The Coosa River and Lay Lake were the location of Cabela’s King Kat Super Event on April 1 and 2, 2016. Participating anglers competed for $10,000 in cash and prizes. The Sylacauga, AL event attracted 40 anglers from 8 states to see who could catch the largest 10 catfish in two days of fishing.
Friday, day one of the tournament, was cloudy. Thursday night storms created rising water and heavy currents. Sunny weather returned on Saturday with floating debris in most of the river. Final day temperatures were around 65 degrees with winds at 10 to 15 mph.
Anglers could not fish from midnight until 6:30 am on tournament day when the fishing officially began. Legal fishing waters included the Coosa River from the Logan Martin Dam south to the Lay Dam. Anglers could fish until 3:00 pm and had to be in the weight-in line by 4:00 pm each day. Anyone not in line by the deadline would be disqualified from the tournament. The weigh-in was held at Central Park in Sylacauga.
The B’n’M Poles team of Joey Pounders and Jay Gallop took the lead on day one with a five fish total weight of 88.08 pounds. They added 73.14 pounds on day 2 for a two-day total of 161.22 to earn the first place prize.
Pounders noted the importance of fresh bait in their win. “Catching live fresh shad the morning of the tournament and during the tournament was a significant element of our success,” said Pounders. “They are more frisky and fresh blood is always better than old.”
“We got in late Thursday night,” added Gallop. We didn’t have a chance to catch bait till Friday morning. We were using shad every way we could. We used cut filet, heads and we used them live.”
The B’n’M team fished pretty much the same pattern both days. “We started out up north both days and worked our way south,” explained Gallop. “The water was pretty swift all weekend because of the storms on Thursday. With all the current it was hard to drift so we were anchored all weekend.”
“We set our B’n’M Silver Cat Magnums in Driftmaster Rod Holders,” noted Gallop. “Our reels were spooled with 80 pound Vicious braid and we used 8/0 Daiichi circle hooks on our terminal rig. We tried a lot of different depths and found a lot of structure anywhere between 12 and 40 feet deep.”
Pounders and Gallop took a run-and-gun approach to finding fish both days. “We fished numerous spots,” revealed Pounders. “We would fish a spot for 20 to 30 minutes and take off to the next one. We never stayed anywhere over 30 minutes if we didn’t have action. We fished around 15 or more spots each day. We also mixed up the depths instead of fishing spots with all the same depths.”
The Caledonia, Mississippi team of Pounders and Gallops earned a $4,000 check for their first place win. They also won the Driftmaster Bonus for using Driftmaster Rod Holders on their boat.
Second place honors went to another Caledonia, Mississippi team. Joey Pridmore and Mark Frady had held down second place on day one with 51.72 pounds. Pridmore and Frady added 70.96 pounds on Saturday to hold on to second and finish the tournament with 122.68 pounds.
Pridmore and Frady anchored both days in 15 to 25 feet of water around the steam plant. They used B’n’M rods and Driftmaster Rod Holders to target big flatheads. They landed 25 fish over the weekend using shad for bait.
Third place went to the team of Mike Mitchell from Grant Alabama and Melvin Bobo III of Waukegan, Illinois with 103.66 pounds. They had a good day on Saturday and moved up to their third place finish from eighth place on day one.
Aaron Churchwell of Lindale, Georgia and Jake Herman of Kennesaw, Georgia took fourth place with a weight of 100.78 pounds in their first King Kat Tournament. Churchwell and Herman anchored in the upper part of the river using live bluegill for bait. The team fished deep holes, drop-offs and structures to land 40 fish for the weekend.
Fifth place went to Mike and Wendy Richardson of Childersburg, Alabama with a total weight of 86.42 pounds. The Richardson’s fished the lower part of the lake where they anchored in 25 to 40 feet of water. The team caught 14 fish for the tournament.
David Arrington of LaGrange, Georgia and Kenny Jackson of Pittsview, Alabama won the sixth place spot. The Georgia/Alabama team weighed in 78.88 pounds to claim the spot.
Big Fish of the tournament went to Lonnie and Dawn Fountain of Ranger, Georgia. The husband/wife team used shad to boat their 30.16-pound Big Kat.
For more information on Cabela’s King Kat and complete Coosa results visit their website or Facebook page. The next King Kat tournament will be a local event (1-day) at Morgan City, LA – Atchafalaya River Basin. Mark your calendars for April 9 2016.
For more information on the area visit the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce website.