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2020 Tournament Results

Lake:Lake Wylie, Belmont, NC
Date:02/22/20

Jackson and Robertson Claim CUSA Pro Division Victory on Lake Wylie, NC
(Prince and Bolton take Amateur Division. )

Louisville, KY – February 23, 2020 – Crappie anglers from seven states traveled to Lake Wylie, Belmont, NC to participate in the February 22, 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.

Extreme cold weather greeted crappie anglers on tournament morning. It was 21 degrees when the anglers launched. Snow on Thursday before the tournament cooled the water and brought it up. The result was floating debris that anglers had to watch for. The temperatures warmed to the low 50's by weigh-in time.

“The fog was freezing on contact,” said tournament participant Bob Denen. “It was a mess before sunrise.”

A total of 23 boats fished the Lake Wylie event—10 in the Pro Division and 13 in the Amateur Division. A total of $5,200 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

The top spot on Lake Wylie in the Pro Division went to Robert Jackson from Camden, SC, and Lynn Robertson from Lancaster, SC. They teamed up to bring 9.51 pounds to the scales to earn the first-place check of $1,400.

Jackson and Robertson fished the lower end of the lake shooting docks using Triple Ripple jigs in June Bug color to catch about 20 crappies on the day.

"We targeted docks in 10-20 foot of water,” reported Jackson. “But we struggled all day to catch numbers. It was a tough bite.”

The runner-up spot went to Shannon Suttle from Bostic, NC, and Shaun McAbee from Anderson, SC. They weighed a bag of 7.68 pounds to earn the second-place check of $600. Their bag included the second big fish and added $175 to their total.

Suttle and McAbee fished Slider jigs under deeper docks. They reported that the fish were holding very deep. They fished light color jigs early in the day and switched to darker colors as the day went on.

Third place went to Troutman, NC angler Kevin Strong and his partner Bradley Hughes from Anderson, NC. The team had a total weight of 7.29 pounds to earn a check for $400. Their bag included a slab that weighed 1.72 pounds for Big Fish of the tournament to earn an additional $400.

Strong and Hughes fished Middle Creek in 5 feet of water. They were using white to catch a total of 30 fish including their 1.72 pounder.

Robert Harris from Warner Robins, Ga, and Richard Greer from Kathleen, GA rounded out the top 4 with a bag that weighed 7.12 pounds. They earned a check for $250 and added another $250 for the Talon Bonus.

Amateur Division Results

The Amateur Division win went to David Prince from Rock Hill, SC and Bobby Bolton from Clover, SC. They brought 7.49 pounds to the scales to claim the top spot and earn a check for $800.

Long line trolling was the key to their success. They pulled Slider jigs from Cabela’s in Torrence Creek. They found orange and black and straight orange colors to be the best in the stained water.

"We choose darker colors because of the murky water," reported Prince. “We caught a total of about 30 fish for the day.

Long lining worked for Jack and Becky Hutcheson too. The Hartsel, CO team weighed a bag of 6.18 pounds to earn the third-place check. They added $125 for the Ranger Cup Bonus.

Team Hutcheson also long lined. They found their fish in Catawba Creek and Mill Creek. Using blue/chartreuse and black/chartreuse colored jigs they managed to catch a total of 25 fish for the day.

Even though it was a cold day on Wylie, Jack commented, "Sure beats the 24 degree below zero at home in Colorado right now."

The fourth spot went to John Hicks from Adairsville, Ga and Tim Harris from Plainville GA. They teamed up to put 5.98 pounds in the boat and earn $300.

Hicks and Harris fished Withers Creek. They were spider rigging with several different colors of jigs, some tipped with minnows. Most of their fish were taken shallow.

"The bite improved as the temps warmed up and the sun came out,” said Harris. “We caught 25-30 crappie on the day.”



Epilogue

Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to Brandon Black with Gaston County CVB ( GOGastonnc.org ) for hosting the event and welcoming the anglers at the seminar.

“I would also like to thank Colette Brooke, Special Event Associate, from the Fort Mill SC Cabela's store,” added Van Vactor. “She helped out with the tournament and gave out some great prizes on behalf of the store.”

“Anglers from seven states participated in this event,” concluded Van Vector. “The teams braved some really adverse conditions with snow preceding the tournament and extremely cold temperatures on tournament day.”

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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