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Casey and Lowman win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on Lake Tawakoni

catfish, tournament, blue catfish

The Big Kat of the tournament weighed 67.80 pounds. 

Catfish anglers from several states traveled to Lake Tawakoni for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Twenty-seven teams gathered at West Tawakoni, TX to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Anglers fishing the March 7, 2020 event were vying for $6,890in 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.

Catfish anglers were greeted by a beautiful day at Lake Tawakoni. With a history of big fish weigh-ins expectations were high. Temperatures in the mid 60’s, partly cloudy skies, and light winds, gusting at times, created the perfect environment for the weigh-in at West Tawakoni City Park.

Results for the Top Catfish Teams

First Placecatfish, tournament, blue catfish

Local anglers Mickey Casey and Kelly Lowman brought 152.3 pounds to the scales to claim the top spot at Tawakoni. They earned a check for $3,500. Their biggest fish was 52.4 pounds.

“We made a lot of drifts in 24-25 feet of water,” reported Casey. “We just kept catching 30-inch fish. We couldn’t catch a big fish. I finally caught a good one but it did not look like we were gonna’ win this thing. Kelly hooked a good one at the end of our drift about 1:00. We had about 70 pounds.”

Kelly’s fish gave them some hope. They left the deeper water and started a drift in 13 feet of water. They changed strategy by cutting some big baits and putting it on the big rods.

“We use big fresh gizzard shad,” added Lowman. Not frozen shad, not brined shad, Fresh gizzard shad!”

“As soon as we got into the wind away from the bank the big fish started biting,” Casey said. “It wasn’t 10 minutes later the Parks Planner Board went straight down. We caught our two biggest fish in that deeper water and that was it. We caught 9 fish in all.”

Casey gave credit to the Parks Planner boards saying, “If I can’t tear em’ up they can’t be torn up. They have given me good service. I lost one the other day and Parks sent me another right away.”

Casey can be reached at 972-365-2404. He is owner/operator of a guide service on Lake Tawakoni []

Second Placecatfish, tournament, blue catfish

The runner-up spot went to Mark Thompson and John Jamison with 148.1 pounds. The team’s bag included a big fish of 52.80 pounds and earned them a check for $1,500.

The Kansas team fished the northeast part of Lake Tawakoni. They did not have an early bite like some of the teams.

“We had 4 bites and caught 4 fish,” reported Thompson. “Our bite was later, after about 10:00 am, but the fish bit throughout the day. We used gizzard shad for bait.

Third Place

The third-place spot went to another Kansas team, Lance and Chase Nolan. The Eldorado KS team weighed in 123.6 pounds with a big fish of 46.3 pounds.

They described the bite as “OK” and early. They experienced a slow afternoon bite. They caught their fish on cut shad.

Fourth Place and Big Fishcatfish, tournament, blue catfish

Michael Davis and Jesse Neufeld rounded out the teams in the money. They brought 117 pounds to the scale and it included Big Kat of the tournament at 67.8 pounds. Fourth place earned them a check for $350 and Big Kat added another $540.

Another team from Kansas, they reported tough fishing. They concentrated their efforts “south of the bridge” where they also used Parks Planer Boards.

“The big fish came on cut shad,” reported Davis. “We knew he was big. He made a couple of really good drag runs on us, but once he was tired, he played pretty nice. It was Jesse’s new personal best.”

The Remaining Top Ten

5th Place – David Spivey and Lisa Hill – 98.20

6th Place – Matthew Allen and Tim Gregory – 97.50

7th Place – Josh Smith and Brandon Kennedy – 89.30

8th Place – Brandon and Tori Lasswell – 66.40

9th Place – Tony Pennebaker and Colton Quattlebaum – 61.60

10 Place – Dusty and Jennifer Tholl – 47.50


Tournament director, Bo Newsom thanked the West Tawakoni EDC for hosting the event, Michael Smith, North Texas Catfish Club, Linda Kattner EDC President, Jim Turnipseed COC and everyone who helped us make this a great event.

“We would also like to thank the Cabela’s staff from Allen, TX for joining us this weekend,” added Newsom. “It’s always a great time having them out.”

There was a good crowd of approximately 75 people at the weigh-in, cheering on the anglers, Cabela’s set up a table for drawings. The weigh-in site was right on the water at the city park. A lot of anglers commented on how they like fishing Tawakoni.

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