2003 Tournament Results
Fishing slow and shallow brings anglers to the scales
Anglers from 7 different states merged onto the beautiful waters of Michigan's Belleville Lake and Ford Lake for the third Region 3 tournament of the year May 3rd. Anglers traveled from Iowa to New York to compete in the Michigan tournament for cash and the chance to qualify for the Crappie USA Regional and the Cabela's/Crappie USA Classic. Many of the anglers commented on the great fishery of these 2 lakes and the wonderful hospitality of the area.
The festivities began on Friday night with the registration and seminar which was held at the beautiful Cabela's store located in Dundee Michigan. A special thanks to all the employees of Cabela's which greeted Crappie USA anglers in this marvelous store filled with wildlife adventures throughout the store. Cabela's is one of Crappie USA's National Sponsors which is best known as, "The Worlds Foremost Outfitters". Also on hand was National Sponsor Kari Swihart of Tite-Lok rod holders and accessories who unveiled her new double boat seat at the seminar.
A special thanks to Dennis Doyle and the staff of the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau, Brett St. Pierre of the Ypsilanti Township Park and Recreation and Jennifer Morris of the Van Buren Township Park and Recreation for all their help and support of the event.
The following is a list of the top teams and big fish winners in the tournament:
First Place: Clifford Rice of Celina, OH & Lester Rice of Anna, OH - Weight: 9.77 - Winnings: $550.00
The first place team was fishing in 4 feet of water using a jig and live bait combination. They stayed in the same spot the entire day on Belleville Lake working the bait slow near a channel.
Second Place: Steve Kellogg of Eagle, MI & John Meyers of Portland, MI - Weight: 8.50 - Winnings: $300.00
Fishing in 1 to 3 feet of water in brushpiles using jigs and live bait. The team was on Belleville Lake fishing the same area troughout the day.
Third Place: Richard & Marcella Rambo of Urbana, OH - Weight: 8.24 - Winnings: $225.00
This husband and wife team was fishing Belleville Lake using jigs and live bait in 4 feet of water using jigs and minnows.There best colors were black/green and chartruse jigs. Much like the others the Rambo's fished the same area throughout the day.
Fourth Place: Dan Foucht of Columbus, OH & Paul Hoover of Columbus, OH - Weight: 7.01 - Winnings: $175.00
This fourth place team used Eagle Claw hooks and live bait in 10 to 15 feet of water. The team fished 2 spots all day with the magarity of the fish caught in the last hour of the tournament.They were fishing on Belleville Lake.
Fifth Place: Tom Dubensky of Pleasant Lake, MI & Dave Willoughby of Chelsea, MI - Weight: 6.70 - Winnings: $150.00
This team caught fish all day long in 4 feet of water. They caught nearly 60 fish throughout the day. With the silver sparkle on their faces they could not deni using Berkley Crappie Nibbles to catch their fish. The team said if the fishing had not slowed down due to the weather they could have caught 15 pound of fish that day.
First Place: Doug Laake of Ferdinand, IN & Ryan Rohl of Birdseye, IN - Weight: 9.58 - Winnings: $750.00
"We had fun today", said Ryan Rohl. We caught a lot of fish in a about a foot and a half of water on Belleville Lake. Most of our fish had never seen a bait before. We laid down in the boat and pushed our way back in the brush where the fish were at. The team was using hair jigs they tied themselves with a chartruse jig head and possum hair which made the bait fall much slower. "When these fish would hit they would nearly pull the rod from your hand", said the team.
Second Place: Dan Seidenwand of Parma, OH - Weight: 9.42 - Winnings: $600.00
Seidenwand was fishing on Belleville Lake in 5 feet of water using a variety of colors of hooks and different scents. He was constantly switching colors to get the best bites.
Third Place: Dale & Donna Cole of Andover, OH - Weight: 8.55 - Winnings: $400.00
The Coles were fishing in 6 to 10 feet of water slow trolling chartreuse Grzzly jigs tipped with live bait. The team moved over a 100 yard stretch of channel all day.
Fourth Place: Morris & Linda Chestnut of Marion, IN - Weight: 8.08
The Chestnuts were using jigs tipped with live bait and black and chartruse Slider Grubs around brush fishing both Belleville and Ford Lakes.
Fifth Place: Robert D. Wheeler of Marion, IN & Robert A. Wheeler of Alexandria, IN - Weight: 7.06
The Wheelers caught all their keeper fish in the first 2 hours of the tournament on black and chartruse Sliders tipped with minnows.
Mitchell Reels Big Fish Winners
First Place: Dale & Donna Cole of Andover, OH - Weight: 1.38 - Winnings: $217.00
Second Place: Rick & Bob Jones of Piqua, OH - Weight: 1.32 - Winnings: $93.00
Crappie USA Kids Fishing Rodeo
In conjunction with the tournament Crappie USA held their Kids fishing Rodeo on Saturday morning at the North Bay Park on Ford Lake with a total of (168) children in attendance. Each child received baits from U-Need-A Lure and other prizes plus a chance at the $5,000.00 Crappie USA Scholarship to be drawn at this years classic in Grenda, MS. Winners in the Kids Rodeo were Frances Persinger of Belleville, MI in the 0-7 age group and Connor Woodman of Milan, MI in the 8-12 age group.
A special thanks to Brett St. Pierre and the Ypsilanti Park and Recreation for their help along with the Kiwanis club which served food for all the participates and their parents. Also on hand were Dennis Doyle of the Ann Arbor CVB and Jennifer Morris of the Van Buren Township Park and Recreation.
Crappie USA and our anglers have contributed $125,000.00 to the "Crappie Kids" Scholarships since 1997. We are very proud to be a part of the education process for the youngsters who participate in our tournaments as adult/youth teams and those who fish in the Crappie USA "Kids Fishing Rodeos".
Stats for the Tournament:
Total # of teams: 38 teams.
Weather: 38 degrees rising to 58 by the end of the day with mostly cloudy skies.
Water: Clear to stained water in the mid 50's.
Fish: Slow but good quality fish were brought to the scales.
In the Ametuer division 17 of the 26 teams weighed in fish.
In the Semi-Pro division 11 of 12 teams weighed in fish.
National Sponsors of Crappie USA are: Cabela's, Ranger Boats, Johnson Outboards, Evinrude Outboards, Tite-Lok Rod Holders and Acc., Mitchell Reels, B ‘n' M Poles, Minn Kota, J.R. Mad's, Eagle Claw, Crappie Pro, Berkley Trilene, Berkley Power Baits, Southern Pro Lures, Hydro Glow, American Angler, Charlie Brewer's Slider Co., Heartland Outfitters, Grubco Live Baits and U-Need-A-Lure Inc.
Contributing Sponsors of Crappie USA are: E-Z Checkr', Crappie Magazine, Huffman Publishing Co., Keep Alive, Kodiak Fish Attractants, Ark Enterprises and Garmin.