Sunday, May 16, 2010

Decatur lures Crappie USA tournament

Paul Stackhouse, Outdoors, The Decatur Daily

You can believe your eyes when you read that there is going to be a crappie tournament held at Ingalls Harbor this week. That’s right, not a bass tournament, but a crappie tournament.

Crappie USA has brought its two-day Super Event to Decatur, Ingalls Harbor and Wheeler Lake on Friday and Saturday. The first place prize amount will be announced at a later time, but Crappie USA says there is a guaranteed purse of $10,000 for the anglers.

The top angler in the tournament will not only win a cash prize, but he or she will also have an opportunity to advance to the Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic later this year.

A lot of people don’t realize just how big crappie fishing is in this area. But I’m guessing this tournament will bring out the crappie anglers of North Alabama in big numbers to watch the weigh-ins and learn some of the pros fish-catching secrets.

It would probably be wise to set up a few extra chairs at the pre-tournament seminar Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites located near the corner of Wilson St. and 6th Ave., N.E. Most of the tournament competitors will be at the seminar, but the public is also invited to attend.

Registration for the tournament begins at 5 p.m. Thursday with the meeting and a National Sponsor Field Test Product Drawing (seminar) slated to begin at 7.

The tournament weigh-ins take place Friday and Saturday at Ingalls Harbor beginning at 3 p.m., and it is also open to the public.

In a release, Crappie USA said it will be presenting a Crappie Kids Fishing Rodeo that is to be held in conjunction with the tournament. Crappie USA says it encourages America’s youth to actively participate in the preservation of our lakes, the sport of fishing and their educational goals.

The Kids Rodeo is set for Saturday morning at Ingalls Harbor and is free to children 12 years-of-age and under. Sign up begins at 8 a.m., with the rodeo itself taking place from 9 to 11 a.m. All participants are eligible to win one of six Crappie USA $2000 scholarships that will be awarded later this year.

For more information, contact the Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 256-350-2028. To learn more about Crappie USA, you can visit its Web site at, or call 270-395-4204.

Bassmaster Elite

The Bassmaster Elite Series, which is said by many to be the major league of professional bass fishing, held two tournaments recently in North Alabama.

On Sunday May 2, 2010, Arkansas pro Kevin Short claimed the $100,000 first place prize on Pickwick Lake with a four-day weight of 75 pounds, 1 ounce. Short brought in a five-bass sack weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the final day to secure the championship and the check for $100,000.

Rounding out the top five were Mississippi pro Cliff Pace (70-04, $25,000), Steve Kennedy of Auburn (67-09, $20,000), Rick Morris of Virginia (65-02, $15,000) and California’s Skeet Reese (64-14, $15,000).

Last week, Reese brought in an unbelievable four-day sack of Lake Guntersville bass weighing 100 pounds, 13 ounces, to claim the first place prize of $100,000. Reese also received $1,500 in bonus money.

Rounding out the top five were South Carolina pro Davy Hite (93-03, $25,000), John Crews of Virginia (92-11, $20,000), Morizo Shimizu of Japan (92-05, $15,000), and Russ Lane of Prattville (91-15, $14,000).

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