Cabela's King Kat




2019 Tournament Results

Location:Dixon, IL - Rock River

Bennett and Rudecki win King Kat Tournament at Dixon, IL
(Anglers were challenged by a rapidly falling Rock River)

Louisville, KY – August 4, 2019 – Catfish anglers from several states traveled to the Rock River for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Thirty-six teams gathered at Dixon, IL to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Competitors were vying for $10,025.00 in cash and prizes, and an opportunity to qualify for the $120,000 Classic Championship to be held November 1 and 2, 2019, on the Tennessee River (Wheeler Lake) at Decatur, Alabama.

The air temperature was in the mid ‘80s with light winds blowing. The Dixon event had been rescheduled from earlier in the year. The water was far different than the original date in June when it was flooding. The water was low and falling hard on the day before the tournament, offering an added challenge to anglers.

This year’s winning weight of 56.2 pounds topped last years 49.2 pounds and the 2019 Big Kat weight of 34.30 pounds topped the 2018 weight of 28.66 pounds.

Results for the Top Catfish Teams

Stan Bennett and John Rudecki from Valley, IL claimed the top spot at Dixon with a total weight of 56.2 pounds. Their stringer earned them a check for $4,000.

Stan and John chose their fishing spots based on the nice weather and expected boat traffic. They did state that they would like to have the boundaries extended by 6 miles because their normal stomping grounds were off-limits.

“We wanted to fish deep fast-moving currents with a single point of structure,” explained Bennett. “John and I knew exactly where to go to escape the pleasure boaters brought out with the nice weather.”

“We used heavy sinkers for our two-man operation method for pinpointing flatheads on sunny bright days,” continued Bennett. “During the heat flatheads won’t move from there spots. So, baits have to be within a foot of where they sit. That's why the strike was hard to recognize.”

It is normal for Stan and John to bring more flatheads to the scales than their competitors because they target them specifically. They won the King Kat event out of Dixon in 2015 and now in 2019, they have done it again.

“The bite was slow,” reported Bennett. “Because of the sun, the fish were not aggressive and the strike was not visible. By knowing how our bait is supposed to move we recognized the slightest of movement as a bite. Our Gamakatsu #7 did the job.”

Bennett and Rudecki fished the Dixon area above the dam using large baits and and a tournament strategy that only targeted flatheads. They fished deep structure and reported getting fish to bite only in areas with current. They caught their fish in 12 feet of water on bluegill and frozen shad. They landed 14 fish for the day.

The runner-up spot went to Tom and Clint Walker from Sterling, IL. They had a bag weighing 42.36 pounds to take second and earn $2,000.00.

Team Walker fished the Rock Falls area around the dam. They managed to catch only 2 fish on the tough bite, but they were good enough for second place. Tom and Clint targeted fish in structure on a drop-off. They fished off the rope.

“We used bluegill, rock bass, and black bird shadows,” joked Walker. “The fish shut off due to the dropping water.”

Third place went to Joe Dyer from Rock Falls, IL and Dan Dippel from Ottawa, IL. They brought 41.82 pounds to the scales to earn $1,500.

Joe and Dan also fished the Rock Falls area around the dam. The team anchored in 12- to 14-foot water on ledges. They caught about 15 fish for the day using warmouth bass for bait.

Local anglers Tyler Richards, Matt Dennison, and Brentley Dennison weighed in 37.7 pounds to claim the fourth spot. The Rock Falls, IL team earned a check for $800.

The three-person team fished below Rock Falls Dam targeting multiple spots. They reported doing the best right below the dam in current. They also only caught two fish, but their bag included Big Kat honors with a 34.30-pound bruiser. They used bluegill and creek chubs for bait.

Rounding out the top five was Drew McKenna from Sterling, IL and Terry McKenna from Rock Falls, IL. Their bag weighing 37.54 pounds earned them a check for $550.

Team McKenna fished downriver around the Rock Falls area. They targeted structure in the middle of the river in 7-12 feet of water. They fished off the rope using bluegill and creek chubs to land 5 fish on the day.

The Remaining Top Catfish Teams

6th Place – Mike, Kassi, & Timothy Kuehl – 34.26

7th Place – Raymond and Bruce Sanders – 32.74

8th Place – Nick Stern and Calvin Bebon – 31.22

9th Place – Larry Morine and Ray Graham – 29.72

10 Place – Eddie and Frank Sanders Jr. – 29.62


Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked the Dixon Area Chamber and Mainstreet Dixon for their continued support of the King Kat Trail. The tournament has been visiting Dixon for the past 10 years!

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, Clear Boards, EFX Graphics, Catfish Now, Fin n’ Frames, WavePro, and Crown Trophy


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