Mitchell, Mitchell, and Sexton win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on Watts Bar
Catfish anglers from eleven states traveled to Loudon, TN on the Tennessee River (Watts Bar Lake) for a King Kat Tournament Trail Super Event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Fifty-four teams gathered to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.
Competitors were vying for $16,000 in cash and prizes, and an opportunity to qualify for the $120,000 Classic Championship to be held November 1 and 2, 2019, on the Tennessee River (Wheeler Lake) at Decatur, Alabama.
Weather on day one rainy in the morning changing to sunny and 85 degrees. Good current in the river made for a good bite. The day-one weigh-in had 51 out of 54 teams weighing fish. Day two was characterized by light wind with thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Air temps were a little cooler at 75 degrees.
The good bite on day one resulted in some good fish coming to the scales. The top four teams had more than 100 pounds as Chris and David Roberson took a commanding lead with 146.56 pounds. They also held the Big Kat lead with a 64.64-pound Tennessee River beast. The next closest team was Michael Jordan and Charlie Parsons with 117.70 pounds.
Results for the Top Catfish Teams
It was a big fish and a come from behind win that produced back to back champs on Watts Bar. Mike Mitchell, Jackson Mitchell and Rick Sexton came from 5th place on day one to become repeat champions on Watts Bar Lake in Loudon, TN.
Last year’s winners brought a two-day total of 228.82 pounds to the scales to claim the win. Their day-two weight was aided by the second big fish of the tournament at 63.58 pounds, just a pound away from the Big Kat of the tournament.
Mike and Jackson from Rogersville, AL, and Rick from Helenwood, TN earned $6,000.00 for first place. They found their fish close to structure in the downtown Loudon area. They were fishing on the rope in 15-25 feet of water using skipjack for bait.
“This was a very different year than last year,” reported Mike. “We covered about 30 miles of water trying to get the right bites. We anchored fished and moved around a lot trying to find some bigger fish. We caught a bunch of fish on day one—probably at least 20. Only 4 of those were overs and nothing bigger than 30 pounds. The flathead bite was definitely better for us on day one.”
Mike said the fish were relating to rock and wood structure where they tempted them with cut skipjack. They weighed in 5 flatheads and 5 blues for their 10 fish limit during the two-day tournament.
“Day two was definitely slower,” continued Mike. “We caught 10 fish and 3 were over 34 inches. The big fish was caught with only 15 minutes to spare on our last anchor in a spot we have never fished.
“Always I would like to thank my sponsors, G3 Boats, Team Catfish, Big Cat Fever, Slime Line, Monster Rod Holders, Foley Spoons, Blacksheep Catfish Leaders, River Rats Reel Repair, and TTI Blakemore.
The runner-up spot went to Jared Coker from Corryton, TN and Terohn Heinrich from Knoxville, TN. They moved up from 4th place on day one with a two-day weight of 217.98 pounds to earn a check for $2,600.00.
Coker stated that fishing had been tough throughout the week but the rain and front had improved the fishing greatly. The team targeted fish mid-lake looking for 25-foot water and structure. They anchored all day using skipjack to catch around a 40 fish for the tournament.
David and Darlene Hill claimed the third-place spot with 195.16 pounds. The Louisville, TN team earned a check for $2,000.00.
They targeted deep water and structure near the Watts Bar Dam to catch their fish. Davie and Darlene used skipjack for bait and landed 30 fish for the weekend.
Fourth place went to Chris Robinson from Locus Grove, Ga and David Robinson from McDonough, GA. They had a two-day total of 194.02 pounds that included the Big Kat of the tournament. The Big Kat was a flathead that weighed 64.64 pounds and gave Chris his new personal best. The team earned $1,100 for placing 4th, $1,100 for Big Kat, and $1,000 for the hotel bonus for staying at a Loudon County hotel. Ironically, they won both $500 hotel bonuses. One for the Big Kat and one by random drawing.
Team Robinson found fish in the downtown Loudon area and led the tournament after day one with a whopping 146.56 pounds. They also caught the Big Kat of the tournament on day one with just 10 minutes of fishing time remaining before the 3:00 stop time.
They caught more than 20 fish on day one with most of them coming before noon. Day two was tougher and the team had to move several times to find fish. They also used skipjack for bait.
Rounding out the top five and pulling out the comeback of the day was Carl Morris Jr. from Johnstown, OH and Rob Parsons from Mt. Vernon, OH. They came back from 25th place on day one with a weight of 65.22 to a two-day total weight of 180.48 pounds to earn fifth place and a check for $800.00.
Morris and Parsons fished downriver from Loudon using various techniques to catch their fish. They anchored, drifted, and dragged baits. They were targeting structure on flats in 15 feet of water to land over 30 fish for the weekend. They also used skipjack for bait.
The Remaining Top Ten Catfish Teams
6th Place – Michael Jordan and Charlie Parsons – 179.56
7th Place – Chris Ward and Travis Dyer – 168.60
8th Place – Anthony Murphy and Michael Snyder – 168.52
9th Place – Collin O’Marro and Todd Semenik – 164.84
10 Place – Casey Tutorow and Andrew Han – 163.32
Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked the Loudon County Visitors Bureau and the City of Loudon for making the event a huge success for the 5th year. He also thanked the Lions Club for feeding the anglers on Thursday night.
“Thanks to Butch Thompson at G-Daddy’s Bait and Tackle for lending us a UTV,” added Coe. “It really made the weigh-in and transporting fish a whole lot smoother. Also, a thank you to the Parks and Recreation workers for assisting the King Kat crew in directing traffic and transporting fish.”
“We look forward as always to returning,” concluded Coe. “We love to visit beautiful Loudon, TN on the banks of the Tennessee River on Watts Bar Lake. The teams caught a lot of fish and really enjoy coming here to compete.”
Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s, Excel Boats, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Humminbird, Minn Kota, B’n’M Poles, Gamma Line, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Ego Nets, Xtreme Bait Systems, Clear Boards, EFX Graphics, Catfish Now, Fin n’ Frames, and Crown Trophy