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2019 Tournament Results

Lake:Lake Hartwell, Anderson, SC

CUSA Pro Division Victory at Lake Hartwell, Anderson, SC goes to Pope and Coffey
(Team Koch claimed the win in the Amateur Division. )

Louisville, KY – May 5, 2019 – Crappie anglers from several states traveled to Lake Hartwell, Anderson, SC to participate in a Crappie USA (CUSA) event. The May 4th event was presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Local and traveling anglers fished for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2019 CUSA Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

“It was sunny early in the day with temps in the 80's,” reported tournament director Darrell Van Vactor. “Storms moved in by weigh-in time with heavy winds, thunder, lightning, and rain all afternoon. The inclement weather caused some teams to leave before the awards presentations.”

A total of 23 boats fished the Hartwell event—9 in the Pro Division and 14 in the Amateur Division. A total of $5,050 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

Randy Pope from Hickory NC and Wayne Coffey from Claremont, NC followed the improving bite to a win on Hartwell. They brought 8.84 pounds to the scales to claim the top honors and earn a check for $1,400. They added $500 for the Ranger Cup Bonus and $100 for the Jenko Bonus.

Pope and Coffey chose dock shooting as their method for catching their fish. Anglers using this method of crappie fishing hold on to the jig and pull back to load up the rod and let the rod do the casting. They hold the line parallel to the water and let the jig fly back under the dock to the waiting fish.

Pope and Coffey targeted deep water docks in 12- to 15-foot water. They were using Little Fishie jigs and Ice Blue jigs to catch more than 50 fish for the day.

The runner-up spot went to Pat Welch from Dawsonville, GA and Jerry Stanton from Buford, GA. They brought 8.62 pounds to the scales, just .22 pounds out of the lead. They earned a check for $ 600.00. They went home before the awards due to rain and storms in the area, so no interview was obtained.

Third place went to Shannon Suttle from Bostic, NC and Shaun McAbee from Anderson, SC. The Carolina’s team weighed 8.31 pounds to earn a check for $ 400.00.

Suttle and McAbee fished Tugaloo Creek with single rod in hand. They were casting hair jigs in orange/chartreuse and pink/chartreuse in 12- to 25-feet of water. The team caught between 40 and 50 fish for the day.

Big Fish Winners

Amateur Division anglers Sammy Kay Jr. and Sammy Kay III took the Big Fish honors with a 1.64-pound slab. They earned a check for $295.00.

There was a tie for Second Big Fish at 1.55 pounds. Pro Division teams Robert Harris/Richard Greer and Allen Outlaw/Ray Dowey split the $125 prize.

Amateur Division Results

Rod Koch from Pendleton, SC and Randy Koch from Gainesville GA claimed the top amateur spot with 7.57 pounds. Their Lake Hartwell crappie earned them a check for $800.00.

Team Koch fished the Seneca River area. They also chose the dock shooting method to lure their fish. They shot docks in various water depths using black/chartreuse jigs. They caught about 15 crappies on the day.

There was a tie for the third-place spot at 6.81 pounds. Stacey Rolin from Buford, GA and David Smith from Flowery Branch, GA posted 6.81 pounds as did Chris Craft and Donald Whidby from Buford, GA. Rolin and Smith left before the awards.

Craft and Whidby fished 18 Mile Bridge. They were also shooting docks with Ice Blue jigs. The Buford, GA team caught 30 to 35 crappies on the day.

Todd Dalton and Robert Massey won the Ranger Cup award in the Amateur Division of $125.00.


Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, gave special thanks to Neil Paul with Visit Anderson Tourism for his support of the event.

“I would also like to thank all the staff at Green Pond Park for hosting the weigh-in and for shuttling the anglers back and forth at the weigh-in.” Van Vactor said.

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

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, JR Madd Breading, and Freaky Franks Tackle.


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