This past Saturday, August 25th, the Cabela’s KingKat Tournament Trail hit the waters of the Calamus Reservoir at Burwell, Nebraska. Sponsored by the Burwell Chamber of Commerce and the Burwell Area/Garfield County Visitors Bureau, more than 70 top anglers from eight different states competed not only for cash and prizes, but the opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Cabela’s King Kat Classic (September 27-29, 2012 in Selma, Alabama).
According to tournament leaders, Calamus Reservoir is home to some of the biggest channel catfish in the country with five fish stringers on Saturday often exceeding 100 pounds. Although Saturday’s big fish did not beat out the Nebraska state record channel catfish at 41 pounds, 8 ounces, Calamus produced two fish within five pounds of the record.
Taking first place was the Lincoln, Nebraska team of Josh Koll and Mat Helm with a very impressive weight of 118.75 pounds and earning $2,500.00. Josh and Koll were fishing between Nunda Shoal and Valleyview Flat on the north side of the lake anchoring up in 14-17 feet of water to catch around 35 fish by 2:00PM, an hour before quitting time using shad and creek chubs.In second place were David Studebaker of Burlington, Kansas and Rich Witt of Junction City, Kansas with a weight of 79.75 pounds and earning $1,200.00. David and Rich startedout fishing the north end of the lake and then finishing out the day by the dam. The team caught 12 fish for the day using shad in 32-34 feet of water. Third place went to Cory Muhlbach of Shelton, Nebraska and Craig Stephens of Riverdale, Nebraska with a weight of 75.4 pounds and earning $700.00 for the day. The team also had big fish of the day with a 29.55 pounds channel cat which earned the team an additional $600.00. Cory and Craig were fishing one mile east of the Nunda Shoal Ramp in 25-30 feet of water using blood bait to catch 15 fish for the day. Darrin Meseke of Lawrence, Kansas and Arlaw Miller of McFarland, Kansas took fourth place with a weight of 58.9 pounds earning $400.00. Darrin and Arlaw were fishing near Nunda Shoal in 20-30 feet of water using blood bait to catch 18 fish for the day.Fifth place went to the Chillicothe, Missouri team of Brent Riddle and Terry Cook with a total weight of 58.25 pounds and earning $200.00. Brent and Terry fished near the dam in 30 feet of water using cut shad to catch 12 fish for the day.In addition to the professional tournament event, more than 50 children participated in the Cabela’s King Kat Kids Fishing Rodeo on Saturday morning at Ladybird Lake in Burwell – and enjoyed 2-hours of fishing and fun just for kids. “We wish to thank the Burwell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau for sponsoring the tournament events and for providing free hamburgers and hotdogs to the anglers at registration”, said Tournament Director Tanner Tabor. “Nearly 200 spectators were on hand to watch the very exciting weigh-in at the Homestead Knolls Boat Ramp Saturday afternoon, some of which drove nearly two hours just to see the weigh-in as over 70 anglers fished from eight states”, said Tabor. “Anglers drove from as far away as Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and a couple other states.”
For entry forms or more information on Cabela’s King Kat Trail call 270-395-6774 or visit their website at www.kingkatusa.com.