Twenty-one teams from four states made the trek to Tuttle Creek Reservoir in Manhattan last weekend for a King Kat Tournament Trail event.
But at the end of the day, the homefield advantage was strong, with all three money spots going to Kansas-based team.
Samuel Kracht, of Blue Rapids, and Mackenzie Delrosso, of Randolph, paired for 117 pounds of fish to blow away the rest of the field for a first-place victory and a cool $2,600 payday, plus another $420 for bagging the Big Kat of the tournament at 43.18 pounds.
Delrosso, who was fishing in his first tournament, said the big fish was caught "up north near the bridge" around 10 or 11 a.m. They were using cut bluegills and shad as bait, and started catching bigger fish when they upsized their bait.
"We had a great day," Kracht said in a news release. "We used Parks Planer Boards to drift a shallow flat on the upper end of the lake. We used several different fresh-cut baits. They were feeding on about everything. Overall, we had 23 fish for almost 380 pounds of total weight. It was a great day!"
Roughly 40 pounds behind the first-place team sat the three-man squad of Tyson Burnett and Gerald Burnett, both of Council Bluff, and Craig Norris, of Meridian. They bagged 77.94 pounds to earn the $1,100 payday for second place using shad. They said they caught 12 cats under 35 inches on the day, eight of which were channel cats, with two that went over 35.
In the final money spot were Kevin Parks, of LeRoy, and Ryan Gnagy, of Milford. The third-place team earned $800 for their 72.78-pound bag.
CJ Blankenship and Kevin Miller finished fourth with 71.18 pounds, followed by Bryan Pinick and Bryan Merritt in fifth with 53.78. Rounding out the top 10 were Michael Thomas and Jeff Bucher (50.04), Chance and Lane Nolan (41.08), Ty Wolf and Troy Kuhlmann (40.82), Eric and Jordan Horton (38.08) and Brian Thomas and Shane Park (36.50).
The King Kat Tournament Trail returns to Kansas in October for the King Kat Classic on nearby Milford Reservoir. That event runs Oct. 30-31, with a guaranteed payout of $120,000 in cash and prizes.
Kanopolis won’t require Hunting Equipment Permits in 2020-21
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Kanopolis Lake will not issue Hunting Equipment Permits this hunting season because of concerns over COVID-19, according to a release from the USACE, meaning physical permit tags will not be required.
The Hunting Equipment Permit Program hunting policies and regulations will still apply, however.
This free permit allows individuals to keep privately owned tree stands, blinds and game cameras on USACE public access areas for more than a 24-hour period.
The USACE is requesting hunters place their Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism license number on any equipment placed on Kanopolis' federally managed public lands, as they would on any state-managed public lands.