National catfish contest comes calling

If you’ve never seen just how productive the Ohio waters can be for catfish and those hearty souls who pursue them, plan to be on the waterfront at the Indian Acres Park launch ramp in Marietta about 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18, for that day’s King Kat Tournament Trail weigh-in. We’ve got world class catfishing here in the Buckeye State, and not just in the waters that are open for this particular contest: the Ohio and Muskingum rivers. For example, some of our inland impoundments, including several Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) reservoirs, produce 50-pound-plus flatheads every season.

That Saturday is also the first day of the youth turkey hunting weekend, which ends at sunset Sunday on the eve of the statewide spring turkey hunting season that gets underway Monday, April 20 through May 17 in all 88 counties across Ohio.

Outdoor opportunities are picking-up fast hook-and-bullet-wise throughout Ohio. And after that winter, all I can say is: it’s about time.

The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will hit the waters of Ohio and Muskingum Rivers at Marietta on April 18, offering local catfish anglers the chance to compete for cash, prizes and a chance to advance to the Cabela’s King Kat East and West Championship. This year’s West Championship will be held September 25 and 26 at the Cumberland River, (Old Hickory Lake), Gallatin, Tennessee. The East Championship will be held October 2nd & 3rd, at Lake Wateree, Camden, South Carolina.

Legal fishing waters for the Ohio event will be the Ohio River from the Willow Island Lock & Dam, South to the Belleville Lock & Dam. Also the Muskingum River up to the Devola Lock & Dam. The tournament weigh-in will be held at the Indian Acres Park Boat Ramp and fishing hours are 6:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. To help preserve the sport only live fish will be weighed in and all fish will be released after the tournament. For a complete list of rules visit the website.

In conjunction with the tournament the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will hold the Cabela’s King Kat Kids event at the weigh in site, the Buckeye Park Pond, W. Fay Ave. in Marietta. The event is free of charge and open to all youths age 12 and younger. Sign up is from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. with the Kid’s Fishing Event starting at 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. All children will receive a prize just for entering. Bring your favorite rod, reel and bait and show your true fishing ability. All children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Prizes for winners will be given in two age groups, 0-7 and 8-12. The event is free to all children 12 and under with all participants eligible for a chance to win one of the six, Outdoor Promotions $1,000 scholarships to be awarded in October.

Catfish clubs and organizations may register with the King Kat Tournament Trail and qualify the top two teams from each event to fish in the Cabela’s King Kat Classic. To register call 270-395-6774, visit kingkatusa.com or email dvanvactor@kingkatusa.com.

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