“We fished in 13 feet of water, 2 to 10 feet down with black/pink, 3.5-inch stingers and Outlaw 2.5-inch stingers by Top Secret Jig Company,” said German, who along with Niemeyer is a Top Secret pro staffer. “We caught 75 fish with a steady bite all day long.”
German said they were fishing with 10-foot Jenko Kevin Rogers jigging poles and 12-foot G-Rods.
Second place went to Stilwell’s Matt Merrick and Missouri resident Darryl Écholes with 7.15 pounds, followed by 2018 KCT points-race champions Todd Morstorf and Ryan Harman in third place with 6.67 pounds. Merrick and Écholes had the third biggest fish of the day at 1.45 pounds. Ryan Allen and Cliff Bammes had the second-biggest crappie of the day at 1.55 pounds.
Topekans Dustin Hobbs and Megan Springer weighed in 5.84 pounds of fish, good for a fourth-place finish, with KCT organizer Dylan Faulconer and Allen Miller coming in fifth at 5.39 pounds.
A quickly growing trend on the tournament fishing scene is the introduction of the Garmin LiveScope and other high-resolution, live-view sonars, which went from being a rare sight in past years to being so commonplace these days that tournament anglers are almost at a disadvantage without one.
Hobbs, who doesn’t currently have a live-view sonar transducer like a LiveScope or the recently announced Lowrance LiveSight, said it’s obvious in tournament settings the advantage that those high-resolution fish finders give to anglers. However, he said, many of the anglers who used it Sunday are regulars at the top of the leaderboard even without the high-tech gadgets.
“It was a cold windy day but we managed seven fish,” Hobbs said on Facebook following the tournament. “I’m not sure how many were running LiveScope, but I’m positive the top three were. Not that these guys aren’t great fishermen. Just hard to compete. We hope to level the playing field soon. Come on LiveSight.”
Hobbs added that lure selection was vital for his team’s success because of the water conditions. Top Secret Jig Co., which is a Topeka-based business and a local favorite among crappie anglers, once again produced results for Hobbs and Springer.
“Top Secret Jig Co. Toad Tamers were key for us in the dirty water,” Hobbs said. “That big profile is perfect for low-visibility conditions.”
The KCT will return to action April 13 at Clinton Reservoir. For more information, contact Dylan Faulconer at KansasCrappieTrail@yahoo.com or (913) 416-3481.
The Kansas Crappie Club and the Kansas BASS Nation College State Championship also are competing Sunday, with the KCC at El Dorado Lake and the state championship at Perry Reservoir, while the Catfish Chasers tournament trail competed Saturday at Perry.
In other tournament news, the Kansas Crappie Club also recently announced three tentative kayak events. The first is the KCC Big Fish Challenge on May 4 at El Dorado Lake to benefit the Outdoor Communicators of Kansas, followed by a Ronald McDonald House benefit tournament July 21 on the Delaware River and a Special Olympics Kansas benefit tournament on Sept. 21 at Dragoon Creek. Takeoff and weigh-in will be at the Bluestem ramp at El Dorado, the Valley Falls ramp at the Delaware and the Carbolyn State Park Ramp at Dragoon.
Entry is $20 apiece with a single-fish weigh-in and fishing will be from sunrise to noon.