Oct. 22, 2020
David Jones, a well-known Adair County competitive fisherman, has done everything he can think of to prepare for one of the most important competitions of the year. Jones and his teammate Corey Thomas have been on the water since Saturday trying to get ready for Crappie USA’s Classic Tournament on Green River Lake.
“Over the last few days, I have been working on my boat, getting my tackle ready for the tournament. I have been thinking about the lake,” Jones said. “I just love the level of competition. Corey and I will be competing against some of the best fishermen in the world.”
The 2020 Crappie USA Classic, the national championship among competitive fishing, will be today through Saturday. Fishermen, who will be coming to Columbia from all over the country, will get in their final practice rounds on the water today (Thursday) before taking part in
a seminar at the Jim Blair Community Center at 7 p.m.
The competition will start for real Friday when the boats hit the water at 6:30 a.m. Fishing stops at 3 p.m. and fishermen must be in the weigh-in line at Holmes Bend Marina by 4 p.m. The same routine will be required of the fishermen on Saturday.
Jones and Thomas head into the tournament as one of the favorites. Jones, a 55-year-old native of Knifley, has been fishing for most of his life and has 25 top-10 finishes around the country. He won the national championship in 2014 with teammate Richard Williams.
When Jones and Thomas take the water Friday morning, they need to have some things pretty much set in stone, Jones said. They want to cut down on the number of places they will attempt to fish. They want to be as productive and efficient as they can be while on the water, so location is key.
Jones also said they have to take steps to make sure the fish stay alive throughout the competition. Teams can only weigh in seven fish per day and they must be alive. Fish preservation has been a focus during practice.
The team with the most weight over the two days of the competition wins the championship.
“There is an old saying about tournaments, ‘you can’t win it the first day, but you sure can lose it the first day,” Jones said. “Corey and I will be shooting for around the 7-pound mark on the first day. I predict it is going to take 13 ½ to 14 ½ pounds to win.”
There are three types of crappie available in Green River Lake – black, white and black-nosed, Jones said. White crappie will be the species most often brought out of the water.
“I don’t think I can put into words just how special it would be to win this tournament,” Jones said. “It would mean the world to me. If I talk about it a lot, I will get choked up.”
By Scott Wilson