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2018 Tournament Results

Lake:Lake Cumberland, Somerset, KY

Joe and Paul Aaron win CUSA Tournament on Lake Cumberland
(A 2.35-pound crappie was Big Fish at the Somerset, KY event. )

Louisville, KY – April 7, 2018 – Crappie anglers from several states traveled to Lake Cumberland (LC) at Somerset, KY, to participate in a Crappie USA (CUSA) tournament. Red, rosy cheeks, temperatures below freezing, and falling snow served witness to the cool weather that greeted crappie anglers at the one-day event on Lake Cumberland, Saturday April 7, 2018.

Sixty-one boats and more than 130 anglers began their day in light snow. Local and traveling anglers fished for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2018 CUSA Classic. The popular crappie trail returns to Lake Cumberland in the fall for the Classic which features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

"This was some of the toughest conditions I can remember in many years,” said Darrell Van Vactor, General Manager of Crappie USA. “Not only was the water 30 feet over winter pool, but the winter storm that moved in Friday night created some real challenges for the teams. I was surprised at the quality and quantity of the fish we saw today in these conditions. Given the snow, wind, and 30-degree temperatures, the anglers certainly earned their checks today.”

A total of 61 boats fished the popular event, 17 in the Pro Division and 44 in the Amateur Division. A total of $9,100 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

Top honors in the Pro Division went to Joe and Paul Aaron from Russell Springs, KY. Team Aaron weighed in with 12.38 pounds. Their bag included the 2nd place Big Fish of the weekend at 2.34 pounds.

Joe and Paul fished the lower end of the lake using minnows under floats in 5 feet of water. They caught 10 fish for the day and earned $1,600 for placing and $365 for second big fish.

The second-place pro team at Lake Cumberland was Lynn and Nathan Cochran. The Springfield, KY team brought 11.19 pounds to the scales. They fished the lower-end bays using live bait. They found their fish suspended at about 4 to 5 feet in heavy cover. Lynn and Nathan fished water that ranged in depth from 10 to 20 feet. They caught a total of 20 crappie on tournament day.

Holding down third-place at the end of the day was the BrushPile Fishing team of Jason Koesters and Jake Hengstler. Jason and Jake caught 10.43 pounds and earned $600.

The Ohio team fished straight tail jigs in June bug/chartreuse color. They found their fish just a foot off the bank on the south end of Lake Cumberland. They caught about 15 fish for the day.

Kris and Terry Mann came from Mt Sterling KY to claim the 4th place spot. Their 8.54 pounds earned them $500.00. They caught their fish from a laydown with pumpkin and red/chartreuse colored Crappie Magnet Jigs. Most of their fish came from 18 to 22 feet of water.

Big Fish winners for the tournament came in the Pro Division. Justin Creech and Zeke Reynolds landed a 2.35-pound black crappie to squeeze out the honor. Their fish was just .01 ounce heavier than the 2nd place big fish. The big LC slab earned Justin and Zeke a $855.00 payday. The fish was caught on live bait while drifting in 10 to 12 feet of water on the south end of the lake.

Amateur Division Results

The Amateur Division produced a winning weight of 9.48 pounds. Will Rogers from Harrodsburg, KY and Eric Kersey from Perryville, KY earned $1,300 for their win.

Team Rogers/Kersey fished Beaver Creek and found their fish suspended in 3 to 8 feet of water. They fished Jenko Jigs in chartreuse. The team stated that the fish were holding tight to cover. They caught 12 crappies for the day.

Second place in the Amateur Division went to Cliff Rogers and Andy Tucker. They caught 9.14 pounds and earned $700. The Nancy, KY team fished suspended crappie in Middle Creek.

They were long poling multiple colors of jigs to catch 15 fish in 3 to 8 feet of water. "Color was not important,” offered Rogers. “Just getting it in front of them today was the trick."

Darrell Pigg and Doug Parker weighed 9.06 pounds to take third place in the Amateur Division. The Berea, KY team earned $500 for their efforts.

Pigg and Parker fished the lower end of lake in 32 feet of water. Their fish were also suspended. They caught a total of 16 fish for the day on live bait.

Craig Delk from Stanford, KY, and Chris Morgan from Yosemite, KY, earned $500 and the fourth-place spot with 8.4 pounds.

They fished the lower end of the lake in 18 inches of water targeting pre-spawn fish that were moving in to the nesting areas. They caught more than 50 fish for the day. "You had to have a little meat on the hook today in this area," reported Delk.

Rounding out the top five was Anthony Marlow and Gary Brummett from Hustonville, KY. They brought 8.36 pounds to the scales to claim the fifth spot and earn $400.00. Marlow and Brummett fished Beaver Creek using live bait. Their fish came very shallow in a foot and less of water. They caught a total of 14 fish for the day.


Darrell Van Vactor sent special thank yous to Carolyn Mounce and her staff with Lake Cumberland Tourism. They are not only the host for this local tournament, but also a National Sponsor of the entire Crappie USA Trail.

Congratulations went out to all the kids who fished the Kids Fishing Rodeo on Saturday morning. They braved some super cold weather and snow to come out and have a great time with the Crappie USA and Lake Cumberland tourism staffs. The Rodeos are held at each Crappie USA event and the kids become eligible for one of several $1,000 scholarship to be awarded at the 2018 Classic.

This year’s CUSA Classic will be held October 3 – 6, 2018 right back on Lake Cumberland at Somerset, KY. It will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

National Sponsors

National Sponsors of Crappie USA are: Cabela's, Ranger Boats, Mercury, Mustad, B'n'M Poles, Humminbird Electronics, Gamma, Adventure Products EGO Nets, Minn Kota, J.R. Mad's Madgic Fish Breading, Big Bite Baits, TTI-Blakemore Road Runner, Driftmaster Rod Holders, World Fishing Network-WFN, Cumberland Crappie Double Seat Mounts, Church Tackle Company, Charlie Brewer's Slider Co., Crappie Now On-line Magazine, Talon Shallow Water Anchors, Humminbird/Lakemaster Maps, Sunsect Sunscreen & Insect Repellent, Digital EFX Wraps, Gill Rainwear, AWD Baits, Tentnology, Crappie Magnet, Jenko Fishing, Lake Cumberland Tourism, Extreme Bait Systems, Rigrap, and Bait 2 Go.


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