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2018 Tournament Results

Lake:Mississinewa & Salamonie, Wabash, IN

Millsaps and Noblitt win CUSA Pro Division on Lake Salamonie
(Millsaps and Noblitt win CUSA Pro Division on Lake Salamonie.)

Louisville, KY – April 13, 2018 – Crappie anglers from several states traveled to lakes Mississinewa & Salamonie near Wabash, IN to participate in a Crappie USA (CUSA) tournament. Local and traveling anglers fished for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2018 CUSA Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

Anglers were challenged by a cold front that came through on Friday. The result was a drastic drop in temperatures. The high of 85 degrees on Friday dropped to a cool 58 for Saturday. Winds ranged from 5 to 10 mph out of the west and then, just like it was on cue, the rain begin falling around noon.

“Even with the challenging weather Lakes Mississinewa and Salamonie produced some great fish today,” said CUSA Operations Manager, Darrell Van Vactor. “The forage base appears very strong as evidenced by the quality of all the fish weighed in. It has to be one of the finest crappie fishing areas in the state for both size and quantity."

A total of 41 boats fished the popular event, 9 in the Pro Division and 32 in the Amateur Division. A total of $ 6,850.00 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

Top honors in the Pro Division went to the team of Eric Millsaps from Arcadia, IN and Nathan Noblitt from Sheridan, IN. They paired up to weigh 8.07 pounds to claim first place and earn $1,400. They add a $300 Driftmaster Rod Holder bonus for total earnings of $1,700.

They fished multiple areas on Lake Salamonie looking for bigger males and females moving in the shallows. They were spider rigging in 3-5 feet of water when they decided that a change of strategy was in order.

“We decided that the slight cold front and overcast skies had pushed the fish back out a little,” reasoned Millsaps. “So, we moved out to 6 to 8 feet of water and fished stumps and brush piles. We spider rigged Road Runner 1/8 oz jigs and Mad Crappie Jigs dressed with Big Diddy Baits Pintails and Big Bite Baits Swimming Crappie Minnr. We used pink and purple colors and tipped with Magic Bait crappie bites.”

Millsaps and Noblitt boated 75 to 100 fish over 10-inches for the day.

Noel Thompson from Gary, IN claimed the second-place spot. He fished alone to catch and weigh a bag of 7.56 pounds and earn $600.00.

Noel fished Lake Salamonie. He spider rigged tubes in green/chartreuse and orange/chartreuse in 8-10 feet of water. His technique yielded more than 80 fish for the day.

Third place went to John Buckler from Sweetser, IN and Jarold Hibbard from Twelve Mile, IN. The team weighed 7.1 pounds to earn $400.00.

Buckler and Hibbard fished Salamonie with Jenko 14-foot Slab City poles and Big T Jenko jigs in various colors. They spider rigged to suspend their baits 2 to 3 feet below the surface in water that ranged from 7 to 14 feet deep. They caught about 50 crappies for the day.

Amateur Division Results

The Adult/Youth team of Glenn and Allison Gill put together a game plan that gave them the top spot honors in the Amateur Division. The team from Indianapolis weighed in 9.41 pounds to earn $1,100 and an additional $560 for Big Fish of the tournament.

Team Gill fished creeks on Salamonie. They were spider rigging shiners and black/pink jigs. They caught about 75 fish for the day including a 1.81-pound slab that gave them Big Fish honors.

“We were targeting stumps in about 6 feet of water,” said Glenn. “We threw just about everything we had at em’. The bite was steady, we caught fish throughout the day.”

“It thundered once and we got our rain gear on and prepared for the worse,” commented Glenn. “It turned into light to steady rain and didn’t really get as bad as it could have.”

“There was a cold front moving though,” continued Glenn. “It was 71 when we left Indianapolis and was 48 when we reached the lake. The fish were still willing to bite, it just didn’t bother the bite that badly.”

“It is always fun to fish with my daughter,” concluded Glenn. “It is great to spend the time with her.”

Second place in the Amateur Division went to Carl McAdams of Fredonia, PA and Monty Martin of W. Lafayette IN. They teamed up to weigh in 8.58 pounds and earn $600.00.

The team fished Salamonie with hair jigs in red/chartreuse. They were targeting 6-10 feet of water and caught 50 crappies for the day.

Micheael Arnold and Jason Shingler claimed the third spot with 8.44 pounds. The Lafayette IN team succeeded in weighing in 8.44 pounds.

They spider rigged on Salamonie with Joker jigs in brown/chartreuse. They were in 6 feet of water and caught 60 to 70 fish. They earned $400 for their efforts.

Fourth place went to the three-person team of Jeff Bookwalter, Dennis Snyder, and Colton Bookwalter. They weighed in 7.92 pounds on their way to earning $400. They added the Ranger Cup bonus for an additional $125.

The team fished Mississinewa Lake in 6 to 8 feet of water using jigs tipped with minnows. They caught 60 to 70 fish for the day.

Rounding out the top five was Jeff McKeeghen from Logansville, IN. He was fishing alone and weighed 7.83 pounds that included the 1.80-pound second big fish, to earn $300. He added the Talon bonus of $250 and the second big fish money of $240 for a total of $790.

The solo angler fished Salamonie. He was one pole jigging in heavy brush using Jenko and Big Bite jigs. His chosen color was black/chartreuse color. Fishing in 5 foot of water he caught a total of 40 fish for the day.


Van Vactor sent special thanks to all the folks at Bozarth Country Store for hosting the tournament seminar and for making the CUSA anglers and staff welcome. The 2018 CUSA Classic will be held October 3 – 6, 2018 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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