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Crappie USA headed back to Grand Lake St. Marys

Grand Lake St. Marys and the surrounding area received some good news recently when Crappie USA decided to return to the lake for a May 31 tournament.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie-1291, will host the event at its lodge at 1400 East Market, Celina. The weigh-in is scheduled there at 3 p.m.

While the tournament will attract top crappie fishing teams from all over the Midwest, it is also open to local fishermen.

“The Eagles really stepped up and helped bring the event back to Grand Lake St. Marys,” said Dan Manning, owner of The Outdoorsman bait and tackle shop on the east bank. “This event is also about community support and the people and businesses around the lake responded. Bringing an event like Crappie USA back here is very important to all of us.”

The event is open to anyone interested in fishing individually or in two-person teams. Entry fees are $100 per team in the Amateur Division and $200 in the Semi-Pro Division. All participants must be members of the American Crappie Association. You can sign up for an ACA membership for $25 for adults and $10 for spouse and youth.

You can sign up on line at crappieusa.com or attend the pre-tournament seminar on May 30 at 5 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge and sign up there. The meeting is open to the public.

Anglers will be fishing for a 7-fish limit. Top finishers will advance to the Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic, Oct. 16-18 on Lake Cumberland at Somerset, Kentucky.

Held in conjunction with the Grand Lake tournament will be the Crappie Kids Fishing Rodeo to be held May 31 at the Eagles Lodge. Sign-up for the Kids Rodeo will be at 8 a.m. with the rodeo from 9-11 a.m. The rodeo is free to all children 12 and under with a chance to win prizes and scholarships.