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LCS: $30,000 to be reeled in at CatMasters Tournament

200 teams, largest event turnout ever expected for 2019 tournament

The Possum Kingdom CatMasters tournament will be giving $30,000 to the team who can reel in the highest combined weight of catfish from Oct. 18 and 19.

This year will be the first ever CatMasters’ Week with $1,500 big fish payouts being given out on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 17.

“(We did this) to get the event started and more opportunity to bring anglers to the community for longer,” CatMasters Organizer Bryan St Ama said. “(…) A lot of the anglers for a big tournament this size, they come to the tournament for a week to pre-fish and that just gives them extra opportunity to win some more money.”

The event will have the most teams it has ever had in its history.

“We did sell out at 200 teams which is a record, I believe, in the catfishing industry,” St Ama said. “We feel like we are (ready for 200 teams.) We have done a lot of preparations. We had 129 last year, so that is 71 more boats, but we knew what we could deal with last year which is why we capped it at 200 this year.”

Check in and a captain’s meeting will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce where a fish fry will be cooked by Laurel McCracken. One participant from each team must be present at the meeting by 5 p.m. Registration was $250 per team.

The two-day fishing event will be decided by the total weight of fish caught from both days. Five fish from each day will comprise of the total weight. Chris and Kyli Baldwin won last year’s $25,00 grand prize by reeling 145.88 lbs. of catfish. St Ama said the pair will be back to defend their crown again this year.

The winner of the event will take home $30,000, 2nd place prize is $14,000, 3rd is $10,000, 4th is $4,000, 5th is $3,000, 6th is $2,500, 7th is $2,000, 8th is $1,800, 9th is $1,500 and 10th will take home $1,200. Which the organizer said is $20,000 higher than last year’s event which was the highest cash paying tournament in the nation.

For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 16 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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