The life of professional anglers can really be tough.  Take for instance the last few days in the life of southern Illinois crappie anglers Kyle Schoenherr of Oakdale and Rodney Neuhaus of Waltonville.

Although I traveled to Alabama to cover the Crappie Masters Team Tournament Trail there was an interest in how the local boys might come out.  Although the event was great fun and I will write more about it later in the week, the real story came to be how Kyle and Rodney battled monumental bad luck.

The Road Runner Lure team drove a long way to Millbrook, Al to compete in the Alabama River-Alabama State Championship.  The contest is one stop on the trail for Crappie Masters Team Tournament Trail sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. 

Kyle knew in advance that part of the trip would be bad since he would have to be away from his wife and children on this 30th birthday.  That is only the beginning of the frustration he would feel. 

On Wednesday while he practice fished, someone ran into his trailer in the boat ramp parking lot.  The wench in the front of the trailer was broken off.  It made getting the boat properly on the trailer a bit of a difficulet task.  After fishing all day, Kyle had to take it to a repair shop and have it welded back in place.  More expense for an already expensive trip. 

The next day after the Media fishing contest, Kyle and Rodney practiced in the afternoon only to have the hub on the motor go out.  They were a long way from the boat ramp without a motor.  Some passing local anglers towed them back to ramp and it was another repair.  At least this time they had a spare hub and could do the repairs themselves. 

Friday in the first day of actual competition the southern Illinois anglers had a little better luck.  They did not get big fish money but had enough weight to come in second place at the weigh-in.

I had to leave before the final day of competition but did receive a call from TJ Stallings of TTI-Blakemore, the sponsors of Team Road Runner.  He informed me that Kyle and Rodney broke the jinx.  Their two-day total moved them into  a first place finish, and a check for $4,000 check.  Perhaps being a tournament pro angler is not so bad after all.



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