Frost and Sutton claim Southeastern Catfish Club Tournament Win on Wylie
Two fish weigh-in challenges anglers to find the big bite
The Southeastern Catfish Club traveled to Lake Wylie for their last tournament of 2018. Fifty-three catfish tournament teams were greeted with inclement weather for the December 1st event out of the Buster Boyd Bridge Access area. Fishing began at 7:00 am and ended at 3:00 pm. The field included 122 anglers competing for the $5,320 playout.
Co-directors Josh Coggins and Brian Sipes reported a good bite despite the weather that dumped plenty of rain over the area.
“We had a big turnout with 53 teams,” reported Coggins. “The competition is tough on Lake Wylie where we have a two-fish weigh-in. Finding the big bite is key to placing at the top. It was a wet, windless day, and the bite was awesome!”
With Coggins regular partner, Jimmy Holbrook, busy with maternity duty, he teamed up with Shane Tuell for the tournament. (Jimmy and his wife Layla welcomed their first child, Jeremiah Fisher Holbrook, on Friday night before the tournament.)
“Shane and I caught fish all day,” concluded Coggins. “The highlight of our day was a 32-pound blue in the last hour of the day.”
“The bite overall was good for the weather,” added Snipes. “There were lots of good fish weighed in.”
At the end of the day, it was Ken Frost and Flathead Bill Sutton that claimed the top spot and also had a great story of lost fish and good friends to tell. Since they were coming from different locations, they got an early 3:30 am start so they could meet in Salisbury, NC and then continue to the tournament.
“We got to the Buster Boyd Bridge around 5 am,” recalled Frost. “We stopped for gas at the QT. While getting gas Bill noticed that we had a bad bearing on the trailer and the wheel was about to fall off.”
“Richard Warskow saw us looking at the trailer and came over,” continued Frost. “We told him what was going on and he offered to have his buddy fix it today while we fished the tournament. We got to registration and launched the boat with no issues.”
At blast off Frost and Sutton and about 1/3 of the teams went above the bridge to fish. The remainder of anglers went down the lake. The weather was nice until 10:30 or so with air temps in the mid-50s. The rain set in around 10:30 to 11:00 am and continued all afternoon. Water temps were also in the mid-50-degree range.
“We got anchored and within 10 minutes had two good fish come off,” said Frost. “Then Bill caught a small blue and I caught a small white cat. A couple of hours went by and Bill hooked a fish that was tangled in another line and ended up 45 feet from the boat on the surface and wouldn’t budge. We ended up trying to break the second line and it cut the hook and broke that line and we lost the fish.”
Up to this point, Frost and Sutton had been getting most of their action on cut white perch. They were also using shad, but it had not produced. Mid-day came along and the bite had gotten really slow and the rain had set in. Then, an open spool reel with the clicker on took off like a freight train.
“I locked it down and it bowed up,” said Frost. ”The fish pulled drag for 10 seconds or so and then turned to the boat and then pulled some more line off the reel. After a five minute or so fight we landed a 33-pound blue catfish. An hour went by with no action at all and then just like the last time the same rod took off like a freight train. This time the fish ran out to the main channel pulling drag but once I turned his head he came straight to the boat and was quickly netted. After that things were pretty quiet until we reeled them in to head back.”
When they got to the ramp, they met up with Warskow and discovered that the boat trailer was not fixed. Warskow had actually stopped fishing the tournament to help his friend try to fix Sutton’s trailer but they ran into some problems. While Frost and Sutton were waiting to weigh in, Warskow drove to three more stores trying to find a new hub. Ultimately, Warskowenlisted the help of Jeff Manning and his partner who were able to fix the trailer so the trip home could be made.
After having the most action early on cut perch, the two fish the Frost and Sutton weighed in were both caught on cut shad and totaled 74.45 pounds to seal the win for Team Cat Baby.
“The true heroes of the day were Richard Warskow and his friend and Jeff Manning and his partner Michael Paciocco,” concluded Frost. “It makes me proud to be part of this community filled with guys and gals like these.”
The runner-up spot went to Team Reel Time. Made up of Marty and Jeffery Green, the team’s biggest fish weighed 39 pounds and their two-fish forced the scales to 69.5 pounds and the second-place finish.
“It was not a bad day in the rain,” reported Green. “The weather was cloudy to start, with rain setting in about 10:00 am. It continued for the rest of the day. There was very little wind and air temps were in the mid-50s.”
“We caught 10 fish on the day fishing one of the big creeks on the lower end of the lake,” continued Green. “We fished about six spots during the day, all on the rope. The 39 pounder came out of shallow water, about 6-8 foot deep. The 30 came on a point where birds were working baitfish. We were using gizzard shad and white perch for bait. The fish seemed to prefer small pieces of gizzard shad the best since they were feeding mostly on threadfin shad.”
“It was a relatively uneventful day,” concluded Green. “We just worked our butts off chasing birds feeding on baitfish. We have always been firm believers in following the birds from our days of striper fishing. Find the birds, find the bait, find the fish!”
The Remaining Top Five
3rd – Team Waxhaw Hookers – 68.20 pounds (and Big Fish of 55.25)
Joey, Terry, and David Osborne
4th – Team DC Mudcats – 64.25 pounds
Tommy Andrade and Brandon Mcclain
5th – Team Carolina Blues – 57.10 pounds
Josh Coggins and Shane Tuell
The next scheduled tournament is January 5th on Lake Wateree with access out of Lake Wateree State Park. Fishing hours will be 7:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information on the Southeastern Catfish Club follow them on Facebook. For complete results and tournament schedules visit their website at http://southeasterncatfishclub.com.