Team Barner Wins KingKat on Carlyle Lake
by Ron Presley
It’s a New Day at Cabela’s KingKat.
The Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat Tournament Trail held its fourth event of the 2022 season on Carlyle Lake at Carlyle, IL.
Twenty-five teams from eight states fished the June 11, 2022 event. The weigh-in took place at Dam West Boat Ramp.
“We had 56 anglers fishing fair weather conditions,” reported emcee and weighmaster Kevin “Stump” Grant. “Air temps rose to the mid-80s with variable winds, mostly sunshine, with occasional clouds. The weigh-in consisted mainly of channel cats, which Carlyle Lake is known for.”
As an American Catfishing Association (ACA) Tournament Alliance Member, participating ACA member anglers enjoy many benefits, including a chance at winning the 2022 SeaArk giveaway boat. More details are available on the ACA website.
The weigh-in stage was managed by Grant while other members of the team handled various other duties required for a smooth and efficient weigh-in.
First Place honors went to Ron and Wanda Barner. The husband/wife team are regular competitors on the King Kat trail. Last year at the Classic they won the Lowes Boats One Bite-One Boat/Big Fish Points Challenge. The Missouri couple weighed in 27.79 pounds at Carlyle to take the top spot and earn a check for $4,000.
“We have had a great day,” commented Wanda following the tournament. “The weather was wonderful with a light south wind.”
Ron and Wanda drifted all day into the wind. They were targeting structure in relatively shallow water. They discovered there was only one cut of bait that the fish were liking on tournament day.
“We caught the winning fish in a stump patch,” recalled Wanda. “We were in about 10 feet of water in the middle of the lake. We used cut shad for bait, center sections. The fish would not bite anything else. We caught about 15 fish for the day.”
“All thanks goes to our Lord and Savior,” concluded Wanda. “He is the one giving us the health to travel and chase the catfish. Ron and I want to thank Cabela’s for putting on a great tournament. Mr. Bob Denen and staff are doing a great job. I would encourage all catfish anglers to come and fish with them.
The runner-up spot went to Eric Sasse and Lance Waggoner. They brought a 3-fish limit to the scales weighing 26.32 pounds to earn a check for $1,300.
Sasse and Waggoner used the trolling motor to hold direction as they drifted all day long in what they described as a “challenging wind.” They reported catching most of the bigger fish on the northern end of Carlyle but they fished all over and caught fish all over.
“We were catching 6 to 7 pounders all day,” reported Sasse. “We fished water as deep as 12 feet, but most of our weigh-in fish came from 6 to 7-foot water.”
Carlyle Lake is basically in Sasse’s backyard. He has caught some good channel cats there including his personal best of 26 pounds so he knows the caliber of fish in the lake. In 2020 he won the King Kat event fishing with Levi Sasse and Zac Kopp. He likes to use big baits and often does well on Carlyle Lake.
“We were using 5- to 6-inch shad,” explained Sasse. “We were using big baits for big fish. We were basically using the whole shad. We want to thank Cabela’s King Kat for bringing the tournament to Carlyle.”
Third Place and Big Kat
The third spot went to Thomas and Timothy Walsh. They didn’t have time to prefish but they still found success. They brought 25.05 pounds to the scales to earn the 3rd place check for $1,300. Their bag included Big Kat of the tournament at 11.52 pounds. The big Carlyle Lake channel cat added $1,000 to their payday.
“Thank you Cabela’s King Kat and all the sponsors,” said Thomas on a Facebook post. “From what I saw this weekend I believe the trail is making a comeback. Very well ran! Congrats to Ron and Wanda Barner on the win and all that placed.”
Fourth Place went to the brother team of Lonnie and Donnie Fountain. No strangers to receiving a paycheck, Lonnie and Donnie traveled from Georgia to fish the Carlyle event. They brought 24.70 pounds to the scales to earn the 4th place check of $700.
Second Big Kat
The second Big Kat honors went to Josh Mayes, Tyler Sapp, and Mike Doyle with a 10.73-pound Carlyle channel cat.
“We just couldn’t get the big bite,” stated Doyle as he sat in the hot seats with the lead for a while.
The Carlyle event also featured a well-attended kids’ rodeo. The kids all had fun and caught a lot of fish. The kids fishing rodeo took place at the Dam West Boat Ramp on
Marine Road as the tournament anglers competed on the lake.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Lake showed us great hospitality,” Grant said. “They have some of the finest facilities that we have visited on the King Kat trail.” “The whole King Kat crew want to send very special congratulations to Mister Ron and Miss Wanda on the win. They are two of the most deserving individuals. Thanks also to all the anglers, their families, and our sponsors.”
The next King Kat event will be on August 6, 2022, in Gallipolis, OH. Anglers will be fishing the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.
How to Qualify for the KingKat Classic
The 2022 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat Classic will be held on the Tennessee River out of Decatur, AL. Anglers will be launching at Ingalls Harbor on Wheeler Lake.
To compete at the Classic ALL captains must qualify, and ALL co-anglers must be a member of the KingKat Association. There are several ways that anglers can qualify to fish the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat Classic.
- Finish in the top 5 at any regular season event
- Qualify as one of the top 50 points teams
- Enter a minimum of 5 KingKat events
- Finish in the top 3 of an ACA Alliance tournament or an affiliate club event and fish at least 1 KingKat event. (It is the responsibility of the affiliate club director to submit the proper paperwork)
The Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat Tournament Trail launched the 2022 season under new ownership. New owner Bob Denen is well known and respected in the fishing industry. Denen shares ownership in the trail with TJ Perkins and Andy Denen, Bob’s son. Perkins’ role involves all financial operations and Andy will produce the media and TV coverage. New ideas and new momentum are at the forefront as they present the 2022 tournament trail.