With two events remaining in the Kansas Crappie Trail’s regular season, anglers are now jockeying for position to make a final run at the season-long points title.
The Lawrence father-and-son duo of Eric and Mike Schrock, respectively, picked up a victory July 18 during the KCT’s tournament on a blustery Pomona Lake, posting 9.66 pounds of crappie to edge out Centralia’s Ryan Allen and Manhattan’s Cliff Bammes in second with 9.07.
"We caught all of our fish in four to five foot of water," Mike Schrock said. "It was a slow bite all day and only caught around 15 total. We caught everything on Bobby Garland baits. We had minnows but didn’t use them much as the fish were biting better on jigs."
With the win, the Schrocks leapfrogged tournament organizer Dylan Faulconer, of Eudora, and teammate Allen Miller, of Baldwin City, to settle into second place in the season points race with 484 points, sitting just five points behind Gardner’s Tony Niemeyer and Louisburg’s Ryan German (489).
Niemeyer and Missouri crappie pro Matt Beckman — fishing in place of German — won the previous event at Perry Reservoir, vaulting the team past the Schrocks, who had previously sat in a tie for the season points lead with Manhattan’s Frank Haidusek and Leavenworth’s Dalton Thomas prior to the June event on Perry.
Allen and Bammes sit in the fifth spot with 467 points, just one point behind Topeka’s Brandon Manis and Meriden’s Nic Luttman.
The rookie team of Bob Purh, of Tonganoxie, and Jeremy Conway, of Lawrence, netted their first top-three finish, weighing 9.05 pounds to come in just behind Allen and Bammes thanks to the big fish of the day, a 1.88-pound slab.
"We were targeting bigger individual fish using a Garmin LiveScope," Conway said. "We did not catch a lot of fish, but the ones we did catch were good quality."
Purh and Conway sit comfortably in the lead of the Top Secret Jig Co. Rookie Team of the Year standings, 20 points ahead of Jeff Dick and Johnny Faith. After the third-place finish, Purh and Conway are currently sitting in sixth place in the overall points standings.
"It was great," Conway said of the team’s first top-three finish. "Bob and I had a goal at the beginning of the season to finish in the top three at least once, and we were able to accomplish that at Pomona.
"We have had a really great time fishing the KCT this year. It is a very well-ran circuit and the competition is some of the best in Kansas. We can’t wait for the next two events on Clinton."
Niemeyer and German finished fourth at Pomona with a bag of 8.70, followed by Faulconer and Miller in fifth with 8.23 pounds.
With the Pomona event in the books, the KCT is now set to finish its regular season with back-to-back August tournaments on Clinton Reservoir on Aug. 15 and 22 before the two-day state championship event Sept. 12-13 on El Dorado Reservoir.
Registration for the regular-season tournaments begins at 5 a.m., with a $100 entry fee per two-person team. Takeoff will be at roughly 6 a.m. The best seven alive fish are weighed during the 2:30 p.m. weigh-in. For more information, contact Dylan Faulconer at KansasCrappieTrail@yahoo.com or 913-416-3481.
Youths, seniors compete in SSG fishing derby
Topekans Olivia Smith (7-Under) and Trace Russell (8-11) and McLouth’s Cooper Kasson (12-15) took home the gold medals in their respective age groups July 18 at the Sunflower State Games Youth/Senior Fishing Derby at Hanger Family Fishing Pond, formerly Lake Shawnee Jr.
Topeka’s Wayne Jones and Eloise Smith took silver and bronze, respectively, in the 7-Under age division. Obadiah Hurr and Mason Chavez, also Topekans, took home silver and bronze in the 8-11 age division. Lawrence’s Lincoln Scott and Topeka’s Taylor Russell took second and third in the 12-15 age division.
Jim Patrick, of Ozawkie, won gold on the senior side (60-plus).
The sporting clays shooting event also took place this past weekend at Ravenwood Lodge in Topeka. For complete results, check out the Outdoors page or go to CJOnline.com.