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2020 Tournament Results

Lake:KY & Barkley Lakes, Paris, TN
Date:03/13/20 - 03/14/20

CUSA Pro Division Victory at Paris, TN goes to Team Sheppard
(Lee Anderson and Rick Johnston take Amateur Division. )

Louisville, KY – March 15, 2020 – Crappie anglers from eight states traveled to KY & Barkley Lakes at Paris, TN to participate in the March 13-14, 2020 Crappie USA (CUSA) Super Event. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s presented the tournament for local and traveling anglers. Competitors were vying for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2020 CUSA Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

High winds and rain were the norm on day one but fantastic weights were recorded on the first day of competition. The weight-in at Buchanan Resort on KY Lake witnessed Tony and Mike Shepard take the lead in the Pro Division with 13.57 pounds of fat healthy crappies. Lee Anderson and Rick Johnston led the Amateur Division with 13.92 pounds. There was a tie for Big Fish at 2.28 pounds.

The winds moved and came from the east at 10 to 15 mph on Saturday and the rain continued. Both days were relatively uncomfortable for fishing. Nevertheless, the good weights continued and the Big Fish weight increased to 2.61 pounds on day two.

"After three years of poor weights, skinny fish, and small numbers we are seeing KY and Barkley Lakes on the rebound,” said CUSA Operations Manager, Darrell Van Vactor. “The weights this weekend was as good as it gets anywhere." A total of 51 boats fished the Paris, TN event—19 in the Pro Division and 32 in the Amateur Division. A total of $ 13,100 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

Tony Sheppard from Dexter, KY and Mike Sheppard from Kirksey, KY claimed the top spot in the Pro Division with 28.27 pounds. They earned $3000 for first place and added $300 for the second Big Fish.

Team Sheppard used Jenko Fry Daddy jigs with pink jig heads and chartreuse bodies in 8 to 14 feet on Barkley Lake in the northern portion. They moved south next to cast first and then went to vertical fishing with one pole. They caught around 45 fish for the two days.

“We went to one poling using Live-scope,” reported Tony. “We found the fish with Humminbird Side Imaging and targeted them with a 3-inch Jenko Big T Fry daddy in chartreuse/lime with a 1/8-ounce pink Slasher jig head. We also used the same head with Fire and Ice Big T Fringe Fry.”

Tony and Mike were both using a Prototype X 13-foot rod. It will be released in a couple of months.

“It’s a 13-foot rod made kinda’ on the same design as my Trick Stick,” Tony said. “It will have a weight transfer system in the butt of the rod so you can adjust the balance of the rod. Both rods were paired with Daiwa reels.”

“The fish on KY and Barkley Lake right now are extremely healthy,” concluded Tony. “It’s due to a large population of shad.”

The runner-up spot went to TJ Todd and Brian Hatch from Dyersburg, TN. They brought a two-day weight of 24.83 pounds to the scales and earned a check for $2,000.

Previous Classic Champs, Todd and Hatch, split their fishing between KY Lake and Barkley lake. Friday they spider rigged on KY. They pushed 4 poles in 5 to 6 feet of water. On Saturday they switch to Barkley Lake and continued the pattern. They rigged with sausage head jigs and shad bodies to catch 20 to 30 fish

The third spot went to Shawn Gore and Joey Peck, both from Almo, KY. Their two-day weight of 24.33 earned them a check for $1,000.

Gore and Peck were spider rigging in the Big Sandy area. They were pushing Knot Head jigs over natural stump beds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Their best color was orange/chartreuse. They also fished some manmade cover and caught a total of 15 to 20 fish in the two days of tournament fishing.

Tony and Ling Grooms brought home the fourth-place money. The Murray, KY team brought a two-day total of 23.3 pounds to the scales to earn $600.

Tony and Ling team fished Barkley on Friday and the Blood River area on Saturday. The team spider rigged with white/lime/chartreuse jigs to catch 30 crappies on Friday and 40 on Saturday. They reported the Friday fish were bigger. They were fishing with the wind in 4 to 8 feet of water.

Amateur Division Results

Lee Anderson and Rick Johnston teamed up to win the Amateur Division on KY and Barkley Lakes. The Benton, KY team weighed a two-day total of 29.26 pounds to take the win. They earned a check for $1500 and added $700 for the Big Fish of the tournament at 2.61 pounds. They also added $100 for the Jenko Bonus.

Anderson and Johnston single-pole jigged over manmade cover. They found fish in 14 to 18 feet of water on KY Lake. They tied on pink 1/4-ounce Jenko Jig Heads and dressed them with orange/chartreuse tube jigs. The result was about 20 fish each day of the tournament.

Delvin Hester from Springfield, TN and Tommy Winters from Cedar Hill, TN claimed the runner up spot in the Amateur Division. Their two-day total of 24.65 earned them a check for $1,000.

Hester and Winters fished South KY Lake. They found their fish in 9 to 10 feet of water. They were single pole jigging with a variety of jigs tipped with minnows. They chose their weigh-in fish from a total of about 25 caught each day of the tournament.

Third Place went to Evan Gaskin from Eva, TN and Billy LaGrange from Hurricane Mills, TN. They teamed up to bring 21.95 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $500.

Gaskin and LaGrange fished KY Lake on the north end below the Hwy 68 Bridge. They were spider rigging in about 20 feet of water. They pushed black/chartreuse jigs tipped with minnows to catch 35 fish for the two days.

Larry Hill from Barlow, KY fished solo to bring 21.93 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $400 for the fourth-place finish.

Hill fished north KY Lake with one pole in hand. He was vertical jigging over manmade cover using orange/lime jigs. He tipped with minnows to make the presentation a little more tempting to the crappie. He caught about 24 fish during the two tournament days.

The Cottontown, TN team of Dwayne Craig and Kyle Levering pulled down the fifth-place spot with 21.63 pounds to earn a check for $200.

Craig and Levering used Crappie Magnet jigs tipped with Slab Bites to enhance the bite. They were single pole jigging over manmade cover. Fishing in depths that ranged from 7 to 18 feet produced a total catch of about 30 fish for the weekend.

The sixth spot in the Amateur Division was Heath Martin and Matt Eskridge. They weighed 18.71 pounds, earning $200 for placing and added $125 for the Ranger Cup Bonus.

Martin and Eskridge fished Barkley Lake in the Little River area. They single-pole jigged in 9 to 15 feet of water. The pair used Freaky Franks jigs to catch a total of 50 fish for the weekend.

Epilogue

Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to the Paris / Henry County Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event and to Rachael and her entire crew at Buchanan Resort and Marina for all their hard work in making the event a huge success!

The CUSA Classic Championship will be held October 22 – 24, 2020 at Green River Lake, Columbia, KY. The 2020 Classic, presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, 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, Cumberland Crappie Double Seats, Brushpile Crappie, Charlie Brewer Slider, Crappie Now Magazine, Jenko Fishing, Big Bite Baits, Lake Cumberland CVB, Crappie Magnet, EFX Graphics, Fin n’ Frames, Crown Trophy, JR Madd Breading, WavePro, Freaky Franks Tackle, EZ Drift, Allegro Marinades, and Aftco Clothing.

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