Cabela's King Kat




2018 Tournament Results

Location:Dixon, IL - Rock River

Team Kuehl wins Cabela’s King Kat Tournament at Dixon, IL
(It was a family affair for Mike, Timothy and Krissi Kuehl. )

Louisville, KY – June 2, 2018 – Catfish anglers from four states travelled to the Rock River for a Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail Event. Forty-three teams gathered at Dixon, IL to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

The Rock River is known for its big channel cats but anglers expected to catch plenty of flatheads too at the June 2, 2018 catfish tournament. Competitors were vying for $10,750 in cash and prizes, and an opportunity to qualify for the $110,000 Classic Championship to be held September 14 and 15, 2018, on the Ohio River at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Anglers reported that a passing cold front may have affected the bite. The skies were partly cloudy with winds in the 10-15 mph range out of the SE. With high daytime temperatures in the 70's, a cold front moved through during the night before the tournament and dropped temps by 15 degrees. Nevertheless, plenty of channel cats and a good number of flatheads came to the scales on Saturday. In fact, the winning team weighed in a bag of all flatheads.

Results for the Top Teams

Chamber of Commerce weather and a nice sized crowd greeted anglers at the weigh-in. When the weights were tallied at Page Park it was a family affair with Mike, Kassi, and Timothy Kuehl claiming the top honors.

The team from Lydon, IL weighed in a total weight of 49.24 pounds to take first place. The weight included Big Kat of the tournament at 28.66 pounds. The team’s earnings of $5,340 included $4,200 for first place, $840 for Big Kat and $300 for using Driftmaster Rod Holders. They stepped outside their comfort zone a little and it paid off.

“I told my wife after we fished our favorite area last Monday that we were going for broke in Cabela’s,” reported Mike. “We decided to fish way upriver in Oregon. This was a departure from what we normally do.”

“We targeted flatheads all day,” continued Mike. “We ended up catching 7 flatheads and about 7 channel cats. The weather cooled from what it had been. We caught our big fish on our second anchor on a live bluegill in 8 ft of water.”

Even the Big Kat was a family affair. Timothy caught it, Mike reeled it in and Kassi netted it. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Kevin Hoffman and Lisa Arevalo from Somonauk, IL weighed in 40.4 pounds to claim the runner up spot and earn $2,100.00.

Kevin and Lisa fished in the Oregon area targeting fish in structure. They fished without the help of electronics in about 10 feet of water. They fished on the rope and used bluegill for bait to land 12 fish on the day.

The third-place spot went to Brandon Heckart, and Trent and Cole Burtlow from Sterling, IL. The team weighed 38.58 pounds to earn $1,500.00.

Brandon, Trent, and Cole fished about 15 miles south of Dixon in the Rock Falls area. They changed their strategy after lunch. The team began fishing structure but only had one fish by noon.

A move out to 8 feet of water changed their luck. Using bluegill for bait, the team ended up landing 12 fish for the day.

Shane Ferguson, from Morrison, IL and Jason Springer, from East Moline, IL, weighed in 35 pounds to nail down the fourth-place spot and earn $850.00.

Ferguson and Springer fished south of Dixon towards the Milan Dam. They anchored in 4-7 feet of water to target their fish. Given the less than normal bite they reasoned that the cold front made the fish shutdown. They landed 10 fish for the day.

The Rock Falls, IL team of Tyler Richards and Matt Dennison took the fifth-place spot. They brought 32.82 pounds to the scales and earned $550.00.

Richards and Dennison also cited a really tough day of fishing. They chose the Rock Falls area to target their fish. Anchoring up in about 8 feet of water the team landed 8 fish for the day.

The Remaining Top Teams

6th Place – Tom and Clint Walker – 29.36 pounds

7th Place – Robert Apple and Aaron Russel – 29.24

8th Place – Taylor Richards and Allen Wright – 27.08

9th Place – Addison Folkers and Mike Taylor – 26.54

10th Place – Raymond Sanders and Jake Grove – 26.42


Tournament director, Jeremy Coe sent a special thank you to the city of Dixon as well as the Dixon Chamber of Commerce & Main street for making this event possible for the 9th year. He also thanked Rich and family at the Ace Hardware for welcoming the anglers on Friday night and allowing the use of their facilities.

"Dixon is a special home for the King Kat trail,” said Coe. “It is always a favorite stop on the schedule. Fishing was extremely tough today due to a cold front moving through. As always though, we still saw some good fish. We look forward to returning in 2019!"

National Sponsors

Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Cabela's, Adventure Products EGO Nets, RigRap, B 'n' M Poles, Minn Kota, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Driftmaster Rodholders, Gamma Line, Humminbird Electronics, World Fishing Network (WFN), Rippin' Lips, Cat River Anchors, Sunsect Sunscreen & Insect Repellent, Humminbird Lakemaster Maps, Digital EFX Wraps, Tentology, Gill Rainwear, CatfishNow Digital Magazine, Whisker Wear Apparel, The Original Clearboard, Extreme Bait Systems and Katfish Clothing.


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