Father/Son Catfishing Adventures Creates a Champion
by Ron Presley
A young catman’s journey to the 2020 King Kat Classic
Jordan Rose knows catfishing! Keep in mind, Jordan is only 14 years old, but he has been recreational fishing with his dad, Wade Rose, since he was big enough to hold a fishing pole.
“He has always been fascinated with catfish,” recalled the elder Rose. “When he was three years old, we were driving by one of these large water towers and he asked me if I thought they put catfish in it.”
As he grew older, Jordan continued his fascination with catfish. In February 2019 Wade and Jordan attended a custom rod exposition in Winston Salem, NC. While visiting the Batson Enterprises/Team Rainshadow booth they found out about the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail.
“Jordan met rod builder Bill Batson at the show,” added Wade. “They hit it off well, talking for a couple of hours about equipment and fishing. Mr. Batson sent him Team Rainshadow gear to wear throughout the season and now is sending him a custom rod to try out for the catfishing.”
“Jordan couldn’t get the tournament trail off his mind,” continued Wade. “He aggravated me until I took him to his first tournament on Santee Cooper the following year. We didn’t do very well but we really enjoyed it and saw some huge catfish at the weigh-in. Truthfully, Jordan wasn’t the only one hooked. I was too.”
The father/son team completed that first King Kat competition out of Black’s Camp in South Carolina and continued to fish throughout 2020. The more they fished the better they got. They developed a love for tournament fishing. By year’s end, they had fished 7 King Kat tournaments including the Classic at Milford Lake, Milford, KS.
The team continued to learn about catfishing as they fished more tournaments. Finally, the Classic in KS rolled around. It proved to be a challenge for them and all the anglers. A cold spell dropped temperatures and created a difficult bite. Wade and Jordan decided that they would try to catch a 5 fish limit of unders as their strategy.
“Milford Lake has a slot limit of 25- to 40-inches,” explained Wade. “With the cold spell, 40-inch fish would be hard to come by. We found a 5- to 8-feet deep thermocline at the north part of the lake. We were at the causeway and there were a lot of fish in the 22- to 35-inch range. We needed 5 under 25 inches.”
Team Rose found a good bite and caught 50 to 75 fish in 2 to 3 hours each day. Given the Milford slot, they needed 5 fish under the slot or 4 fish under and 1 fish over. Once they had 5 fish just under 25 inches, they headed out to deeper water.
“We fished 25-to-30-foot channel washouts in the middle of the lake,” confirmed Wade. “We wanted to catch an over 40-inch cat so we could cull one of the unders. We hooked two but didn’t get the hook set on either one.”
Wade and Jordan were using 6/0 circle hooks and due to a light bite were not hooking up. Jordan realized the problem and switched out to 10/0 hybrid hooks to match the larger fish they had found. Unfortunately, they never did get the big one they needed on the line.
They weighed a 5 fish limit each day, all caught on frozen shad. Wade had to take a little ribbing from Jordan about using the smaller hooks.
“Dad,” Jordan said. “If we had used my 10/0 hooks, we might have won the tournament.”
With the holidays coming soon and family coming to visit, there is sure to be some storytelling. Wade will be hearing more about using10/0 hooks for sure. For the coming year, Jordan says they will focus on the big fish rather than the limit. It looks like dad is going to have to build a bigger livewell!
“Fishing the tournament trail and then the Classic was a special time for son and dad,” concluded Wade. “I’m not sure why he likes catfishing so much. He just always has. He has them in his aquarium, in his farm pond, and catfishing is the only type of fishing we do.”
In addition to Jordan’s Junior Angler of the Year title, the team finished 9th overall out of 223 teams in the yearly point standings.
Jordan attends Ridgeview Middle School in Clintwood Virginia. His proud mother and father are Kelly Rose and Wade Rose of Coeburn, Virginia.
CatfishNOW is pleased to congratulate this young catman on his achievements and wish him well in his future catfishing adventures. We are sure to see more of him on the stage in future catfish tournaments.