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Congratulations to the Winners of the King Kat Tournament in Belmont

Louisville, KY – April 26, 2021 – Catfish anglers from six states traveled to Lake Wylie at Belmont, NC for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Gaston County Travel and Tourism hosted 16 teams that gathered to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Anglers fishing the April 24, 2021 event were vying for $4,145.00 in cash and prizes, an opportunity to qualify for regional competition, and the opportunity to qualify for this year’s King Kat Classic Championship on the Red River at Natchitoches, LA, November 5-6, 2021. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

Most anglers agreed that the heavy rains that covered much of the south affected the bite. It was slower than normal for Lake Wylie. Weather challenged the anglers all day with rainy conditions right through the weigh-in. The air temperatures were in the mid-50s as winds reached as high as 12 mph.

First Place

Teaming up to take the top spot were Craig Shirey from Baltimore, OH, and James Wesney from Lancaster, OH. They teamed up to bring 102.49 pounds to the scales and earn a check for $2,200. Their bag included Big Kat of the tournament at 42. 42 pounds and added $320 to their payout.

Shirey and Wesney fished the middle of the lake targeting the river channels and about 30 feet of water. They were dragging cut shad to catch their fish. They felt like the rain definitely affected the bite as they caught 8 fish all day.

Second Place The runner-up spot went to Chuck Rorie and Steve Rorie from Monroe, NC, and Kenny Sudderth from Canon, GA. They brought a weight of 91.85 pounds to the scales to earn a check for $1,000.

The team fished near the bridge at the main lake cove. They combined anchoring and dragging to catch their fish, but stuck to dragging most of the day. They were targeting water around 15 feet deep with gizzard shad. They caught 12 fish on the day.

Third Place Keith Smith and Trey Smith had the third-place weight at 86.02 pounds. The team from Rock Hill, SC earned a check for $625.

They followed suit and used gizzard shad to target their fish in water depths of about 20 feet. They also commented that the rain affected the bite, slowing it down. They caught 10 fish on the day.


Tournament director, Tim Fortner thanked Brandon Black and Gaston County Travel and Tourism. Cabela's King Kat Tournament Trail appreciates their great sponsors who make the tournaments possible.

The 2021 Championship

This year’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held on the Red River at Natchitoches, LA, November 5-6, 2021. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes. The points race is set to pay $30,000 to the top 20 places based on the competitor’s top-five finishes.

National Sponsors

Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Gamma Line, Driftmaster Rod Holders, Ego Nets, EFX Graphics, Catfish Now, Fin n’ Frames, Cat River Anchors, Smooth Move Boat Seats, and Lowe Boats.

For more information on the championship and other King Kat activities visit their website at Anglers can also follow the trail on the King Kat Facebook Page.