BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Lake Cooper on the mighty Mississippi River was the site of a 27 boat launch in search of the bottom feeding big channel cats.
Ken Luttrell and Bryan Espy are leading the tournament after Day 1 with a total of 52 pounds of catfish at the weigh-in, which started at 3 p.m. Friday at the Riverview Marina.
Each 2-person team was allowed to weigh their top five fish for a total weight. Jerry Cox and Joey Heckrodt came in second on Friday with 47.86 pounds. That team also had the largest fish at 14.92 pounds. In third place was the team of Blake Broker and Danny Combs with 47.48 pounds.
Holding fourth place in the two-day tourney is the team of Ace and Buddy Weisenburger who brought 43.54 pounds of catfish to the scale. Fifth place is Josh Mayes and Jim Gillenwater with 41.54 pounds of fish.
Mayes, of Montrose and the TanglingWithCatfish.com team, said the weather was awesome for the tourney. He was at the marina at about 4:30 and put the boat in at 5 a.m. Fisherman weren’t allowed to head out until the 6:30 a.m. start time.
“We headed south this morning,” Mayes said. “It was awesome out and the fishing was fairly good, but it’s a crap shoot as to what will happen tomorrow. The 12th place team could be the first by the end of the day tomorrow.”
The 12th place team of Todd and Courtney Augustine, actually did come in 12th place after the first day.
The Augustines of Wever said they put in just a little after 5 a.m. and headed north at the official start time.
Todd said he’s fished in quite a few tournaments and the Cabela King Kat is a nice tournament for the area. He said the fishing was good early on.
“We had some good fishing until about 10:30 and then it kind of dried up,” he said. “The weather is supposed to be about the same tomorrow and the fish will be biting better. Because they have to to win.”
In conjunction with the tournament, the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will hold the Cabela’s King Kat Kids event on Saturday, August 12 at Wilson Lake Park, 2195 220th Street, Donnellson, IA. The event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 and younger. Sign up is from 8 a.m. till 9 a.m. with the Kid’s Fishing Event starting at 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. All children will receive a prize just for entering.
Fishing will continue tomorrow starting at 6:30 a.m. with weigh-in starting at 3 p.m at Riverview Marina. All fishermen have to be weighed in by 4 p.m.