Santee Cooper is known for an abundance of big catfish. Predictions to win have been as high as 250 pounds for King Kat’s two-day 2017 tournament scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18. The 2016 event was won with 217.20 pounds.
On Wednesday, preceding the tournament, a cold front came through and the forecast was for a warm front on Friday. Organizers are just hoping the wind does not get up too much.
“The worst thing possible on the Santee Cooper lakes is WIND,” stated tournament director Jeremy Coe. “I’m thinking that practice days for the guys fishing early this week have not been the best. I’ve heard reports of not so good fishing, but everyone I have talk to thinks that the tournament days could possibly be the best they’ve been in a while.”
“I’m hoping the fronts and the wind will go away before the weekend and we see some big fish,” continued Coe. “My prediction right now is for lots of quality fish and some really big fish!”
The fun begins Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Anglers may fish both Lakes Marion and Moultrie. Fishing begins at 6:30 am on both Friday and Saturday. Fishing ends at 3:00 pm each day and anglers must be in the weigh-In line by 4:00pm at John C. Land Landing (4404 Greenall Rd., Summerton, SC 29102). Any competitors not in line by this time will be disqualified from the tournament.
Last year it was Mark and Neal Stanley claiming the top spot at Cabela’s King Kat on Santee Cooper. The father/son team from Chesterfield, SC led the tournament after day one. They drifted all day on day-one to catch their tournament leading weight of 161.60 pounds on 5 fish. That same strategy was successful on day-two also.
“We drifted all day again using mullet and shad in 15 to 29 feet of water,” reported Mark. The pair worked hard all day but could only come up with 3 fish on day-two. Nevertheless, their lead from day-one was too great for any competitor to overcome. Team Stanley took the 2016 title with a total weight of 217.20 pounds. All their fish came from Lake Moultrie.
The team of Jimmy Holbrook and Layla Ledbetter came close. They finished only about 3 pounds short of the leaders. They also caught their fish drifting. They finished the tournament with 214.25 pounds to claim the second-place spot.
Third place went to Phillip and Wesley Rollins from Lancaster, SC. Team Rollins drifted on day-one and began that way on day-two before going to the anchor to finish the tournament. They finished the tournament with a two-day total of 207.75 pounds, and had the second Big Kat at 51.55 pounds.
Big Fish of the tournament went to the team of Monty Hill and Andy Cagle. Cagle was on the rod when he caught a 52.15-pound blue catfish to lead the Big Kat honors on day-one. That weight held up on day-two to give them the Big Kat honors for the tournament.
Cabela’s King Kat travels next to W. Tawakoni, TX. Anglers will fish Lake Tawakoni
Event registration can be accomplished on the King Kat website for the event.