Whisker Whackers

Cypher and Duplantis win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on Lake Wateree

catfish, tournament, Wateree, King Kat

Runner up spot goes to Shirey and Wesney.

Catfish anglers from seven states traveled to Lake Wateree for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Sixteen teams gathered at Camden, SC to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Anglers fishing the May 30, 2020 event were vying for $4,145 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.

Anglers were met with extremely high water and lots of floating debris. Navigation had to be slow and deliberate for safety’s sake. It had rained off and on for the past week. And on tournament day there was a chance of rain but it held off. It turned into a sunny, warm, and humid day. Temperatures reached the upper 80s with light winds at about 5 mph.

The high water limited the areas available to fish and required choosing the right methods to catch fish. Many anglers reported making several moves before finding fish as most used cut shad for bait.

Results for the Top Teams

First Placecatfish, tournament, Wateree, King Kat
Paul S. Cypher Jr. and Edward Duplantis from Pennsylvania claimed the top spot at Lake Wateree with 103.12 pounds. They also won Big Fish with a 53.58 pounds to earn 2,200.00 for the win and an additional $$320 for Big Kat.

Cypher and Duplantis started out by getting fresh live Shad at Jamie K Outdoors. The water was so high and filled with debris they were limited on areas to fish.

“We found several areas to try but nothing that really stood out,” reported Cypher. “But we came up with a plan to start the day out anchoring in the state park area. It was unproductive so we decided to head up to the river to try a few spots. Still, no luck so we came back down and started dragging where we could.”

They liked what they saw on the electronics so they repeated the drag several times. Their decision to change methods worked well and carried them to the win.

“It was pretty cool to have a pleasure boat with a few young kids stop buy,” Cypher said. “They got to witness the action. They were just as excited as we were. Good Stuff!”

“Trust your electronics, equipment, yourself, and your partner,” concluded Cypher. “If you do good things happen.”

Second Placecatfish, tournament, Wateree, King Kat
The runner-up spot went to Craig Shirey and James Wesney. They teamed up to bring 102.18 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $1,000.

The team from Ohio fished the upper lake anchored in the current. They said they don’t normally fish on anchor but it paid off this time. They caught numerous fish in about 14-foot-deep water using cut shad as bait.

“We fished all day Friday and didn’t a single fish,” reported Shirey. “We eliminated a lot of spots where we caught nothing. It helped us come up with a plan for Saturday. In the first spot we finally caught a fish. After an hour with nothing else, we made another move and it paid off. We went on to catch 40 fish in that spot.”

“It was a great day,” concluded Shirey. “It was our first time on the lake. We found fish in pretty heavy current and caught fish all day long using shad for bait in the river section. We really didn’t have to do anything special. We found the fish early and stayed on them. It was a great day of fishing.” 

Third Placecatfish, tournament, Wateree, King Kat
Third place at Wateree went to Jeff Outz and Kenneth Sudderth. The GA team finished with 93.24 pounds to earn a check for $625.

Outz and Sudderth fished in the upper lake. They reported catching all their big fish by 8:30 in the morning. After that , they caught a few more small fish. They were also fishing on the rope using shad for bait.

Epilogue
The tournament director, Bobby Brown, thanked Susan Sales with the City of Camden and the crew that helped with the weigh-in. He added thanks to the Colony Inn which provided host lodging and also sent a special thanks to Captain Jim Butler for coming up and helping with the weigh-in.

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.

National Sponsors
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.

For more information on the championship and other King Kat activities visit their website at www.kingkatusa.com. Anglers can also follow the trail on the King Kat Facebook Page.

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