GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Catfish anglers from across the states will travel to the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers at Gallipolis, Ohio 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 in the regional championships and the 2021 King Kat Classic.
According to a news release from event organizers, anglers fishing the May 8 event will be testing their catfishing skills against other anglers and whatever Mother Nature has in store. This event is a Region 2 qualifier in the new King Kat regional competition. They may fish the Ohio River from the Belleville Lock & Dam, South to the Robert C. Byrd Lock & Dam. Anglers may also fish up the Kanawha River to the Buffalo Bridge.
“Gallipolis is among the better locations on the trail for flatheads,” the release stated. “A winning bag is likely to see a big flathead in the mix. Cut shad, mooneye, and skipjack are local favorite baits. And, since the cats can sometimes be picky it’s not a bad idea to have a little of each until you find out what they want.”
The 2021 Regional Competition is based on four regions with four qualifying events in each region. Each region will have its own championship and points will be tabulated both regionally and nationally. Visit the King Kat website for complete scheduling.
How to enter
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 King Kat Sportsman. It is the official publication of the King Kat Association and one of the top catfishing fishing publications in the nation.
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
A pre-tournament seminar will be held the day before the tournament at Super 8 Motel, 321 Upper River Rd., Gallipolis, 740-446-8080. Only one member of a team may enter at a time to complete registration and receive their voucher.
Late Sign-in begins 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 weigh-in site
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. Social distancing rules will be followed.
This is the perfect opportunity for non-competitors to learn how the big ones are caught. Interviews of the top 5 teams will be conducted following the weigh-in with all social distancing rules applied.
Tournament host and lodging site
“King Kat welcomes all anglers and their guests to the area and invites them to take the opportunity to enjoy the local attractions,” according to the news release. For more information on the area visit the website at www.visitgallia.com.
Host lodging is provided by the Super 8 Motel, 321 Upper River Rd., Gallipolis, 740-446-8080. The number of rooms in the area may be limited. It is recommended that participants make their reservations early.
Free catfish kids rodeo
A free Catfish Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the tournament. Sign up is Saturday morning at Gallipolis City Park Boat Ramp Gallipolis. (Same as weigh-in).
The event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 years old and younger. All participating children must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up is from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. with fishing from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. The 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 six $1,000 scholarships presented by Outdoor Promotions. The scholarships are awarded annually at the Cabela’s King Kat Classic.
According to the news release, Outdoor Promotions and participating anglers have contributed $379,000 to youth scholarships since 1997. “They are very proud to be a part of the education process for the youngsters who participate in the tournaments as adult/youth teams and those who fish in the Outdoor Promotions Kids Fishing Rodeos,” the release stated.
The Classic Championship
This year’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held on the Red River at Natchitoches, LA, Nov. 5-6. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.
The first-place team at the Classic will receive a Lowe Boats Catfish Model with 150 HP Mercury Motor equipped with Minn Kota Trolling Motor, Humminbird Fish Finder and Drift Master Rod Holders. The National Points Team will be named at the Classic and receive the same Lowe Boat.
Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Lowe Boats, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Gamma Line, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Ego Nets, EFX Graphics, Catfish Now, Fin n’ Frames, Cat River Anchors, Smooth Move Boat Seats, and Lowe Boats.
For more information on the championship and other King Kat activities visit their website at www.kingkatusa.com. Anglers can also follow the trail on the King Kat Facebook Page.