King Kat Decatur, AL was a windblown event in 2016. Anglers from 12 states competed in the weekend competition that saw mild temperatures in the low 60’s, but 20 to 25 mph winds providing an obstacle for anglers to deal with. Nevertheless, two catfish anglers brought a personal best (PB) catfish to the scales that help them in the event.
Wheeler Lake has been producing a lot of “Facebook catfish” this season. Every time I see another big cat photo from Wheeler it makes me want to go. Well, I think this is my chance. I am making plans to visit the King Kat event at Decatur, AL on March 11, 2017.
Last year it was the Driftmaster Rod Holder team of Jackie and Jonathon Cooksey that claimed the Wheeler Lake King Kat title while at the same time adding a personal best to Jonathon’s scorecard.
Jonathan had registered his previous personal best only one week earlier right there on the same lake. He, his dad Jackie and David Shipman had teamed up to fish the Alabama Catfish Trail event on Wheeler that previous week. He boosted his previous PB of 60 pounds to 75 pounds and also claimed Big Kat honors for the day. “My PB only lasted a week,” said a victorious Jonathan. “I was glad to replace it with the 86.78 though.”
The second-place team also had a PB in their total weight. The team of Carl Morris Jr. and Rob Parsons weighed in 147.96 pounds. Parsons added a PB of 85.68 pounds to the total. That fish was big enough to claim the 2nd Big Kat prize.
Those big fish are the very reason catfish anglers are anxious to visit Decatur, AL in February. They know it may be them hoisting a PB on stage at the weigh-in.
Late registration will be held Friday, March 10, the day before competition, at Turner – Surles Community Resource Center, 702 Sycamore Street NW, Decatur, AL from 5-7 pm. Captains Meeting/Seminar will follow at 7pm. Anglers must be a member of the King Kat Association to fish this event. To pre-register go online to: www.kingkatusa.com or call (502) 384-5924.
Legal waters for the event will be all of Lake Wheeler. There will be $1,000 in bonus money added to the event this year. The winner will receive a bonus of $500 if they are staying in a Decatur, AL hotel/motel. There will also be a $500 drawing for anglers who stayed in a Decatur, AL hotel/motel during the competition.
The tournament weigh-in will be held at Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market Street NW, Decatur, AL. Tournament hours each day are 6:30 AM until 3:00 PM. All anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4:00 PM with a 5-fish limit per team. In the interest of conservation an preservation of the sport, only live fish will be weighed in and all fish will be released after the tournament.
For a complete list of rules visit the King Kat website at: www.kingkatusa.com or phone Cabela’s King Kat Headquarters at (502) 384-5924.
Free Kids Fishing Rodeo
In conjunction with the tournament the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will hold the Cabela’s King Kat Kids event on Saturday, March 11 at Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market Street NW, Decatur, AL. The event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 and younger. Sign up is from 8:00 AM till 9:00 AM. The Kid’s Fishing Event well start at 9:00 AM and continue until 11:00 AM.
All children will receive a prize, just for entering. Bring your favorite rod, reel and bait and show your true fishing ability. All children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Prizes for winners will be given in two age groups, 0-7 and 8-12. The event is free to all children 12 and under. All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of the six, Outdoor Promotions $1,000.00 scholarships to be awarded in October.
Alabama law allows only one fish over 34 inches per person. That means in tournament competition any team can only weigh in two fish over 34 inches and 3 fish that measure less than 34 inches. Interestingly enough, it is often the unders that are hard to come by on Wheeler. Team after team in the past have reported having to throw back fish over 34 inches as they search for their 5 fish limit.
The Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce has extended a catfish welcome to all Cabela’s King Kat anglers and their guest. They also invite them to take the opportunity to enjoy the many attractions in the area.
Good luck to all the anglers. May your unders be numerous and heavy.
Fish with passion!
For more information on this area call: (256) 353-5312 or visit the Chamber website at: www.dcc.org.