In 2021, Crappie USA celebrates its 25th anniversary of providing competitive fishing to crappie anglers. The celebration kicks off a little early on the St. Johns River west of DeLand on Dec. 5, when anglers will travel from across the country to join the competition.

Presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, anglers will be vying for a guaranteed $10,000 payout. They are also competing in the $50,000 points race and an opportunity to compete at the Regional Championships and the 2021 Crappie USA Classic.

Anglers in the event will be testing their crappie fishing skills against other anglers and whatever Mother Nature has in store. This event is a Region 2 qualifier in the new CUSA regional competition.

The West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority is a sponsor of the tournament.

“This is the second year that Crappie USA has chosen the St. Johns River and West Volusia,” said WVTAA Executive Director Georgia Turner. “We’re excited to welcome these anglers back for the 2021 National Qualifier and to celebrate Crappie USA’s 25th anniversary.”

The St. Johns River is known for big, beautiful, black crappies. Competing anglers will be allowed to fish from the I-4 bridge on the south all the way to and including Lake George on the north. That is a lot of good crappie fishing to kick off the 2021 CUSA Tournament Trail and the new regional structure.

This stretch of river consistently produces good stringers of black crappie and is conducive to many methods of fishing. For that reason, the St. Johns River near DeLand is not only a popular tournament destination, but is also a popular vacation destination for crappie anglers.

The 2021 Regional Competition is based on four regions, with five or six qualifying events in each region.

The tournament weigh-in will be held at St. Johns Marina at Ed Stone Park, 2999 W. State Road 44, beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. This is the perfect opportunity for noncompetitors to learn how the big ones are caught.

A Crappie Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the tournament that Saturday morning at Highland Park Fish Camp. The event is free to all children 12 years of age and under who are accompanied by an adult.

Turner said West Volusia Tourism welcomes all Crappie USA anglers and their guests to the area and hopes that they take the opportunity to enjoy the local attractions.

“Tournaments such as this one and Crappie Masters in January bring thousands of dollars in revenue for our accommodations and restaurants,” Turner said.

Host lodging is provided in DeLand by Holiday Inn Express, 180 Fenway Drive; Highland Park Fish Camp, 2640 W. Highland Park Road; and Riviera Resort, 2760 Botts Landing Road; and in Astor by Parramore’s Resort, 1675 Camp South Moon Road.

For more information on the Classic and other CUSA events, visit the website at www.crappieusa.com and the Crappie USA Tournament Trail Facebook Page.

For more information on the area, visit the website at visitwestvolusia.com or call 386-734-0162.