The JKV tournament on the Ohio River drew some of the best catfish anglers in the county to the last trail event of the season. The JKV trail has been characterized in 2016 with a river out of its banks and the current cranking or a summer drought with no current. Sometimes it was 30 mph winds like the Oct. 29th event that crowned the Fall Champs.
Regardless of the conditions, JKV catfish anglers always seem to come through with some good catches. Dale Kerns and Greg Edwards did just that. “Kerns and Edwards swept the event with 122 pounds,” said tournament director Josh Vanover. “Their bag included a 68.9-pound hawg that took big fish honors.”
Second place went to the team of Casey Tutorow and John Lemaster with 64.3 pounds. “Fresh bait and persistence was the key,” said Tutorow. “We had fish schooled up in about a 200-yard area. We drifted over them, probably 20 times, throughout the day.”
The Indianapolis, Indian team is sponsored by Warrior Cat Tackle, Monster Rod Holders and Whisker Wear Apparel.
Adam Winder and Kelly Kriesle weighed in 63.2 pounds to claim the third spot after a change of strategy. “Drifting and dragging where we prefished the weekend before wasn’t working,” said Winder. “I told my partner we needed to go lockdown on structure with some fresh skipjack.”
Their strategy worked in the dropping water. “We anchored up on wood structure in deep water,” continued Winder. “The fish were tight to the bottom.” They are sponsored by Bottom Dwellers Tackle, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Hall marine and Blake Mackey Painting.
Tony and Gene Fuller pulled down the fourth-place spot with 50.1 pounds. “We anchored using a drift-sock off the back of the boat to keep us straight,” said Tony. “We tucked in behind the islands to block the wind. It picked up to about 25 mph after 10:30 and the bite left with it.”
Team Fuller used skipjack for bait. “We caught our fish early, continued Tony. “They got smaller as the day went on. The depth finder broke before we started, so I went off places I had caught fish before. It paid off and we took fourth. We lost some good fish at the boat, but nothing that would have taken the win. We might have finished second if we had got those other fish in the boat.”
Rob Clodfelder (Whisker Wear Apparel) and Ethan Taylor finished out the top five. They weighed in 45.1 pounds for the weekend by targeting wood structure and current breaks.
“We got on a great shelf,” reported Clodfelder. “It ran about a quarter mile with 22 to 26 foot water and plenty of wood and rock on the bottom. Suspend drifting and bumping that spot produced 4 fish.”
Boat control became near impossible on their first spot because of increasing wind speeds.
“We moved to a stretch of river that was somewhat out of the direct wind,” explained Clodfelder. “We were able to get our fifth fish off a ledge in about 38 feet of water on a suspend drift.”
“Our success came with small baits while suspend drifting,” concluded Clodfelder. “The soft tip of the Blackhorse Black Cat rods were the ticket for the timid and soft bite. It was another great event put on by JKV!”
An awards banquet in December will honor the 2016 points champions, Wayne, Jennifer and Connor King. The Dec. 3rd event will honor the top 10 in the points race along with a few other awards according to Vanover.
The JKV Tournament Trail had 178 teams, from 14 different states fishing with them during the 2016 year. To keep up with JKV follow them on Facebook.