2019 Tournament Results
CUSA Pro Division Victory at Monroe Lake, IN goes to Egan and Ritter
Crappie anglers were greeted with a beautiful day at Monroe Lake. Air temps in the 80's and light wind made for comfortable fishing. The water level is still high at 11 feet over pool, but falling. The tournament produced a large number of crappie over the one-pound mark.
"We saw some of the best quality male white crappie I have ever seen,” observed Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager. “All our 2.0-pound plus fish were males. The females have most likely spawned and males are guarding the nest and feeding."
A total of 41 boats fished the Monroe Lake event—16 in the Pro Division and 25 in the Amateur Division. A total of $7,650 was distributed to the winners.
Pro Division Results
Bill Egan from Bloomington, IN and Ron Ritter from Bedford, IN teamed up to win the Pro Division on Lake Monroe. They brought a bag that weighed 11.91 pounds to earn the top spot and a check for $2000. They added an additional $500 for the Ranger Cup Bonus and $250 for the Talon Bonus.
“We were fishing on the east end of Lake Monroe in Middle Fork,” reported Ritter. “All of our fish came out of 3 to 5 feet of water. We were casting jigs to cover, tipping our jigs with various makes and colors.”
The team observed that the water had visibility to five feet. As the day got lighter it was obvious to them that some changes would have to be made.
“We rotated through 5 or 6 areas throughout the day,” continued Ritter. “Seemingly, as the wind picked up the areas with the most wind had the more active fish. I lost 2 big fish in the first dozen casts. That was very hard to overcome mentally. But you just have to try putting it out of your mind and keep fishing.”
Egan and Ritter included blue/white chartreuse Jenko jigs in their arsenal to catch more than 100 fish on the day with 60 weighing more than one pound.
The runner-up spot went to Tom Hankins and Ron Bilbrey. Hankins from Indianapolis, IN and Bilbrey from Bedford, IN weighed 11.33 pounds to earn $800.
Hankins and Bilbrey fished between Middle Fork and Pine Grove areas. They were vertical jigging Crappie Magnet jigs in pink/pearl in 6 feet of water. The team caught more than 20 fish that went over the pound mark
Patrick Stone and Aaron West from Anderson, IN joined Murray, KY’s Ashley Adams to claim the third-place spot. The threesome brought 10.54 pounds to earn their place and a check for $500.00.
Stone, West and Adams fished close to the bank in the Pine Grove area. They were targeting male fish in 4 to 6 feet of water. The team used bluegrass colored Jenko and Long Legs jigs to catch more than 30 one pound and over for the day.
In a Facebook post Adams said, “What a fun lake! Sure surprised me. It sure is hard to throw back 1 1/4-pound crappie when culling.”
The 6th place Pro team of Jim and Rob Raymer caught the 2nd Place Big Fish, a 2.21-pound slab. The big crappie earned them $240.00.
Amateur Division Results
Robert Williams from Ladoga, IN and Tim Guard from Waynestown, IN grabbed the top spot in the Amateur Division. They brought 11.92 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $1,000.00.
“What a beautiful day,” said Williams. “The water temp was 68 degrees. The crappie we found were in 4- to 6-feet of water. Casting plastic jigs around trees seem to be best for us.”
Williams and Guard fished up Pine Grove until about 11:00 am. They spent the rest of the day up Middle Fork.
“We had problems with trolling motor. It kept sticking on high and changing speeds on me. My partner Tim Guard and I kept busy pushing off trees,” joked Williams.
“I love fishing CUSA,” said Williams after catching more than 20 fish on the day.
Tony and Theresa Williams from Bloomington IN weighed a bag of 8.72 pounds to claim the second spot. The husband/wife team earned a check for $500.
Tony and Theresa used Christmas lights and pumpkin/chartreuse colored jigs in 4 foot of water to catch over 100 fish for the day.
Gretchen and Tony Sherrill traveled from North Vernon, IN to take the third spot. They weighed 8.17 pounds to earn $400 plus the $125 Ranger Cup Bonus.
Gretchen and Tony fished Middle Fork with chartreuse jigs on an orange jig head in 4 feet of water. They "went for broke" using 3-inch grubs to avoid so many smaller fish. The team caught a total of 10 crappies for the day.
Gleen and Scott Gill weighed 7.32 pounds to claim the third spot. The Indianapolis, IN team earned $300 for their day of fishing.
Gleen and Scott used pink/white Crappie Magnet lures in 6 to 7 feet of water to catch a total of 50 fish for the day.
Ricky Baker and David Gibson from Lancaster, KY took the 4th place spot with 6.49 pounds. Their bag included the big fish of the tournament at 2.29 pounds. They earned a check for $200 plus $560.00 big fish.
Baker and Gibson fished along the rocky bluff across from the weigh-in site. They were vertical fishing various jigs trying to target 6 to 8 feet of water. They said the color was not as important as getting the jig in front of the suspended fish.
Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to Perry-Clear Creek Fire Dept for hosting the seminar and to all the anglers who participated in the event.
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, JR Madd Breading, and Freaky Franks Tackle.
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