GALLIPOLIS — Catfish anglers from several states will travel to Gallipolis to the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s.
Local and traveling anglers will be vying for cash, prizes, and an opportunity to compete at the 2020 King Kat Classic which will feature a guaranteed payout of $120,000 in cash and prizes.
Anglers fishing the May 9 event will be testing their catfishing skills against other anglers and whatever Mother Nature has in store. They may fish the Ohio River from the Belleville Lock and Dam, South to the Robert C. Byrd Lock and Dam. Anglers may also fish up the Kanawha River to the Buffalo Bridge.
Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Amanda Crouse said no alternative plans for the tournament have been announced in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The bureau will update the community should any further developments follow.
Last year, the tournament in Gallipolis produced two flatheads over 45 pounds. Top honors went to the team of William Stewart from Butler, Pennsylvania, and Edward Duplantis from Monaca, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania team brought 106.72 pounds to the scales to claim the top spot in 2019.
There is normally a big turnout for the Kids Rodeo that will be held at the Bob Evans Farm Pond. Last year, more than 70 kids came out and fished the event.
Teams may consist of one to three anglers but limits are based on a two-person team. Early registration can be accomplished on the King Kat website at https://www.kingkatusa.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. Late entries are subject to a $25 late fee.
Participating anglers must be a member of the King Kat Association (KKA). Membership is $30 for adults and $15 for spouse and youth memberships. Other membership levels are outlined on the King Kat website. Each membership will include a subscription to the Outdoor Journal.
A pre-tournament seminar will be held the day before the tournament at Super 8 Motel 321 Upper River Road.
Sign-up will begin at 5 p.m. The Seminar and National Sponsor Field Test Product Drawing starts at 7 p.m. local time. This seminar is open to the public. Those individuals not fishing the event are encouraged to attend and meet top catfish anglers from several different states.
The tournament weigh-in will be held at Gallipolis City Park Boat Ramp, Gallipolis, beginning at 3 p.m. and anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4 p.m. This is the perfect opportunity for non-competitors to learn how the big ones are caught. Interviews of the top five teams are conducted following the final weigh-in.
Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomes all King Kat anglers and their guests to the area and invites them to take the opportunity to enjoy the local attractions. For more information on the area visit the website at www.visitgallia.com.
A free Catfish Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the tournament. Sign-up is Saturday morning at Bob Evans Farm Pond.
The event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 years old and younger. An adult must accompany all participating children. Sign up is from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. with fishing from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of six $1,000 scholarships presented by Outdoor Promotions. The scholarships are awarded annually at the Cabela’s King Kat Classic.
Outdoor Promotions and participating anglers have contributed $360,000.00 to youth scholarships since 1997.
This year’s Cabela’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held October 30 – 31, 2020 on Milford Lake in Milford, KS. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $120,000 in cash and prizes. The points race is set to payout $30,000 to the top 20 places based on the competitor’s the top five finishes.