May 2020 River Rumors

New Format Announced by King Kat Tournament Trail

New King Kat rules allow 1, 2, or 3 member teams but all rules are based on a 2-member team.


New Format Announced by King Kat Tournament Trail

At anglers request the Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will offer regional format in 2021.

by Ron Presley


Two important changes have been made in the structure of the King Kat Tournament Trail. In an effort to meet tournament catfish angler’s requests the 2020 King Kat schedule began allowing three person teams without the previous stipulations that the third angler would be 16 years old or one over 65 years old. Additionally, 2020 is the last year the trail will offer Super Events (2-day events).

Obviously, this team number rule change will allow teams to split costs further and make tournament catfishing less expensive for individual anglers. It will allow more teams to compete in the expanded schedule.

To provide a fair and equal playing field for all teams, the rules are based on a two (2) person team. Since some states have trophy fish laws and/or individual rod limits, they take precedent over King Kat tournament rules. For example, Alabama has a one over 34-inch limit. So, a three-person team can only weigh two fish over 34 inches.

Additionally, any team is limited to 6 rods, which is the same as in the past. Ohio for example allows three (3) rods per angler but a three-person team is limited to 6 rods per King Kat rules so the state law would not override.

At the 2020 kickoff event at Black’s Camp in SC, Darrell Van Vactor announced that in 2021 the King Kat Tournament Trail would revert to a regional setup that would qualify angers for the Classic.

The trail had regions in 2014-2017 when they had Eastern and Western Championships, except for 2016 when they had Northern and Southern Classics. This was a time when fuel prices were higher and the move was made as a way to cut tournament expenses for the teams. The new format will differ from the previous regional format because there will be only one Classic.

Recently, anglers have been asking for a regional concept again, mainly to reduce travel distances for anglers wanting to qualify for the Classic and to offer tournaments in more parts of the country.

King Kat organizers are still in design mode on the exact format but here’s what’s most likely to happen.

  • Four regions will be created. Probably named Region 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • Each region will have 5 one day events and a regional championship.
  • All qualifying anglers will be eligible for the two-day Classic.

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