Catfish Tournament win for Souders and Conaway
Chris Souders and Nick Conaway claim Cabela’s King Kat Tournament win at Huntington, WV
Catfish anglers from nine states traveled to the Ohio River for a Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail Event on Saturday, August 11, 2018. Forty-seven teams gathered at Paducah, KY to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.
Rain often has a way of following King Kat tournaments. This week was no different. It was forecast to rain on tournament day and it did. The sun came out and anglers were greeted with a beautiful sunny day to fish with temperatures in the mid-80s. During the weigh-in the rains came as scattered storms moved through the area.
The Paducah pool on the Ohio River has some really good fish which had the anglers going into tournament day with a high level of optimism. Prefishing anglers reported nearly non-existent current making for a tough bite but still, some nice catfish came to the scales as anglers competed for an $11,500 payout.
Results for the Top Catfish Teams
Chris Souders and Nick Conaway snatched the gold ring at Huntington, WV with 88.08 pounds. Their bag included Big Kat at 37.48 pounds. The Ohio team earned $4,400 for the win and an additional $940 for Big Kat.
“The weather has been hot with some summertime storms today,” reported Souders following the tournament. “We fish from Robert C. Boyd Dam to Huntington WV, but caught most of our fish around the dam.”
The team fished on the rope targeting structure in 20-30 feet of water. Their big fish came early, but the others didn’t come until about 2:00 in the afternoon.
“We were using skip jack, mooneye and shad for bait but had most of our luck on skipjack,” revealed Souders. “The current was a little on the low side but the high amount of barge traffic being locked up and down the river helped make a little more current closer to the dam.”
“Since this is one of the closest tournaments for us you would think we would have been very prepared,” joked Souders. “But we forgot a few things–one of which was a landing net. So, we had to use Boga Grips to land all 10 fish today.”
Second place went to the team of Josh Burton from Lone Bottom, OH and Adam McDaniel from Pomeroy, OH. They weighed a bag of 85.1 pounds to earn $2,200 for the day.
Burton and McDaniel fished upriver around Robert C. Byrd Lock and Dam. They were targeting fish in 20-30 feet of water using fresh skipjack, mooneye, and shad for bait. Most of their catfish came on live shad and skipjack. The team caught 10 fish for the day.
“We scouted some spots on the Wednesday and Thursday before the tournament,” reported Burton. “The water temperature was around 81 degrees on tournament day. We fished mainly the northern part of the waters where we found brush piles and rock. The current was strong enough that we didn’t have to throw out a drift sock and it got better all day.”
“Overall was a good day, continued Burton. “We caught a lot of big fish. We had 3 flatheads over 35 inches that we threw back. That’s tough to do but overall it was a great day to be on the water. It is very humbling to finish second when fishing against some of the top anglers in the country.”
Third place at Huntington went to the team of Cody Carver and Shawn Penix with 70.88 pounds. They caught 16 fish on the day and earned a check for $1,600. They found their fish in the Huntington Riverfront area where they were anchored over structure in 20-25 feet of water using skipjack, mooneye, and shad for bait.
We had a lot of bites,” reported Carver. “But it seemed like the bigger fish didn’t bite till later in the day when the front moved in. We anchor fished all day on wood and rock with most of our catfish coming on mooneye.”
The team had to overcome a bit of adversity when their livewell was damaged on the way to the tournament. So, they turned to some hillbilly engineering to make due.
“Our livewell blew out of the boat on the Interstate,” reported Carver. “It busted a big hole in it. We had to go to Walmart and buy some flex tape and a big bag. We made kind of a swimming pool and went on fishing.”
“We had a really good time,” concluded Carver. “This was our first Cabela’s tournament. “It is set up very well and we are glad we decided to come and fish it.”
Claiming the fourth spot was Mike Lewis from Middleport, OH and Terry George from Pomeroy, OH. They weighed a bag of 69.3 pounds to earn $975.
Lewis and George fished around the dam also with their bites patterning those of the first-place team. Their big fish came early, about 6:30 am, and rest came after 1:00 pm.
They were fishing on the rope over structure in 20-30 feet of water. They caught 4 fish on the day.
Fifth place went to Neal Craig and Mike Jordan from Eleanor, WV with a weight of 62.48 pounds. They earned a check for $600.
Craig and Jordon fished below the Robert C. Byrd Lock and Dam. They were targeting structure in 20-30 feet of water. They were anchored up using mooneye and shad for bait and caught 10 catfish on the day.
The Remaining Top Catfish Teams
6th Place – Joey Foster and Austin Owens – 61.42
7th Place – James and Janet Fox – 48.18
Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked the Cabell-Huntington CVB for supporting and making the weekend event possible.
“We were very excited to have Huntington on the schedule this year,” said Coe. “The area is known for its trophy blues and flatheads. We look forward to returning next year.
Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Cabela’s, Adventure Products EGO Nets, RigRap, B ‘n’ M Poles, Minn Kota, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Driftmaster Rodholders, Gamma Line, Humminbird Electronics, World Fishing Network (WFN), Rippin’ Lips, Cat River Anchors, Sunsect Sunscreen & Insect Repellent, Humminbird Lakemaster Maps, Digital EFX Wraps, Tentology, Gill Rainwear, CatfishNow Digital Magazine, Whisker Wear Apparel, The Original Clearboard, Extreme Bait Systems, Katfish Clothing, and Excel Boats.