2019 Tournament Results
CUSA Pro Division Victory at Grand Lake/St. Marys goes to Koesters and Hengstler
A total of 53 boats fished the St. Marys event—14 in the Pro Division and 39 in the Amateur Division. A total of $12,950 was distributed to the winners.
Crappie anglers were greeted with a flooded weigh-in site and closed roads around the area. Nevertheless, the schedule Kids Rodeo on Saturday was blessed with a letup in the rain and the kids actually caught a few fish and had a great time.
The Friday highs were around 48 degrees with rain all day and winds at 25 to 40 mph. The city started closing all roads around weigh-in by noon and anglers had to find a way to get to the new weigh-in site under a picnic shelter in a different area of the park.
Flooded streets and roads continued into Saturday but the rain let up for the morning with temps in low 40's. The rain returned around 1:30 pm and continued through the weigh-in.
“Overall it was the worst water and weather pattern we faced in 34 years of running events,” said CUSA Operations Manager Darrell Van Vactor. “I am glad to know all our anglers are safe and sound and the crew is home.”
Day one in the Pro Division ended with Jason Koesters and Jake Hengstler in the lead with 6.64 pounds. Mark N. Puthoff and Mike Shroyer led in the Amateur Division with 4.72 pounds. The stage was set for day two.
Pro Division Results
When all the weights were tallied in the Pro Division Koesters and Hengstler had held on to their day-one lead to take top honors. Koesters from New Bremen, OH and Hengstler from Botkins, OH teamed up to bring a two-day total of 10.68 pounds to the scales.
Their rainy encounter earned them $3,000 for first place, 250 for the Gamma Line Bonus, $300 for the Driftmaster Rod Holder Bonus, and $280 for second place Big Fish.
The team fished the south end of the lake using 2.5-inch stinger jigs in silver/black and silver chartreuse. In a tough bite, they caught 8 crappies on Friday and 5 on Saturday.
Kerry August and Mike Deiters claimed the runner up spot with 10.05 pounds. The Ohio team earned $2,000 for the placement and added the $250 Ranger Cup Bonus.
Their fishing covered several creeks on the south end of the lake. They targeted docks in shallow water. They were shooting chartreuse/pearl jigs and minnows. August and Deiters caught a total of 25 fish for the weekend.
Third place went to Zack and Mike Fishbaugh from St Henry, OH. They weighed 9.4 pounds to earn a check for $1,000.
Team Fishbaugh fished the south end of the lake in 6 feet of water. They were targeting channels and creeks with clearer water. The result was catching the females that were holding in deeper water. They used minnows to catch about 30 fish for the weekend.
Robert Denen from Youngstown, OH and Anthony Domitrovuch from Dubois, PA took the fourth spot with 8.66 pounds. They earned a check for $200.
The team found a brushpile on the south end of the lake in 8 feet of water. They noted that the water was fairly clear.
"We sat on that brushpile for both days,” reported Denen. “We fished live bait to catch about 24 fish for the weekend.”
The Big Fish winners were local anglers Jeremiah Moyar and Jack Ray. The St Marys, OH team, who also placed eighth in the Pro Division, weighed a 1.26-pound crappie to earn a check for $740.
Amateur Division Results
Marvin Yeakle and Jeff Duncan made a move from 8th place on day one to take the win in the Amateur Division on Saturday. The Marion, IN team brought 8.64 pounds to the scales in some of the worst weather in CUSA history. They earned a check for $1,600.
Yeakle and Duncan fished the east side of the lake in 4 to 5 foot of water. They found a beaver hut to target with live bait. They caught about 25 fish for the two days of tournament fishing.
Second place went to Ryan Wendel from Maineville and Randy D Wendel from Celina, OH. They brought 8.31 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $1,000.
Team Wendel fished the south side of the lake in shallow water. They were making casts just off the bank with darker color jigs. They mainly use purple to catch about 13 crappies for the two-day event.
Dominic Dugic from Warren, OH, and Jeffrey Lee from Newton Falls, OH took the third spot with 7.31 pounds and earned a check for $500.
Dugic and Lee fished the south end until it got muddy due to all the rain. Those conditions convinced them to move to the north end. They were spider rigging minnows in shallow water to catch 15 fish for the weekend.
Fourth place went to Carl McAdams from Fredonia, PA and Monte Martin from W. Lafayette, IN. They weighed 5.59 pounds to earn $400. They added the Ranger Cup Bonus for another $125.
McAdams and Martin fished the south end of the lake in the 12 Mile Island area. They trolled in 8 feet of water. They were pulling live bait and white Jenko jigs to catch about 15 fish during the two-day Super Event.
Rounding out the top five was Dustin Fast from Fort Loramie, OH and Phil Stone from Sidney, OH. They teamed up to bring 4.84 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $300.
Fast and Stone fished the south end of the lake in 8 feet of water. They spider rigged minnows to catch 13 fish for the weekend.
Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, extended a special thanks NK Telco and Brushpile Fishing with Russ Bailey for all their help hosting the event and covering it with a live feed. He also thanked Mayor Hazel for presenting the Mayors trophy to Mayson Lietchfield for winning the Kids Fishing Rodeo.
"Our anglers faced the toughest conditions I have seen in years,” said Van Vactor. “They fished with high winds, constant rain, muddy water, and severe flooding. They are the toughest of the tough!"
The CUSA Classic Championship will be held October 23 – 26, 2019 on Old Hickory Lake, Gallatin, TN. It features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.
National Sponsors of Crappie USA are: Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Talon, Lake Master Maps, Gamma, B’n’M Poles, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Ego Nets, Xtreme Bait Systems, Cumberland Crappie Double Seats, Brushpile Crappie, Charlie Brewer Slider, Crappie Now Magazine, Church Tackle Co., Jenko Fishing, Big Bite Baits, Lake Cumberland CVB, Crappie Magnet, AWD Baits, EFX Graphics, Fin n’ Frames, Crown Trophy, and JR Madd Breading.
For more information on the Classic and other CUSA events visit the website at www.crappieusa.com and Crappie USA Tournament Trail Facebook Page. The CUSA office is available by phone at 502-384-5924.
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