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2019 Tournament Results

Location:Pekin, IL - Illinois River
Date:09/06/19 - 09/07/19

Luttrell and Espy win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on the Illinois River
(Ken Luttrell and Brian Espy added Big Fish honors as they claimed the top spot at Pekin, IL. )

Louisville, KY – September 8, 2019 – Catfish anglers from four states traveled to the Illinois River for a King Kat Tournament Trail Super Event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Twenty-nine teams gathered at Pekin, IL to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Competitors were vying for $8,180 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.

A good bite on day one resulted in plenty of fish coming to the scales, but the current went away on day two hurting the bite. Temperatures were in the high 70's with winds blowing 10-15 on day 1. It was sunny both days with air temperatures rising slightly to 75 degrees.

Results for the Top Catfish Teams

The top spot at Pekin, IL went to Ken Luttrell from LaPlace, IL and Bryan Espy from Moroa, IL. They teamed up to bring 102.62 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $3,900. Their bag included Big Fish of the tournament which earned them an additional $580. It was a repeat win for the Fat Boy Custom Rods team as they won it last year too.

Luttrell and Espy fished upriver about 4 miles above the Peoria Dam where they were targeting fish in 14 feet of water. They fished off the rope both days.

“We were focusing on ledges,” reported Luttrell. “We caught around 50 fish on day one using cut creek chubs for bait. The 35-pound flathead came on the first day around 9:30 in the morning. It was caught on 12-pound test line and took about 15 minutes to land.”

“The current shut down on Saturday and hurt the bite,” continued Luttrell. “We only caught around 30 fish on day two. They were scattered in the 78-degree water. We just kept fishing hard to pull out the win.”

Nathan McClain and Jason Kastner from Dixon, IL claimed the runner-up spot. They weighed 81.98 pounds in the two days to earn a check for $1,900.00’

McClain and Kastner reported having a good day on Friday, but the lack of current on Saturday hampered the bite. They fished from Peoria Dam all the way down to Pekin.

The team targeted structure and ledges and found the fish holding tight to structure. They landed 16 fish over the two days of fishing. They reported cutting up anything they could find that swims to use for bait.

Third place went to Adam Hart and Cliff Miller. The team worked hard on the 16-pound deficit they had after day one. They gave a solid performance to weigh 79.94 pounds, just 2 pounds out of second place. Their effort earned them a $1,300 payday.

Hart and Miller caught a total of 18 fish for the weekend. They found fish at the southern boundary near Beardstown. They mentioned that the wind on day 1 made it hard to fish as they anchored on deep structure in fast water.

Mark Farrow from Meredosia, IL and Joe Ludtke from Springfield, IL were the fourth place finishers with 75.94 pounds. They earned a check for $ 500.

Farrow and Ludtke reported fishing north about 70 miles toward Spring Valley, IL. They said that the wind on day 1 and lack of current on day 2 slowed down the bite. The TWC team targeted deep ledges in 25 feet of water. They used both anchoring and drifting techniques and a variety of different baits.

The Remaining Top Ten Teams

5th Place – Pete Moreland and Michael Flaherty– 74.60

6th Place – Time Walsh and Thomas Walsh Jr. – 73.78

7th Place – Joseph Crawford and Jeremy Yeakey – 69.56

8th Place – Jeff Brown and Tom Petty – 68.92

9th Place – Tyler Sapp and Justin Haley – 68.20

10 Place – Kevin Hoffman and Ben Plating – 67.02

Epilogue

Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked Danny Sapp for helping put this tournament together. He also thanked Ray Dennison Chevrolet, the City of Pekin, and the Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau for their part in making the tournament possible.

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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