Crappie USA travels to Lakes Marion and Moultrie
Crappie anglers from several states will travel to the lakes of Santee Cooper to participate in a two-day Crappie USA (CUSA) Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s on March 15-16. Local and traveling anglers will be vying for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2019 CUSA Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.
Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie make up the Santee-Cooper Lakes. These two lakes have produced giant crappie for years. Anglers like to visit because it is a destination that offers the possibility of catching a 3-pound plus slabs and March should produce plenty of roe-laden fish.
The key for tournament anglers will be to stay on a productive pattern. The crappie will be in transition between prespawn and spawning behavior. The anglers that figure out the pattern will weigh some impressive slabs on tournament day.
Lake Fest will be going on during the weekend of the tournament. There will be food, games, and entertainment at the weigh-in on Saturday so make sure to bring the family when you come.
Teams may consist of one or two anglers, with a third member allowed if the angler is under the age of 16 years old. Early registration can be accomplished on the CUSA website at https://www.crappieusa. com/Tournament_Registration.cfm. Teams may also enter by calling (502) 384-5924 or by entering at the mandatory pre-tournament seminar on the night before the tournament begins. Entry fees vary by length of tournament. All fees are posted on the website linked above. Late entries are subject to a $25.00 late fee.
Participating anglers must be a member of the American Crappie Association (ACA). See the various membership levels at https://www.crappieusa.com/Membership_Information.cfm. Each membership will include a subscription to the official publication of Crappie USA, one of the top crappie fishing publications in the nation.
Late registration and a pre-tournament seminar will be held the day before the tournament at Santee Conference Center, 1737 Bass Dr. Hwy 15, Santee.
Registration begins at 5 p,m. A National Sponsor Field Test Product Drawing accompanies the seminar starting at 7 p.m. local time. This seminar is open to the public. Those not fishing the event are encouraged to attend this meeting and meet some of the region’s top crappie anglers.
The tournament weigh-in will be held at Santee Town Hall “Gazebo,” 194 Municipal Way (GPS-194 Brook Blvd.), Santee, beginning at 3 p.m. This is the perfect opportunity for non-competitors to learn how the big ones are caught. Interviews of the top five teams are conducted following the weigh-in.
The town of Santee Cooper welcomes all Crappie USA anglers and their guests to the area and hope they take the opportunity to enjoy the local attractions. For more information on the area visit the website at www.townofsantee-sc.org.
Host lodging is provided by Clark’s Inn, 114 Bradford Blvd., Santee, (800-531-9658). The number of rooms in the area may be limited. It is recommended that participants make their reservations early.
A free Crappie Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the tournament at Santee State Park, 251 State Park Road (off S.C. Hwy. 6), Santee.
Sign up will be Saturday morning at 8 a.m. The Kids Rodeo is from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. The Crappie USA Kids Fishing Rodeo is a chance for children of the area to get out and enjoy nature, do a little fishing and win some prizes. The event is free to all children 12 years of age and under. All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of the six, Crappie USA $1,000 scholarships to be awarded at the 2019 Cabela's Crappie USA Classic. An adult must accompany all participating children.
Crappie USA and their anglers have contributed $350,000 to the “Crappie Kids” Scholarships since 1997. CUSA is very proud to be a part of the education process for the youngsters who participate in the tournaments as adult/youth teams and those who fish in the Crappie USA Kids Fishing Rodeos.