Crappie anglers from several states traveled to Carlyle Lake, IL to participate in a Crappie USA (CUSA) tournament. Local and traveling anglers fished for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2018 CUSA Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.
Following a summer pause, Crappie USA resumed tournament crappie fishing just a couple weeks before the Classic coming up on Lake Cumberland, Oct. 3rd through the 6th.
The air temperature at Carlyle started out in the low 60’s and warmed to afternoon temps in the 70’s. High NE winds at 10-15 MPH forced the teams back into the bays.
“The lake level was very high and falling quickly,” reported tournament director Darrell Van Vactor. “Most of the teams found the fish deeper than expected. But the bite did improve from earlier in the week.”
A total of 37 boats fished the Carlyle event,16 in the Pro Division and 21 in the Amateur Division. A total of $6,950 was distributed to the winners.
Pro Division Results
The father/son team of Kris Mann and Terry Mann fished the south end of the lake to bring home the victory. The M.t Sterling, KY team brought 7.99 pounds to the scales to claim the top spot. They earned $1,600 for first place, $500 for the Ranger Cup Bonus, and $300 for the Driftmaster Bonus.
“We fished the south end of the lake,” reported Kris. “The fishing pressure was tremendous in the area we were fishing as it was slightly protected from the wind. We used B’n’M Poles and Hurricane Howard reels.”
“We caught all our fish single poling,” continued Kris. “We were rigged with 1/8 ounce orange/chartreuse Crappie Magnet jigs,” continued Kris. “The bite was slow at times but we battled it out and caught about 25 crappies for the day. Dad (Terry) caught the fish that put us over the edge with about 20 minutes left in the day, proving yet again to never give up!”
“God blessed us with a great day on the water and kept all the competitors safe,” concluded Kris. “Thanks to all the CUSA Tournament Trail sponsors, Crappie Magnet, and B’n’M Poles.”
Second place went to the Indiana team of Eric Millsaps and Allen Reed. Eric from Arcadia and Allen from Gas City weighed a five fish limit of 7.04 pounds to claim the runner-up spot. They earned $800 for the placement and $250 for the Talon Award.
Millsaps’s and Reed’s day was not without complications. But, they adapted and made the best of what they had.
“We left out of the ramp before 5 a.m.” reported Millsap. “We were about to test out my new G3 Sportsman 19 on some 3-foot rollers blowing straight down the lake. It made for a long, dark idle.”
“We have never even been on the lake until Friday morning,” said Millsap. “When we showed up to our spot on tournament day somebody was setting on the only spot we had caught fish. So, with an hour left before fishing time began, we had to find brand new spots.”
“When the start fishing time came we weren’t even ready to drop a line yet. We started spider rigging a very small break line from 7- to 8-feet deep. It had a really small rock pile where we caught our first couple of fish. Then we moved to one other spot and fished another small break from 5- to 7-feet deep. It had a little rock and wood on it.”
Millsaps and Reed were using 14-foot Charlie Hildreth Signature series trolling rods by Outlaw. They couldn’t get a bite unless they had white glo Roadrunner jigheads on them.
“And the Roadrunners had to have orange and chartreuse Big Diddy Baits Pintails and 3-inch Willows,” added Millsaps. “And they had to have Crappie Nibbles on them!”
The team fished the south end of the lake and caught about 25 fish for the day.
Scott Moses from Centralia, IL and Fred Sliger from Central City, IL finished in third place with 7.58 pounds.
The Illinois team fished the Cole Creek area in 8 to 10 feet of water. They were using 3-inch Slab Slayers in Orange and Chartreuse to catch 25 to 30 fish and earn a check for $500.
Amateur Division Results
The top spot in the Amateur Division went to P. A. Cox from Keyesport, IL and Jase Heuberger from Highland, IL. Their five fish bag weighed 7.81 pounds and earned them a check for $900.
They added Big Fish of the tournament for an additional $550. Their nice Carlyle crappie tipped the scales at 1.45 pounds.
Cox and Heuberger fished Allen Creek in 10 to 14 feet of water. They targeted wood cover and found the fish holding extremely tight to the cover. They used blue/green/firetiger colored jigs to lure their winning fish.
The runner-up spot went to Patrick Stone and Patrick Vowell. The Anderson, IN team took second place with a weight of 6.48 pounds.
The team earned $500 for the win and added $250 Talon Bonus for using the popular shallow water anchor on their boat.
Stone and Vowell fished Allen Branch in 4 to 5 feet of water. They used traditional spider rigging methods to put more than 30 fish in the boat on tournament day. They credited their Humminbird 360 system for helping them find the fish and their Ultrex trolling motor with spot lock for helping them catch them.
Third place went to Josh and Jason Dudley. Josh, from St. Louis, MO, and Jason, from Bonnie, IL, weighed a bag of 5.81 pounds to claim their spot.
Their stringer earned them a check for $ 400.00.
Team Dudley fished Apache Creek where they caught more than 25 fish on the day. They use the one pole method to “feel the thump” in about 10-foot water. They chose pink/white jigs to catch their Carlyle crappie.
Chad Schaeffer from Hoyleton, IL and Mark Becker from Alviston, IL took the fourth-place spot with 5.71 pounds. Their finish earned them a check for $300.00.
Schaeffer and Becker fished the southwest side of the lake in 10 to 12 feet of water. Live minnows on a drop shot rig was the method they used to catch a total of 20 fish on the day.
Darrell Van Vactor, CUSA Operations Manager, sent special thanks to Carlyle Tourism and Mariners Village for all their support in hosting the event.
“Anglers from seven states participated in this last regularly scheduled event of the 2018 season prior to the Classic,” said Van Vector. “The teams really braved adverse conditions with wind, rain and cold front conditions on tournament day.”
The 2018 CUSA Classic will be held October 3 – 6, 2018 on Lake Cumberland at Somerset, KY. It will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.
National Sponsors of Crappie USA are: Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Mercury, Mustad, B’n’M Poles, Humminbird Electronics, Gamma, Adventure Products EGO Nets, Minn Kota, J.R. Mad’s Madgic Fish Breading, Big Bite Baits, TTI-Blakemore Road Runner, Driftmaster Rod Holders, World Fishing Network-WFN, Cumberland Crappie Double Seat Mounts, Church Tackle Company, Charlie Brewer’s Slider Co., Crappie Now On-line Magazine, Talon Shallow Water Anchors, Humminbird/Lakemaster Maps, Sunsect Sunscreen & Insect Repellent, Digital EFX Wraps, Gill Rainwear, AWD Baits, Tentnology, Crappie Magnet, Jenko Fishing, Lake Cumberland Tourism, Extreme Bait Systems, Rigrap, Bait 2 Go, and Brush Pile Fishing.
For more information on the Classic and other CUSA events visit the website at www.crappieusa.com and Crappie USA Tournament Trail Facebook Page. The CUSA office is available by phone at 502-384-5924.