolling Motor, and Power Poles with Drift Paddles, especially with big motor problems.  Parker and Eberly took home $4,400.00 for the win and collected an additional $500.00 from the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for using E10 fuel in their outboard motor. 

In the runner up spot was the former Crappie Masters Angler Team of the Year, Billy and Scott Williams, who weighed in a fourteen fish two day limit of 23.31 pounds with a 2.68 pound Talquin kicker which was good for the second big fish of the tournament. The B’n’M Poles Team spider rigged using their Humminbird Electronics and Minn Kota Trolling Motor to identify quality fish in 14 to 19 feet of water, catching weigh fish in the 8 to 10 foot range, using a Popsicle colored Bait to catch their better fish.  Scott Williams stated that a late decision may have cost them the win, but also helped secure the second place finish.  For their effort, the Williams Team, sponsored by B’n”M Poles and Big Bite Baits, took home $2,200.00 with an additional $240.00 for second place Big Fish of the tournament.

Great local story was produced by the team of Jonquarius Richardson and Derrick Haynes from nearby Tallahassee, who had the crowd hoping for a hometown win, eventually settling into the third place position and earning $1,100.00 with a two day weight of 22.93 pounds, plus claiming the Big Fish Award with a 2.71 Lake Talquin giant which garnered them an additional $560.00. Richardson and Haynes went far up the River, vertical jigging B’n’M Poles with Bobby Garland 3” Lights Out colored Slab Slayers in 14 feet of water with the best bite in the 10 to 12 foot range in their first Crappie Masters National Tournament. 

Fourth Place and a check for $950.00 went to Jason Little and Craig Chapman, both from Georgia, with 22.89 pounds. Floridians Al and Alan Green finished 5th with 21.87 pounds and received a check for $800.00.

Top Male/Female team was won for the second straight week by the HH Rods and Reels along with Foxy Fishing Gear team of Hurricane Eric and Leann Howard who took home a Humminbird Helix 5 for the honor.

Top Adult/Youth honors went to the team of David Simmons and Jaxon Hall, the reigning Crappie Masters Adult/Youth Angler Team of the Year.  They shared a $100.00 Everhart’s Outdoor Store Gift Card along with a MinnKota Trolling Motor.

The 2018 Crappie Masters Florida State Championship (combined points from the St. Johns River and Lake Talquin) honors went to the wire, eventually being claimed by the team of William Hinson and Tommy Slice, both from South Carolina, who took home the big trophies

and $1,250.00. Second place honors went to the father/son team of Al and Alan Green who walked away with $750.00 and third place in the Florida State Championship race went to George Parker and Tim Eberly who claimed $500.00 for their outstanding finish.
Crappie Masters would like to thank the Gadsden County Tourist Development Council for their support of another exciting tournament and look forward to 2019.  Find out about all Crappie Masters tournament locations and information at


# # #