GALLIPOLIS — The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail hit the waters of the Ohio and Kanawha rivers May 14 at Gallipolis, where the top 80 top anglers from several states were competing not only for the $7,300 in cash and prizes, but the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Cabela’s King Kat Northern and Southern Championship.
This year’s Northern Championship will be Sept. 23-24 at the Ohio River, Henderson, Ky. The Southern Championship will be Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Cumberland River (Old Hickory Lake) Gallatin, Tenn.
Results for the Top 6 teams
Saturday’s event saw rain in the morning with temperatures in the low 50s, only warming slightly by the afternoon where Chris Souders and Justin Horner were taking first place in the tournament. The Oak Hill, Ohio, team weighed in at 109.68 pounds and earned a check for $3,000. The team fished up river, anchoring within sight of the weigh-in. Chris said they were targeting all of their fish in a 300-yard stretch. They found fish in structure, weighing in all flatheads from different depths of 3-28 feet of water. The team used a variety of bait, including skipjack, mooneye and shad to land over 20 fish for the day. The team stated it has been one of the best years for that area and the river was perfect this weekend.
Breaking state records was Mark Blauvelt, of New Lebanon, and Ryan Lawrence, of Dayton, in second place with a total weight of 103.14 pounds and earning $1,500, plus an additional $925 for Big Fish of the event. The team fished down river, staying within sight of the weigh-in using their Minn Kota Terrove and Humminbird Helix 9 to control drift all day in 35-40 feet of water. They were also using their new B ‘n’ M bumping rods, but later switched to the 10-foot Silver Cat Magnum rods to put the remainder of the fish in the boat.
Mark and Ryan were using cut shad and skipjack as bait to catch five fish total for the day — with one of those being the Big Kat of the tournament, a blue cat weighing in at 60.14 pounds and landing them the West Virginia state record, crushing the previous standard of 52.95 pounds. The team gave credit to their gear for not only finding the fish, but helping them land their fish as well, and wow did they ever!
Rodney Harrison, of Eleanor, W.Va., and Jeff Winter and Sam Thompson, both of Poca, W.Va., took third place with a total weight of 92.64 pounds and earning $700. The team found their fish in the Kanawha River, locating structure while anchoring in 20-30 feet of water. The team also won the April 2016 Super Event on the Kanawha River out of Charleston, W.Va. The team’s big fish on Saturday was a flathead weighing in at 37.80 pounds.
In fourth place was Joey Eddy, of Clarksburg, W.Va., weighing in at 87.02 pounds and earning $500. He also had second place Big Kat, a huge flathead weighing 46.86 pounds.
Larry King Jr., of Amanda, and Brian Queen, of Sugar Grove, took fifth place with a total weight of 86.62 pounds and earning $400.
In sixth place was Tom Miller, Ken Craft and Gabe Mullins, all of Scioto Furnace, weighing in at 84.30 pounds and earning $300.