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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Crappie USA is celebrating its 25th anniversary by hosting a competition on Lake Decatur. 

The fishing competition will be May 8. 

Presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, 2021 anglers will be competing for a guaranteed $10,000 payout for one-day events and $20,000 for two-day events. The three two-day events are rescheduled from 2020 because of COVID-19 and will be phased out when completed. 

Anglers can also compete in the $50,000 points race and an opportunity to qualify for the Regional Championships and the 2021 Crappie USA Classic. The Regional Championships will all feature a $25,000 payback and the Classic will be highlighted by a $165,000 payback. 

The event is a Region 3 qualifier in the new CUSA regional competition. 

Tournament rules require that anglers not fish from midnight until 6:30 am on tournament day when fishing begins. 

The 2021 Regional Competition is based on four regions. Each region will have its own championship and points will be tabulated both regionally and nationally. Visit the CUSA website for complete scheduling. 

Teams may consist of one or two anglers, with a third member allowed if the angler is under the age of 16 years old. You can register early 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). Sign up at https://www.crappieusa.com/Membership_Information.cfm where the various levels of membership are available.

Anglers will sign up at registration, be given a copy of guidelines for social distancing, be given a copy of the rules, and be given their weigh-in voucher. 

At the weigh-in, social distancing will be maintained in the weigh-in line and only a few teams at a time will be allowed to be in the line. Other anglers can wait in vehicles and boats. All staff will be wearing facemasks and we encourage all anglers and spectators to do the same. 

Registration and Seminar Late registration and a pre-tournament seminar will be held the day before the tournament at the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4191 West US Hwy 36, Decatur, IL, 217-422-8800. 

Late Sign-in begins at 5:00 pm and runs until 7:00 pm. A National Sponsor Field Test Product Drawing accompanies the seminar starting at 7:00 pm 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. Social distancing rules will apply.

The Weigh-In Site The tournament weigh-in will be held at Nelson Park Boat Ramp, 1001 S Lake Front Rd, Decatur, IL. Fishing hours are 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and all anglers are required to be in line by 4:00 pm. This is the perfect opportunity for non-competitors to learn how the big ones are caught. Interviews of the top 5 teams are conducted following the weigh-in with social distancing rules in effect. 

Lodging is provided by Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4791 West US Hwy 36, Decatur, IL, 217-422-8800. 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, also at the Nelson Park Boat Ramp. An adult must accompany all participating children. The event is free to all children 12 years of age and under. 

Sign up for the Kids Rodeo is Saturday at 8:00 am with fishing from 9:00 am - 11:00 am. 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. All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of the six, Crappie USA $1,000.00 scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually at the CUSA Classic. To date, more than $379,000.00 in scholarships have been awarded. 

The CUSA Classic Championship will be held October 14 - 16 at Lake Hartwell, SC at Anderson, SC. The 2021 Crappie USA Classic presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's features a guaranteed payout of $165,000 in cash and prizes. 

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