Murphy and Snyder win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on Old Hickory
Catfish anglers from 11 states traveled to the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake for a King Kat Tournament Trail presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Forty teams gathered at Gallatin, TN to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.
As always, anglers approached the event on April 6th with optimism. Competitors were vying for $10,000 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.
Good weather blessed the anglers. The water temperature was about 56 degrees. The skies were sunny and light winds made for smooth boating. The air temperature was a mild 80 degrees. The current was decent for the Cumberland, but not as fast as many of the anglers would have liked.
Results for the Top Teams
Anthony Murphy and Michael Snyder from Millersburg, OH claimed the top spot at Gallatin. They weighed 128.94 pounds to win. They earned a check for $4,000.00.
Murphy and Snyder spent the whole week prefishing and reported that tournament day was the best they saw. They were fishing close to the dam targeting fish in the river channel.
“We were anxious to get to our spot,” reported Snyder. “We knew there was a lot of fish there that we marked the previous day. We caught two solid unders in less than 5 minutes the day before and knew we marked good ones.”
“The bite was early, confirmed Murphy. “We had our limit and had caught all our fish by 10 am. “We fished ledges with wood cover in about 40- to 50-foot water. We were spot-locking over the structure using skipjack for bait.
“Within the first hour we landed our two overs and was sure we were setting pretty good,” concluded Snyder. Then we got a 33-inch fat under. We hadn’t weighed our fish so wasn’t sure where we were. We were hearing 105 pounds and 111 pounds weighing in before us so we were excited hearing we had 128.94 pounds. But we knew there were several good teams yet to weigh in.”
The runner-up spot went to Tim Spencer from Chrisney, IN and Mickey Hammers from Rockport, IN. They weighed 111.12 pounds that included the Big Kat. They earned $2,000 for second and $800 for Big Kat.
Spencer ant Chrisney fished south around the dam on ledges. They caught a total of 5 fish on skipjack but could only weigh 4. The Big Kat weighed 50.96 pounds.
“Our day started off slow,” said Spencer. “By noon we had moved upriver and started looking on ledges on inside bends. We marked some good fish on a tree in 50 foot of water. We spot-locked on them and 20 minutes later we had 3 overs and 1 under in the boat!”
Sam Cate and Chris Vittetoe took the third-place spot with 105.6 pounds. Cate, from Mascot, TN and Vittetoe from Knoxville, TN earned a check for $1,500.00.
They found their fish around the dam on ledges. They anchored all day in about 30 feet of water. They used skipjack to land 6 fish for the day.
The fourth-place spot went to William West from Jackson, OH, and Ronnie Duncan from Wellston, OH. They weighed 105.12 pounds to earn $800.
West and Duncan fished south around the dam area. They found fish hanging tight to the river channel in 40 feet of water. They spot-locked on top of the fish using skipjack for bait.
Carl Morris Jr. from Johnstown, OH and Rob Parsons from Mr. Vernon, OH rounded out the top five with 82.38 pounds to earn $550.
Morris and Parsons found their fish south, between flippers and the dam. They also targeted the river channel. They spot-locked over the fish with skipjack for bait.
The Remaining Top Catfish Teams
6th Place – Frank White and Aaron Preece – 81.74 pounds
7th Place – Scott Ludick and Justin Cook – 71.66
8th Place – Lonnie and Dawn Fountain – 71.44
9th Place – Casey Tutorow and Andrew Han – 71.06
10 Place – Mike Mitchel and Rick Sexton – 65.44
Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked Sumner County Tourism for having King Kat back for the 5th year. Their support helped make the Cumberland stop successful. He also thanked Flipper Bait and Tackle for taking care of all the anglers at Bull Creek Ramp.
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.