Fish caught, marks broken at Crappie Masters 'We smashed the record,' tournament organizer says
For those who may have wondered whether Millbrook has good fishing, after last week's highly successful and record-breaking crappie tournament, it's clear Millbrook can reel in the big ones. According to Dan Dannenmueller, who spent many hours organizing and promoting the event, Crappie Masters was a huge success. "We broke the two-day tournament record," Dannenmueller said. "In fact, we smashed it." Dannenmueller said that the event beat any two-day weight record for any tournament that Crappie Masters has ever had anywhere by five pounds. The previous record was in Grenada, Miss., in 2008 at 26.95 pounds.
This year's Millbrook event came in at 31.69 pounds. Dannenmueller thought the tournament would be a success; he just didn't know by how much. "I guessed it at between 32 and 35," he said. "I'm happy because the fishermen loved Millbrook. They loved the hospitality. They said it was the best fishing they'd ever seen. Every team had at least two or three two-pounders. The top 15 and 16 all had two-pounders." The Crappie Masters tournament winner was the team of Matt Morgan and Kent Watson with 31.69 pounds. Morgan and Watson won a $5,000 prize. Second place was Fred Walker and Rick Howard, who came in at 29.59 pounds and won a $2,500 prize. Third place was the team of Mike Gore and Mark Pope. Gore and Pope came in at 28.83 pounds and won a prize of $1,250. Tony Thomas, who reeled in a 2.76-pound crappie, won Big Fish and second Big Fish went to Charles Cantrell and Robbie Huff, who brought in one weighing 2.74 pounds. During the kids fishing rodeo, Chase Murse, age 11, won the biggest fish overall with a fish weighing 3.8 pounds. Thirteen-year-old Brittany Straughan, 9-year-old Parker Groves and 8-year-old Corrin Graham all won prizes as well. "The kids tournament had 25 kids and they all got prizes, which were donated by Bass Pro Shops and both Millbrook and Prattville Wal-Marts," Dannenmueller said. Dannenmueller believes that this tournament will be a big boost to Millbrook's economy in the future as well as the success it was this year. "The winner here is in the breaking of all the records. We're showing that we have a destination in the Alabama River and especially Millbrook," he said. "This is the future of tourism for the area. Will this help Prattville and Wetumpka and the whole area? You bet it will."