Legal waters include both Kentucky and Barkley Lakes for the 2017 Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic out of Paris, TN. The area was characterized by mild weather until the week before the tournament when a cold front moved in to drop temperatures. Days have also been characterized by high winds. The combination of winds and colder temps is sure to put a chill on anglers competing in the year-ending event.
Fishing begins on the popular lakes at 6:30 am on both Friday and Saturday. Fishing ends at 3:00 each day and anglers must be in the weigh-in line at Paris Landing Marina by 4:00 pm or be disqualified.
Local activities kick off on Thursday Oct. 26 with registration from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Henry County Fair Grounds (517 Royal Oaks Drive, Paris, TN 38242). The seminar and dinner will begin at 7:00 pm and include the presentation of special awards.
Mann and Mann
The KY team of Kris and Terry Mann won the 2017 points race with 486 points. Now, the Mt. Sterling, KY father/son team has their sights set on the CUSA Classic.
“We are excited to be fishing Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic on Kentucky Lake again this year,” said Kris. “Last year we were blessed to win a qualifying event here in September and place sixth at the Classic fishing the Amateur Division.”
“Kentucky Lake is renowned for its numbers of crappie,” continued Kris. “But, also some of the biggest tournament weights in the country. 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.”
“We love to run- and-gun and will likely fish several dozen stakebeds, pallet beds, and brushpiles,” offered Kris. “We fish our sponsor’s Crappie Magnet jigs, typically in 1/8 ounce. Our go to colors on KY Lake are usually Pumpkin Pie or Yellow/Chartreuse Flash.”
Kris and Terry rig their B’n’M Poles with 8-pound test mono so they can fish heavy cover.
“The light wire hooks on the Crappie Magnet Double Cross jig heads will usually straighten out when we hang up,” added Kris. “Hang ups are often in the thick cover we fish.”
“We are surely proud of the fact that 90-plus percent of the tourney fish we weighed in this year, from seven different bodies of water, were caught by us holding one rod in hand with no live bait. In this day and time where pushing double minnow rigs (spider rigging) is the predominant technique for tournament crappie fishing, we are proud to represent the single polers out there.”
“We had a remarkably blessed year,” concluded Kris. “We were able to finish out the regular CUSA season leading the points race. We give credit to God for all of our success.”
Walker and Walker
Jacob and Forest Walker are in their second full year of fishing the CUSA trail. The team of brothers from Bryon, GA finished 2017 holding down third-place in the points competition with 459 points. They are hoping for a good finish in the Classic.
“After winning the first tournament of the year we decided we would shoot for the points championship,” reported Jacob. “So, we went to the next tournament and won it too. We just kept rolling from there.”
“We try to be versatile and do it all but we really like single pole fishing,” continued Jacob. “This is only our second trip to KY Lake. This year we are going to mix in some crank bait trolling and see if that helps get us some bigger fish.”
“We didn’t feel any pressure from the points race, but you do start questioning yourself, wondering if you are making the right decisions.”
“We love fishing with Crappie USA,” said Jacob. “We also love having Darrell running the show. It is top notch.”
Terry and Kris Mann, and Jacob and Forrest Walker will be joined by more than 180 other boats as they compete for the 2017 Cabela’s Crappie USA Championship.
The public is welcome and invited to attend the weigh-in at Paris Landing Marina on both Friday and championship Saturday.