This past Saturday January 26th Crappie USA held a qualifying event on Florida’s Weir/George Lakes near Ocklawaha, Florida. Even with the fishing slow on Lake George, anglers from 5 different states soon found out that Lake Weir was the place to be on that given day. These anglers were competing for not only cash and prizes, but a chance to advance to the prestigious Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic. This year’s classic will be held October 23-26, 2013 on Kentucky Lake at Paris, Tennessee.
Semi-Pro Division Results
Taking first place was the well known Silver Springs, Florida team of Mike Baker and his (Grandson) Dustin Baker weighing in 4.36 pounds and earning $750.00. Mike and Dustin started the day on Lake George only to find current running backwards due to the tide and moon. They soon moved to Weir where they tight lined blue/pink/chartreuse Zip jigs in 20 feet of water over manmade cover which the park and rec. department had placed in the lake. Mike and Dustin found most of their fish suspended around 14 feet deep to catch only 8 fish for the day.
Second place went to Roy Cape Jr of Cordele, Georgia and Robert Harris of Warner Robins, Georgia with a weight of 3.6 pounds and earning $500.00. Roy and Robert also took the Ranger Cup Award in the Semi-Pro division earning an additional $250.00. Roy and Robert also started the day long line trolling on Lake George only to catch 1 fish then made the move to Weir trolling in 15 feet of water using bubblegum/chartreuse jigs to only catch 5 fish for the day. The team also earned an additional $30.00 for second biggest fish of the event.
In third place was the Gilbert, South Carolina team of Joe and Janette Carter who caught 1 keeper fish trolling jigs with 10 minutes to go at 0.5 pounds to earn 3rd place and $250.00.
Amateur Division Results
First place in the amateur division was Chad and Hunter Duncan of Lady Lake, Florida with a weight of 5.88 pounds and earning $750.00, along with an additional $100.00 for big fish of the event at 1.08 pounds. Chad and Hunter were fishing Lake Weir all day in 22 feet of water using pink/blue/chartreuse Zip jigs where their fish were holding tight to the bottom to catch 30 fish for the day.
Second place went to Raymond Shears Jr. of London, Kentucky and Raymond Shears Sr. of Lady Lake, Florida weighing in 5.42 pounds to earn $500.00. The Shears were fishing Lake Weir over manmade cover in 15 to 20 feet of water using live bait to catch 30 fish total for the day spider rigging.
Taking third place was the Ocala, Florida team of Daniel Blankenship and Greg Humphries weighing in 5.38 pounds and earning $250.00. Daniel and Greg were slow trolling Lake Weir in 14-20 feet of water using bubblegum/chartreuse Southern Pro jigs and some live bait on gold to catch 25-30 fish for the day.
Congratulations to all the teams fishing this event. For a complete list of tournament standings and downloadable photos for this event visit www.crappieusa.com then go to Tournament Results.
Special thanks goes out to Marion Co. CVB, Carney Island Park, and all others who help make the event possible. For more information on the area call: Toll-Free: 1-888-FL-OCALA, Local: 352-438-2800 or visit their website at: http://www.ocalamarion.com.
Crappie USA Free Kids Fishing Rodeo
In conjunction with the tournament Crappie USA held their Kids Rodeo on Saturday morning with several local children attending the event. All the participants signed up for a chance to win one of 6-$1,000.00 scholarships to be drawn for at the Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic.
Crappie USA and our anglers have contributed nearly $316,000.00 to the “Crappie Kids” Scholarships since 1997. We are very proud to be a part of the education process for the youngsters who participate in our tournaments as adult/youth teams and those who fish in the Crappie USA “Kids Fishing Rodeos”.
Stats for the Tournament:
Weather-The morning temperatures was in the 50’s warning to the 70’s by afternoon. Strong winds developed after 9:00am reaching 15-25 MPH which lead many anglers to leave Lake George for Lake Weir where the bite was much improved.