Huge weight wins at Garland, TX. Three-tenths of a pound separated first and second place.
Catfish anglers from several states traveled to Lake Ray Hubbard for a King Kat Tournament Trail Super Event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Sixteen teams gathered at Garland, TX to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.
Anglers fishing the February 14 – 15, 2020 event were vying for $4,740 in cash and prizes, and an opportunity to qualify for the $120,000 Classic Championship to be held October 30 – 31, 2020 on Milford Lake in Milford, KS.
A good bite on day one resulted in some good fish coming to the scales which gave anglers good reason to expect more big fish on the final day of the two-day Super Event. Friday was 60 degrees and sunny with light winds. Anglers fished a similar day on Saturday but with partly cloudy skies, slightly higher temperatures at 64 degrees, and winds increasing to 10 mph.
An exciting weigh-in resulted on day two when winning total weights were registered at well over 200 pounds and only .3 pounds separated the top two teams.
The top spot at Garland, TX went to Steve Jones and Travis Brown. Jones from Dallas and Brown from Sanger, TX weighed in a whopping 263.8 pounds to edge out the second-place team by only .3/10ths of a pound to earn a check for $ 2,500.00. Their monster bag included the Big Kat of the Tournament at 45.50 pounds.
Jones and Brown started the drifting shallow but moved to deeper water as the day went on. They reported a significant decrease in the bite after 8:30 on day two. The team used shad to catch around 20 fish on day one, but only 10 on day two.
The runner-up spot went to Daniel Miles from Irving, TX and Paul Miles from Lake Dallas. Team Miles had an outstanding two-day weight of 263.5 pounds to just miss the top spot. They earned the second-place check of $1,200.
The Miles brothers fished the north part of the lake. They were anchored in deep water in the middle of Ray Hubbard using shad for bait.
Team Horton took the third-place honors with 249.4 pounds of Lake Ray Hubbard cats. Eric and Jordon made the trip from Derby, KS to fish the tournament and earn a check for $750.
“We planned on fishing shallow when we showed up,” explained Eric. “Upon arrival, the water on the north end was only 48 degrees with no bait present. The further south I went the warmer the water got. The temperature was 52 degrees at mid-lake and the bait was present.”
In prefishing Eric started dragging baits in 30 feet of water on flats. He reported that there was so much wood around the structure it was hard to drag without snagging. He caught a fish around 25 pounds on Wednesday.
“On Thursday morning, I went back and caught three fish in the first hour,” Eric said. “They weighed 30, 26, and 22 pounds. I packed up and left because I didn’t want to catch all the fish prefishing. I went to Tawakoni and fun fished for the rest of the day. Following the same pattern, I caught a 42 and a 37 there.”
“On day one of the tournament we had a light north wind and the bite was hot,” continued Eric. “We had a full stringer by 10 am and focused on upgrading. Every fish prefishing and on day one came on large chunks of cut shad.”
On day two the bite slowed way down and by 11:00 they only had one 23-pound fish. in the boat. The wind started blowing strong out of the south and they decided to stay with what they were doing and grind it out.
“We believed that we could put together a decent stringer by staying the course,” said Eric. “At 1 pm the bite turned on and by 2:15 we were sitting on a good bag. Unlike day one, every fish on day two came on shad heads.”
Eric and Jordan caught 125 pounds on day one and added 124 pounds on day two. Those two very consistent days earned them the third-place finish. Eric gave all the credit to Jordon for reeling in the fish. He said he didn’t reel in any.
Rounding out the Top Five
4th Place – Jimmy Lane and Jason Farmer – 124.90
5th Place – Jerry Ishcomer and Michael Smith – 79.60
King Kat spokesman, Bobby Brown thanked the Garland Convention and Vistors Bureau for hosting the tournament and bringing tournament catfishing to the area. Thanks went also to Dana Lodge with Bass Pro Shops, Kelly Tylenda (events coordinator), Holiday Inn Express Garland. and the Tracker team for their support of the tournament.
The 2020 Championship
This year’s Cabela’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held October 30 – 31, 2020 on Milford Lake in Milford, KS. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $120,000 in cash and prizes. The points race is set to pay $30,000 to the top 20 places based on the competitor’s top-five finishes.
Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s, Excel Boats, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Humminbird, Minn Kota, B’n’M Poles, Gamma Line, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Ego Nets, Xtreme Bait Systems, EFX Graphics, Catfish Now, Fin n’ Frames, WavePro, Kiobassa Sausage, and Crown Trophy Wave Pro.