KingKat’s Sweet Sixteen Invitational Tournament Rewards Anglers for Loyalty to the Trail
by Ron Presley
Sixteen invited teams will compete on Lake Marion beginning with a Team-on-Team competition in a Sweet Sixteen bracket-style format.
Sixteen catfish teams are preparing for a tournament out of Palmetto Shores RV Resort in Summerton, SC. The full-service resort is located just off I-95 on Lake Marion. The resort hosts all kinds of events, from Super Bowl weekends to a Holiday Tree Lighting. I have heard so many good things about Palmetto Shores I am anxious to visit for the first time and find out what all the fuss is about.
One of this year’s events is the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat Sweet Sixteen tournament. Palmetto Shores will host this bracket-style tournament January 26-29, 2023. It is an invitational tournament, limited to 16 teams, with invites going to the top teams in the 2022 King Kat Points Race. The event provides teams with lodging, food, camaraderie, and a weekend of fun. Sweet Sixteen is KingKat’s way of rewarding anglers for being loyal to the tournament trail.
Following one-on-one bracket-style fishing on day one and day two, the remaining 4 undefeated teams will face off on championship Saturday in a shootout for the top 4 places. The remaining teams will compete for 5th place.
This format adds a new twist to tournament catfishing with the head-to-head competition on the first two days. Most anglers view the added stress of fishing against one team as just one more challenge to overcome.
Knowing the reputation of Santee Cooper Lakes, anglers can develop a strategy going into the competition but with a three-day tournament weather can change everything, and adapting to change can be part of the challenge along with the head-to-head competition.
One of the teams competing is the B’m’M Poles prostaff team of Ryan Lawrence and Mark Blauvelt. These two seasoned competitors represent the high caliber of anglers vying for the win at Palmetto Shores.
“When I fish events I don’t pay too much attention to how many boats I’m fishing against,” commented Lawrence. “I worry about what we are doing in our boat and making the right calls through the whole event.”
With that said, he does see the event as a little more stressful.
“I love that it is a different format,” continued Lawrence. “It’s definitely a little more stressful, plus we will be in South Carolina and I’m not very familiar with the water. On the other hand, it can be very rewarding when we can figure things out and do well in the tournament.”
“The Sweet Sixteen is a reward for being loyal to the trail,” added Blauvelt. “Ryan and I are very pleased to be a part of this innovative approach to tournament catfishing. Good luck to all the teams.”
The Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s KingKat organization will be live streaming all three weigh-ins and also be live podcasting from the event. Interested fans can tune in on the KingKat Facebook page.
Complete tournament schedules can be found on their website. The 2023 schedule features 21 events including the Classic on Wheeler Lake out of Huntsville, AL.