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2020 Tournament Results

Lake:Crescent Lake, Crescent City, FL
Date:01/04/20

CUSA Pro Division Victory on Crescent Lake goes to Parker and Eberly
(Lucus and Taylor take Amateur Division)

Louisville, KY – January 5, 2020 – Crappie anglers from 8 states traveled to Crescent Lake in FL to participate in the January 4, 2020 Crappie USA (CUSA) 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.

“Crappie anglers braved wind and rain while fishing the second qualifying event of the year on Crescent Lake,” reported Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager. “Fishing was very tough with a front moving in during the early afternoon but as always several teams caught some good Crappie.

Early morning temps were about 66 degrees, dropping of as the day went on. The wind blew at 10-15 and turned to the SE in the early afternoon. The rain fell from 11 am right through the weigh-in.

A total of 23 boats fished the Crescent Lake 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

The top spot in the Pro Division went to George Parker from Okeechobee, FL, and Tim Eberly from Ft Lauderdale, FL. They had a total weight of 11.96 pounds that included Second Big Fish at 1.98 pounds. Their bag earned them a first-place check of $1400 and $155 for Second Big Fish.

Parker and Eberly fished from the Dead Lake area up to Dunn's Creek along the east side of the lake with one pole in hand.

“We used Bobby Garland and Thumper Jigs to fish structure from Dead Lake to the bridge on Dunn’s Creek,” reported Eberly. “We fished posts, docks, laydowns you name it.”

The team caught a total of 30 fish in 8 to 14 feet of water. They did not have a one-pound fish in the boat until after 10:30 when the tide dropped.

Eberly said that about 10:00 he looked at George and ask him is he was scared yet? Parker responded, “No, keep on fishing.”

They did keep fishing and learned that in Dunn’s Creek they had to watch the tide. Working with the tidal flow proved to be an important factor in the bite.

"When the tide was moving strong the fish quit feeding and hunkered down until a more suitable, lighter current returned," said Parker. "We caught our fish on assorted colors.”

“In Dunn’s Creek you gotta’ watch the Palatka tide,” advised Eberly. “We are about an hour below Palatka and when the tide went slack is when we did the best. We caught a lot of small fish but the trend is good. In another season or so Crescent is going to have the big fish like we had a few years back.”

The runner up spot went to Steve Deason from Gray, GA and Rick Howard from Warner Robins, GA. Their bag weighed 9.64 pounds and included a 3.17-pound crappie to take Big Fish honors. They earned a second-place check of $600 and added $370 for BF.

Deason and Howard fished the upper corner of the lake. They were long lining in 7 to 8 feet of water using Blue Jigs to catch most of their fish. A total of 35 fish, including BF, made a pretty good day for the Georgia team.

The third spot in the Pro Division went to Robert Harris from Warner Robins, GA and Richard Greer from Kathleen GA. Their 8.81-pound bag earned them a check for $400. They add $250.00 for the Ranger Cup Bonus.

They also use the technique of long line trolling to catch their fish. They fished the mouth of Dead Lake, along the narrows, using electric chicken colors to catch 30 fish in various depths.

Talon Bonus

The Pro Division team of Joe and Janette Carter of Gilbert, SC earned a $155 for being the highest placing team running Talon shallow water anchors.

Amateur Division Results

First Place in the Amateur Division went to Will Lucas from Altoona, FL and Bub Taylor from Lizella, GA. They brought a total weight of 10.12 pounds to the scales to earn the first-place check of $800.

Lucas and Taylor long line trolled in Dead Lake in 6 to 8 feet of water to catch a total of 30 fish for the day.

“We were long line trolling,” reported Lucas. “We were using 1/16th ounce Dog House Jigs and Road Runner heads with Slider and AWD bodies. The colors that worked for us were june bug as well as pink and chartreuse. The weather was not the best for sure, they were strong most of the day at 10 to 15 with higher gusts. It rained a few hours in the middle of the day as the cold front came thru. The fish bite was pretty steady most of the day, even while it was raining.”

James A Whitt from Trinity, NC and Richard Cross from Archdale, NC weighed a total bag of 7.69 pounds to earn $400 for third place.

They tight lined in the Dead Lake area using bubble gum and grey ghost colors. They were tipping their jigs with minnows in 10 to 16 feet of water. They put about 15 fish in the boat for the day.

Epilogue

Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to Crescent City, Fl for hosting the event and helping make all the anglers feel at home. Some of those anglers traveled over 1000 miles to fish the event.

Van Vactor also thanked Jack Smith for his efforts in promoting the event through his social media reach and distribution of literature.

"Fishing was challenging all day for the teams,” concluded Van Vactor. “We saw fewer pounds of fish weighed than in the past, but the fish are very healthy and fat with lots of young fish in the system. This should make this fishery a super destination for several years to come."

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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