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2020 Tournament Results

Lake:Dale Hollow Lake, Celina, TN
Date:09/26/20

CUSA Pro Division Victory on Dale Hollow Lake goes to Bunch and Alvis
(Dwayne Craig and Kyle Levering take Amateur Division)

Louisville, KY – September 27, 2020 – Crappie anglers from several states traveled to Dale Hollow Lake at Celina, TN to participate in the September 26, 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.

Anglers enjoyed mild temperatures in low 80's. Light winds made for a beautiful day on the water. The major challenge for the anglers was keeping their fish alive because they were coming from deeper water.

"Dale Hollow is one of the best kept crappie fishing secrets we have found in years,” reported tournament director Darrell Van Vactor. “It has a tremendous population of "black nose" crappie to compliment the whites and blacks."

A total of 20 boats fished the event—10 in the Pro Division and 10 in the Amateur Division. A total of $7,450 was distributed to the winners.

Pro Division Results

First Place

The Tennessee team of Scott Bunch from Morristown and Neal Alvis from Rogersville teamed up to win the Pro Division at Dale Hollow. They brought a weight of 8.95 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $1400. They added the Driftmaster Rod Holders Bonus for $300, the Crappie Magnet Bones for $200 and the Ranger Cup Bonus for $500.

“We were using B’n’M rods and Crappie Magnets to single pole over structure,” reported Bunch. Most of our fish were caught between 15-22 feet of water over brush and large rocks. Some of the better fish came from 30-plus feet of water.”

The team fished from Wolf River to Sulphur Creek and caught 40 to 50 crappies on the day.

Second Place and Big Fish

David Jones from Columbia, KY and Corey Thomas from Jamestown, KY caught a limit of Dale Hollow crappie that weighed 8.21 pounds and included Big Fish of the tournament at 1.57 pounds. Their bag earned them $600 for second and $350 for Big Fish.

Jones and Thomas fished the main lake in 30 to 35 feet of water. They rigged up with double minnow rigs and fished above structure. They caught 11 fish on the day. "The fish were very tough to keep alive,” reported Jones. “It’s difficult when they come up from the deep water. We weighed all our fish at 9:30 to keep from losing them,” said Jones.

Third Place

The third spot went to Patrick Stone from Anderson, IN and Steve Jeffers from Wabash, IN. They had a total weight of 8.03 pounds to earn a check for $400. They added the Talon Bonus for an additional $250.

Stone and Jeffers fished the Eastport and Sunset Bays. They were spider rigging in 7 to 15 feet of water. They used live bait to catch between 25 to 30 crappies for the day.

Amateur Division Results

First Place Amateur

The top spot on the Amateur side went to Dwayne Craig and Kyle Levering from Cottontown, TN. They finished with 8.1 pounds. Their bag included the Second Big Fish at 1.55 pounds, which was just .02 pounds away from Big Fish. They earned $700 for first place and added $150 for Second Big Fish.

Craig and Levering fished the middle of the lake up to the mouth of the Obey and Wolf Rivers to catch about 25 to 30 keepers for the day.

“Dale Hollow is a beautiful lake to fish,” observed Levering. “The water is so clear it’s actually a challenge.”

“We single poled Crappie Magnets tipped with Slab Bites,” continued Levering. “We were targeting 19 to 22 feet of water over structure. Our best colors were white, chartreuse, and white with clear blue flake bottom. We had a blast trying to learn a new lake we have never fished before.

Second Place Amateur

The runner-up spot in the Amateur Division went to Dean McCoy from Benton, KY and Brad Bowles, from Bowling Green, KY. They teamed up to bring 7.79 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $300.

McCoy and Bowles fished from mid-lake to Sunset Bay over structure. They found brush piles and two big stumps where they used Ice House and Monkey Milk colored jigs to catch 12 or 13 keepers for the day.

"The fish were tough to keep alive coming out of deeper water,” McCoy said. “So, we came in early."

Third Place Amateur

Eric Fenstemaker and Madison Fenstemaker from Maryville, TN, teamed up to win third place. Their bag weighed 5.78 pounds and earned them a check for $200. They added the Ranger Cup Bonus for an additional $125.

Team Fenstemaker fished just around the corner from Cedar Hill. They single poled over structure. They targeted three different points with water ranging from 25 to 30 feet of water. They used live bait to catch about 40 fish for the day.

Epilogue

Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to Dennie and all the crew at Cedar Hill Resort and Marina for hosting the event.

“Dale Hollow is truly one of the most scenic lakes we have ever fished,” Van Vactor said. “I look forward to being back for our spring event in March, 2021.

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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