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2019 Tournament Results

Location:Milford, KS - Milford Lake
Date:03/30/19

Justin Cook and Gary Ryan win Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on Milford Lake
(Snow, rain, and high wind, characterize tournament at Milford, KS)

Louisville, KY – March 30, 2019 – Catfish anglers from six states traveled to Milford Lake for a King Kat Tournament Trail presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s Event. Forty-five teams gathered at Milford, KS to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Milford is known for its big channel and blue cats. Competitors were vying for $11,100 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 weatherman’s prediction of high winds on tournament day had anglers worried. They knew they would need to approach the weekend with caution. The weather was windy with thunderstorms and hail on Friday. When tournament day came, anglers were greeted not only with high winds, but with snow, rain, and 35-degree temperatures. North winds reached 40 mph at times making fishing extremely tough.

Anglers reported catching 5 to 15 fish a day but tournament weights were affected by Kansas regulations. Anglers are not allowed to keep blue catfish between 25 and 40 inches. That rule knocked out a lot of angler’s catches. Teams reported catching a lot of big slot fish that were returned to the water.

Results for the Top Catfish Teams

Justin Cook and Gary Ryan finished last year’s season with a big win. They traveled to Jeffersonville, IN and won the 2018 King Kat Classic and that included a new fully rigged Excel StormCat 230.

This past weekend Cook and Ryan drove the StormCat to a win at Milford Lake. Cook from New Franklin, MO and Ryan from Columbia, MO had a total weight of 98.64 pounds that included second big fish at 53.42 pounds to earn a check for $4,200 and the Driftmaster Rod Holder bonus of $200.

“We fished 3- to 15-foot water,” reported Cook. “We were anchored using shad for bait to catch about 15 fish for the day. Only three of our fish were unders.”

Cook and Ryan found their fish on the north end of the lake on the south end of the causeway. They were targeting fish that were moving and feeding throughout the day on a recent shad kill. Their two overs came early in the day and their unders came in the afternoon.

“Snow wind rain and dropping temp made a long day of fishing,” concluded Cook. “The fish that did bite, bit really good. The ones we caught just slammed the rod.”

The runner-up spot went to Kansas anglers Blake McPherren from Wakefield and Jamie Jackson from Clay Center. They weighed 95.34 pounds that included the Big Kat of the tournament at 55.56 pounds. They earned $2,100 for second and $900 for Big Kat.

In their first tournament appearance ever, McPherren and Jackson fished the causeway area on the north side. They used side imaging to locate roaming/feeding fish in 6 feet of water. They fished on the rope using shad for bait.

The team only caught 3 fish on the day and claimed their second-place spot with only two fish weighed in. Their third cat was in the slot and had to be returned. Add the fact that the high winds convinced them to end fishing at midday and their first tournament try was extremely successful.

Kevin Parks from Leroy, KS and Ryan Gnagy from Tecumseh, KS weighed in 88.34 pounds to earn third-place and $1,500.

Parks and Gnagy also fished the north side of the causeway on the upper end of the lake. They reported catching all of their fish early in the morning while the snow was falling. They anchor fished in one spot targeting roaming fish. The team’s cats came from about 10 feet of water while using shad for bait.

Fourth place went to Ty Wolf from Olpe, KS and Troy Kuhlmann from Overbrook, KS with 68.14 pounds to earn $850. Wolf noted the severity of the weather as a factor in the fishing. Snow, rain, and high winds had to be overcome.

The team fished around the causeway where they caught about 15 fish during the day. They also anchor using shad for bait.

John Berglund and Eddie Henney finished fifth. Berglund from Lawrence, KS, and Henney from Desoto, KS weighed 66.5 pounds to claim their spot and earn $550.

They fished the south side of the causeway targeting fish on a flat in 20 feet of water. They reported catching fish all through the day. They fished on the rope using shad to catch about 15 fish on the day.

The Remaining Top Catfish Teams

6th Place – Craig Norris and Abe Dormann – 57-50

7th Place – Raul Romero and Shawn James – 55.84

8th Place – Jessee Neufeld and Greg Postier – 54.66

9th Place – Justin Neece and Michael Carpenter – 46.14

10 Place – Devin Fouts and Danny Adler – 42.70

Epilogue

Tournament director, Jeremy Coe thanked the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting the event and also for their commitment to bringing future events in 2020. He also thanked Mike Harris and his staff at Acorns Resort for their hospitality and use of the great resort facilities.

"Milford was not nice at all this week,” said Coe. “Nevertheless, the anglers found some good fish! But hey that’s why they call it fishing and not catching. We look forward to returning to Milford Lake on March 28th, 2020 and again on October 30th and 31st, 2020 for the 2020 King Kat Classic.”

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, and Crown Trophy

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