GLEN ALLAN, Mississippi — For four years, Mike Jones labored to bring the Crappie Masters All-American Tournament Trail to Washington County.
"Diligence, persistence and perseverance brought it here," Jones said. "It took constantly calling and telling them, 'You have got to come here,' and telling them about the big crappie being caught here.
"Once they got here, they fell in love with what we have."
After hosting a national qualifier tournament for the past five years, Washington County is set to host the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters 2014 National Championships Sept. 24-27 on Lakes Washington, Lee, Paradise, Ferguson, Whittington and Chicot.
Competitors will "have to have fished in previous (national qualifier) tournaments to get to this one," Jones said. "It could be from Grenada to Arkansas, Louisiana, all over the country."
The late September tournament also will boast an opening banquet, a youth fishing rodeo, a media and youth scholarship fish-off and an awards banquet to wrap things up.
A sponsor showcase will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Washington County Convention Center; registration will be from noon to 3 p.m., and fishing will be prohibited from noon on that day. The opening banquet will be from 6-8 p.m. that evening.
The youth fish-off will begin at 7 a.m. Sept. 25 at Bait & Things in Glen Allan.
Three children 10-12 and three ages 13-15 will fish with some of the top competitors from the 2014 national championship. The top youth angler in each age group will be crowned the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Youth Scholarship Champion and earn a college or qualified trade school scholarship.
The weigh-in will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Greenville Inn and Suites with a luncheon and awards following at noon.
Winners in the media category will receive sponsor prizes.
Registration for the 2014 Second Kids Rodeo will be at 8 a.m. Sept. 27 and fishing will begin at 9. The rodeo is open to youth 15 and under. All participants will fish off a pier and must be accompanied by an adult.
The weigh-in will be at 11.
Weigh-in for the national championship will be at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27 at the Greenville Inn and Suites.
First place for the national championship is $30,000. Money prizes go down to 30th place, which pays $300.
Places 31 to 40 win sponsor prizes.
The awards banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Washington County Convention Center. Awards will be handed out beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"This will be the biggest fishing tournament in the history of Washington County," Jones said. "There will be more than 150 boats involved."
Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, http://www.ddtonline.com