King Kat Tournament Trail travels to Opelika

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Anglers will fish Lake Harding

Contributed to the Opelika Observer

Catfish anglers from across the states will travel to Lake Harding at Opelika, for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s. Local and traveling anglers will be vying for cash, prizes and an opportunity to compete in the regional championships and the 2021 King Kat Classic.

Anglers fishing the March 20, 2021, event will be testing their cat-fishing skills against other anglers and whatever Mother Nature has in store. This event is a Region 1 qualifier in the new King Kat regional competition.

Lake Harding is a 5,850-acre reservoir on the Chattahoochee River (AKA Bartlett’s Ferry Lake). Bartlett’s Ferry Dam is actually in Georgia but the surface water is shared with Alabama where the tournament will be staged. The lake is characterized by many pockets and small creeks on the lake for anglers to prospect.

Regional Competition

The 2021 Regional Competition is based on four regions with four qualifying events in each region. Each region will have its own championship and points will be tabulated both regionally and nationally. Visit the King Kat website for complete scheduling.

How to Enter

Teams may consist of one to three anglers but limits are based on a two-person team. Early registration can be accomplished on the King Kat website at www.kingkatusa.com/Tournament_Registration.cfm. Teams may also enter by calling (502) 384-5924 or by entering at the mandatory pre-tournament seminar on the night before the tournament begins. Late entries are subject to a $25 late fee.

Participating anglers must be a member of the King Kat Association (KKA). Membership is $30 for adults and $15 for spouse and youth memberships. Other membership levels are outlined on the King Kat website. Each membership will include a subscription to the King Kat Sportsman. It is the official publication of the King Kat Association and one of the top cat-fishing fishing publications in the nation.

Coronavirus Response

Anglers will sign up at registration, be given a copy of guidelines for social distancing, be given a copy of the rules and be given their weigh-in voucher. At that point, they will leave the registration site.

At the weigh-in, social distancing will be maintained in the weigh-in line and only allow a few teams at a time will be allowed to be in the line. Other anglers can wait in vehicles and boats. All staff will be wearing face masks and we encourage all anglers and spectators to do the same.

Registration and Seminar

A pre-tournament seminar will be held the day before the tournament at the Sportsplex & Aquatics Center, 1001 Andrews Road in Opelika, 334-705-5560. Only one member of a team may enter at a time to complete registration and receive their voucher.

Late sign-in begins at 5 p.m. and runs to 7 p.m. The normal National Sponsor Field Test Product Drawing and seminar will not be held due to the coronavirus.

The Weigh-In Site

The tournament weigh-in will be held at Po Boys Landing, Lee Road 334, Salem, Alabama 36874, 334-391-2527, beginning at 3 p.m. and anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4 p.m. Social distancing rules will be followed.

This is the perfect opportunity for non-competitors to learn how the big ones are caught. Interviews of the top five teams will be conducted following the weigh-in with all social-distancing rules applied.

Tournament Host and Lodging Site

Auburn-Opelika Tourism welcomes all Crappie USA anglers and their guests to the area and hope they take the opportunity to enjoy the local attractions. For more information on the area visit the website at www.aotourism.com or call 334-501-3281.

Host lodging is provided by: Comfort Inn, 811 Fox Run Pkwy., in Opelika, 36801, 334-744-9977, and Quality Inn, 1102 Columbus Pkwy., in Opelika, 36801, 334-745-6331.

The number of rooms in the area may be limited. It is recommended that participants make their reservations early.

Free Catfish Kids Rodeo

A free Catfish Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the tournament. Sign up is Saturday morning at Po Boys Landing, Lee Road 334, Salem, Alabama, 36874, 334-391-2527.

The event is free of charge and open to all youth 12 years old and younger. All participating children must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up is from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. with fishing from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

The Fishing Rodeo is a chance for children of the area to get out and enjoy nature, do a little fishing and win some prizes. All participants are eligible for a chance to win one of six $1,000 scholarships presented by Outdoor Promotions. The scholarships are awarded annually at the Cabela’s King Kat Classic.

Outdoor Promotions and participating anglers have contributed $379,000 to youth scholarships since 1997. They are very proud to be a part of the education process for the youngsters who participate in the tournaments as adult/youth teams and those who fish in the Outdoor Promotions Kids Fishing Rodeos.

The Classic Championship

This year’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held on the Red River at Natchitoches, Louisiana, from Nov. 5-6, 2021. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $125,000 in cash and prizes.

The first-place team at the Classic will receive a Lowe Boats Catfish Model with 150 HP Mercury Motor equipped with Minn Kota Trolling Motor, Humminbird Fish Finder and Drift Master Rod Holders. The National Points Team will be named at the Classic and receive the same Lowe Boat.

National Sponsors

Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Lowe Boats, Mercury Marine, Mustad Hooks, Humminbird, Minn Kota, 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 the website at www.kingkatusa.com. Anglers can also follow the trail on the King Kat Facebook Page.

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