Crappie anglers from eight states traveled to Weiss Lake at Centre, AL to participate in the March 7, 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.
The air temperatures at Centre, AL were in the low 50’s with 15 to 25 mph winds from the NE all day. Pretournament concerns about high water did not materialize. The water was murky to muddy in some areas, but at normal fishing levels.
A total of 34 boats fished the Weiss Lake event—10 in the Pro Division and 24 in the Amateur Division. A total of $ 7,045 was distributed to the winners.
Pro Division Results
Tim Pentecost and Avery Pruitt from Leesburg, AL took the top spot on Weiss Lake. They brought 9.7 pounds to the scales to claim the victory and earn a check for $1,400. The local team added $300 for the Driftmaster Rod Holders Bonus, $200 for the Crappie Magnet Bonus, $100 for the Jenko Bonus, and $260 for second big fish.
“Avery and I spider rigged creeks and flats in the State Line area,” reported Pentecost. We were pushing 16-foot Jenko Rods in 3 to 8 feet of water, rigged with Red Rooster Custom Baits tipped with rosy red minnows and green Crappie Magnet Slab Bites.”
“We moved several times,” continued Pentecost. “Our best fish came on Red Rooster
copper penny colored jigs with a chartreuse tail in about 8 feet of water. We caught
between 60 and 70 keeper crappies for the day.”
“We are sponsored by Weiss Internet, Coosa Corner, Mavericks of Leesburg, The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Cold Creek Honey, East Alabama Truss of Centre, Red Rooster Custom Baits and K9 fishing line. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do it, Pentecost said.”
The runner-up spot went to Neal Alvis from Rogersville, TN and Scott Bunch from Morristown, TN. They weighed 9.18 pounds to earn a check for $600. They added $250 for the Ranger Cup Bonus. Alvis and Bunch fished the Spring Creek area shooting docks in 10 to 12 feet of water. They were using black/chartreuse Crappie Magnet baits tipped with Slab Bites. “We could get 3 or 4 shots out of the Slab Bites before changing,” Bunch said. “They really stay on the hook.”
The third spot went to Blaine Eilvey from Cape Carteret, NC and Taylor Bolton from Atlanta, GA. They teamed up to bring 8.99 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $400.
Eilvey and Bolton tackled the lake by long line trolling in the Little River area. They pulled along the old river channel and creek ledges to catch a total of about 20 fish for the day. They were rigged with assorted jig colors to catch their fish.
Amateur Division Results
The top spot in the Amateur Division went to the father/son team of Knox and Max Wilson from Centre, AL. The team brought 10.24 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $1,000. Team Knox fished upriver casting floats over cover. They were using live bait in 6 to 7
feet of water. “The bite was very slow,” said Knox. “We did not catch a lot of numbers at all today.” “The father/son team of Knox and Max are among the most competitive teams we know,” said Darrell Van Vactor. “Max was our most senior angler this weekend at 87
Heath Martin from Shepherdsville, KY and Mike Rains from Albertville, AL claimed the runner-up spot with 8.19 pounds and earned a check for $500. They added $125 for the Ranger Cup Bonus.
The team used Freaky Franks jigs to catch their fish. They were shooting docks and casting in the area from Little River to the Dam. Bright colors worked the best. Martin and Rains caught 15 to 20 crappies on the day. “Martin and Rains have had a good run,” said Van Vactor. “Ever since the team started using Freaky Franks they have finished in the money in every event they have fished.”
Third place in the Amateur Division went to Scott Echols from Eva, AL and Roger Echols from Summerville, AL They weighed in 7.27 pounds to earn $400. Team Echols fished Little River over to the Georgia line. They were slow trolling with live bait to catch 8 fish for the day.
The fourth place went to Michael Kaufman from Huntsville, AL and Ernest Kaufman from Centre AL. They teamed up for a weight of 7.1 pounds and earned a check for $300. No further information was available as they left before the awards.
Rounding out the top five was Lance and Jeff Harrington from Mr. Juliet, TN. Team Harrington brought 7.09 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $200 and show just how close crappie tournaments can be at just .01 pounds out of fourth place. No further information was available as they left before the awards.
Additional Amateur Awards
Seventh place winners, Joe Hayes and Phil Trapp, took home the $250 Talon Bonus.
Thirteenth place finishers Terry and Jason Phillips from Villa Rica, GA won the $250 Big Fish prize with a 2.22-pound slab.