Cabela's King Kat




2018 Tournament Results

Location:Caruthersville, MO - Mississippi River

Team Cooksey wins Cabela’s King Kat Tournament at Caruthersville
(Jackie and Jonathan Cooksey won the Mississippi River event with 120.36 pounds.)

Louisville, KY – July 29, 2018 – Catfish anglers from twelve states travelled to the Mississippi River for a Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail Event. Forty-six teams gathered at Caruthersville, MO to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

The Mississippi River is always expected to produce some good fish and anglers approached the Caruthersville event on July 28 with optimism. Competitors were vying for $15,500 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.

The river had been on the rise going into tournament day when it began to fall, making for a relatively tough bite. The morning started off very nice. Temperatures rose to the mid to upper 80s with overcast skies most of the day. The relatively calm wind is always nice on the Big Muddy and anglers welcomed it as they searched for the whiskered fish. The top five teams all fished in the same general area.

Results for the Top Teams

Jackie and Jonathan Cooksey claimed the top honors at Caruthersville with 120.36 pounds. The Corinth, MS team earned $4,400 for the win and added the Driftmaster Rod Holders bonus of $300.

“We were the third boat to weigh in,” said Jonathan. “It felt like an eternity setting there watching the remainder of the 46 boats weigh in.”

Team Cooksey found their winning fish about 40 miles north of Caruthersville. They used Whisker Seeker Bump’n Sticks in 40-60 feet of water.

“A good bumping rod is a must have, especially in situations like today,” continued Jonathan. “The bite was actually pretty tough. We had trouble finding active fish in practice. We finally found some that would bite, but we still experienced short strikes and the fish just seemed lethargic. The river had been rising and then went to falling around tournament day.”

Team Cooksey’s bumping rigs consisted of a typical 3-way swivel with circle hooks and a rattle. They caught 12-15 fish using cut skipjack for bait.

“It was great seeing everyone,” added Jonathan. “The town of Caruthersville really came out to support the tournament. It felt good to just get out and go fishing.”

Justin Neece and Mike Carpenter claimed the runner up spot. Justin, from Odessa, MO and Mike, from Breckinridge, MO had a total weight of 114.68 pounds to earn $2,200. They bumped all day and indicated that it had to be fresh bait to get the bites.

“It was a pretty slow day for the most part,” reported Neece. “We managed to catch 9 fish. Most of our smaller fish came off mud flats in about 15 feet of water. Our bigger fish came off of the channel ledges. I did hook a good fish that got wrapped up in someone’s old trotline they had left out. By the time I could get off the anchor to go to him he came unhooked.”

Justin Cook and Gary Ryan travelled from New Franklin, MO and Columbia, MO, respectively, to earn the third-place spot. They used skipjack for bait to bring a 110.42-pound bag to the scales. They earned a check for $1,600.

Interestingly, Cook and Ryan were fishing within a few hundred yards of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th place teams. They were bumping structure using skipjack for bait. The team landed about 17 fish on the day in what turned out to be a hot spot on the river.

Fourth place went to Bowe Brockman and Bryan Severa from Brookfield, MO. They bumped to catch about 15 fish for the day that yielded them a bag of 107.68 pounds and earned them a check for $950.

“It was a great day to fish,” offered Brockman. “We ended up culling several fish because they were overs. We Just couldn't find the monster fish that the Mississippi is known for. But it didn't seem like anyone was on the big fish, even the heavy hitters that are known to bring big fish to the scales.”

“We just found a hot seam and stayed after em’ all day,” continued Brockman. “We were culling as we went. We had never fished the area before so we used some satellite imaging to locate good areas to fish. We just flipped a quarter on the morning of the tournament to determine where we would fish.”

The team of Joe Hardy and Barry Wilson traveled from Halls and Henning, TN to fish the tournament. They weighed in 101.4 pounds to claim the fourth spot and earn $600.

“We had a good day,” reported Hardy. “The bite was good and we caught several fish. We used fresh skipjack and bumped in 30 to 45 feet of water early. Then moved to 70 feet of water later when it warmed up. Our biggest fish came from the deep water. We found most of our fish in the middle of the river in about 4 mph current.

The Remaining Top Teams

6th Place - Hunter Jones and Terry Shands - 98.22

7th Place - Chris Souders and Nick Conaway - 97.82

Big Kat - Carl Morris Jr. and Rob Parsons 44.58


Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked B’n’M Poles, Grizzly Jig Company and Excel Boats for sponsoring the Caruthersville event.

“This event was a great success and we couldn’t think of any better support than these three to have on board with the King Kat Trail. We look forward to returning next year to Caruthersville, MO.”

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 System, Katfish Clothing, and Excel Boats.


Please Visit Our National Sponsors
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