Crappie anglers reported catching numerous fish on the days before Cabela’s Crappie USA (CUSA) Classic. Angler after angler reported finding plenty of fish, while prefishing, but just as many suggested that big fish were hard to come by.
The weather injected another element into the angler’s strategies. The area was characterized by mild weather until the week before the tournament but Mother Nature decide it was time for a change. Going into tournament day the weather was expected to worsen.
Temperatures began to fall on Friday afternoon. After launching in mid-50s tempertures, anglers were experiencing 43 degrees by the time they had to be in the weigh-in line at 4:00 pm. Rain and 10 mph winds threw a damp and cool blanket over the weigh-in activities and it was forecast to get colder.
The weather man predicts a low temperature of 33 degrees at 7:00 am Saturday morning. Skies are expected to clear and temperatures will rise slowly to about 48 degrees by 3:00 pm on championship Saturday.
Kentucky Lake is known for its many brush piles that harbor lots of crappie. Bad weather aside, one-pole anglers always welcome the event.
“Kentucky Lake is renowned for its numbers of crappie,” offered Kris Mann. Kris and his dad, Terry, were officially recognized for winning the CUSA 2017 points race at the opening dinner on Thursday night.
“Dad and I are predominantly single pole jig fishermen and this lake fits our style well with all the natural and man-made cover it has to offer.”
Team Mann expects to “run- and-gun” on day one. “We will likely fish several dozen stakebeds, pallet beds, and brush piles,” reported Kris.
They use B’n’M Poles rigged with Crappie Magnet jigs, typically in 1/8 ounce. Their favorite KY Lake colors are Pumpkin Pie or Yellow/Chartreuse Flash. Many anglers are predicting that the tournament will be won by a team of single pole jiggers. More than 180 teams registered for the tournament.
Day One Semi Pro Division – Top Five
The top five teams and their weight in the Semi Pro Division are:
- Jim Ferguson and Garrett Bridges 9.75 pounds
- Henry and Jo Haley 9.13 pounds
- Roy Logan and Wade Hendren 8.97 pounds
- Shane Moore and John Eubanks 8.70 pounds
- Tony Grooms and T.J. Grooms 8.23 pounds
Day One Amateur Division – Top Five
The top five in the Amateur Division suggests a shootout on day two. The team members and their weights are:
- Roger Milby and Rodger Brown 8.88 pounds
- T. J. Todd and Brian Hatch 8.65 pounds
- Brently Smith and Colton McAlister 7.77 pounds
- Roy “Doc” Holladay 7.61 pounds
- Brett Luther and Robert Luther 7.44 pounds
Big Fish after day one went to Joseph Rosinski and Luther McDonald. The Peru Indiana team weighed in a 2.17-pound crappie.
A long line of anglers waited in pouring rain to make their way through the weigh-in line. Out of more than 180 teams registered, only about 30 failed to weigh in. It looks like it could still be anybody’s ballgame.
Fishing begins for day two at 7:00 am on Saturday morning. The weigh-in continues at Paris Landing Marina, 16055 Hwy 79 N, Buchanan, TN. Fishing ends at 3:00 pm and anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4:00 pm. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Bring your lawn chairs and your cameras to record the excitement.