DeLand, FL - Some of the best anglers will soon be on the St. Johns River for a shot at a $10,000 grand prize.
The seventh-consecutive Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters National Championship will be casting off in DeLand on January 22nd and 23rd. The two-day competition—hosted by the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority (WVTAA)—will kick off on the St. Johns River, which is recognized worldwide as a crappie (speckled perch) fishing mecca.
Anyone from weekend anglers, to competitive anglers, or even families can join in on the fun and compete in the tournament.
“This tournament is an amazing event for West Volusia County, as it serves to enhance and preserve our outdoor heritage while helping to promote the surrounding local areas as tourist destinations,” said Georgia Carter Turner, the Executive Director at the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority.
The winning team of the tournament will win $10,000 and qualify for the Crappie Masters National Championship at the end of the season at Lake D’Arbonne, Louisiana. The grand prize goes to the overall winning team in the 7-city stop.
“Not only is the Crappie Masters the nation’s premier crappie fishing tournament trail but getting the chance to fish the St. Johns River is a favorite for our anglers … it’s a truly unique setting with opportunities for some of the biggest catches of the year,” said Tournament Coordinator Mike Vallentine.
The tournament will also be televised nationally as part of "Crappie Masters TV," airing on the Pursuit Channel.
According to a release from the tournament organizers, fishing times are set from 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. both days. Public weigh-ins will be conducted at Ed Stone Park at 3:00 p.m., located along the St. Johns River adjacent to S.R. 44 before the Whitehair Bridge.
Kids will also be able to take part in the free Kids’ Rodeo Fishing Contest, held on January 23rd at the Highland Park Fish Camp, with registration from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and fishing from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Each child will go home a winner as all participants will receive prizes and gifts from sponsors. Kids must bring their own poles and bait.
Registration for the event will open on Thursday, January 21st at the Sanborn Activity Center between 5:00-6:30 p.m. For more information on how to enter, be sure to check out the tournament's website.