Michael Suttner and Cody Thompson win Catfish Weekly National Championship on Lake of the Ozarks
The Catfish Weekly National Championship was characterized by strong winds and pleasure boats that kept the water rocking. Missouri regulations kept anglers on their toes too. The state regulates with a slot of 26- 34-inches where no fish can be kept. So, the best 5 fish limit would be 2 over slot fish and 3 under slot fish. Those regulations added an additional challenge to everyone’s day. Most were able to catch unders, but over slot fish were hard to come by.
When the weigh-in was over on day two, Michael Suttner and Cody Thompson had claimed the first ever National Catfish Championship title. They were one of 52 boats registered for the Lake of the Ozarks event.
Travel may have been the secret to their success. They stated that they were fishing approximately 55 miles from the boat ramp at Public Beach 2 where the weigh-in took place. They weighed in 93.35 pounds to win the two-day event. They had a big fish of 34.82 pounds.
I’m happy,” said Suttner following the awards celebration. “It is an awesome feeling. We tried everything and found a few things that worked. We found our fish in water that varied from 30 to 3 feet deep.”
“I just can’t believe it happened,” said Thompson. “I can’t believe we won. We got down here late Thursday night and prefished on Friday and only caught one fish. We decided to travel long. We traveled more than 200 miles in the last two days in a boat.”
“The wind made it hard to travel,” added Suttner. “Once there we anchored up and caught our fish anywhere from 30 feet to 3 feet deep.”
“We fished the same area both days,” offered Thompson. “We caught about 51 plus pounds on day one and a little more than 42 pounds on day two. We were using fresh cut shad for bait on Hooker’s Terminal Tackle’s hooks. The shad were a little hard to get, you had to wait until it got dark and go up shallow. To get 60 shad we probably threw the net 12 times.”
Honors such as winning a National Championship don’t come without sacrifice. Such was the case for Thompson and Suttner who indicated that it feels better when you earn it.
“We defied a lot of odds to get here,” continued Thompson. “We worked hard. We did not get to bed until late every night.”
“We were only getting about 4 hours of sleep,” chimed in Suttner.
“We beat the boat apart every day coming back in and had to work on it that night to get everything back and ready for the next day.”
“We are very thankful for the folks that ran the tournament,” said Suttner. “It was a very well-run tournament. To hear the guys say how far they come to support us was awesome.”
2nd Place – Ron King, Craig Simler, and Buddy Wisenburger – 83.26 pounds.(with BF – 37.16)
3rd Place – Mike Salazar, Floyd Manley, and Trapper Salazar – 73.50.
4th Place – Gary Taylor and John Young – 68.75
5th Place – Randy Bane and Jerry Dillard – 68.41
Following the weigh-in Jody Harrison and Daniel Parsons spoke about the next National Championship. It will be held out of Rogersville, AL in April 2019.