IUKA, Miss. - Weather and water conditions were nasty at Pickwick Lake on Saturday with high winds blowing and white caps rolling across the main lake that made it tough for many of the teams in the Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest to move from place to place.
And for most of the anglers, the fishing was as every bit as tough as the boating.
Tournament organizer Ken Freeman predicted earlier in the week that it would take 110 pounds to win the event. But thanks to a tough post-spawn bite, every single catch brought to the scales was below 100 pounds.
The Corinth, Miss., team of Larry Muse, Dino Meador and Frank Meador took first-place honors with five catfish that weighed 77.95 pounds. Larry also had the big fish of the event with a blue catfish that weighed 37.95.
What is it about Corinth, Miss., and catfishing? The folks who live over there must start catfishing about the time they can walk, because there are certainly plenty of excellent catfish anglers from that particular town.
The trio arrived back at J.P. Coleman State Park just two minutes ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline - and they were quick to thank Jeff Dodd of Trenton, Tenn., for smoothing the way in front of them.
Dodd runs a gigantic Tracker Boat (I'm honestly not sure how big it is) with a 225 horsepower Mercury. Since Muse and the Meadors were in a smaller boat that wouldn't handle the rough water as well, Dodd ran out front and let them follow close behind - kind of like drafting on a NASCAR track.
That says a lot about Dodd - and catfishermen in general - when you consider it actually cost him money for Muse and the Meadors to make it back on time. You see that kind of teamwork a lot on the catfish trails, and I'm sure those Corinth boys will be glad to help Jeff and his crew anytime in the future.
Dodd finished third with his 13-year-old daughter Sarah and his friend Kenny Bivens of Bells, Tenn., with five cats that weighed 38.05. They were 13 pounds behind second-place finishers Lonnie Fountain, Ansley Bruce and David Bruce of Ranger, Ga., with 51.80.
Fourth place went to David Coughlin and Gary Haynes of Jackson, Tenn., with 36.60, and fifth place went to Nick Dimino of Starkville, Miss., and Phillip Dimino of West Point, Miss., with 35.15.
Those weights are about as low as you'll ever see for a Big Cat Quest event, and that tells you just how tough the fishing really was.
It was still a great event, though, with a lot of good story lines and representatives from Mississippi, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
Big Cat Quest has more events coming up soon, including one out of Mud Island River Park in Memphis in early August.
This tournament is now The Truitt Stockton Memorial Tournament.
Friends and Anglers who have known and respected him throughout the years of fishing on the Pickwick Lake area are encouraged to participate in his honor.
J P COLEMAN STATE PARK
Perched on a rocky bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, J.P. Coleman State Park offers the finest in all types of water sports. Visitors experience unmatched sailing, swimming, skiing, and fishing for Smallmouth bass and Catfish in the sparkling waters of Pickwick Lake,
and enjoy camping and exploring in the untamed wilderness along the banks of the Tennessee River.
Visit below web-site for more information:
Launch: All boats must launch from the ramps located at J.P. Coleman State Park, 613 County Road 321, Iuka, Ms. 38852
NO TRAILERING ALLOWED!!!! YOU MUST LAUNCH AT JP COLEMAN STATE PARK ONLY!!!!
You may put your boat in water any time after 12:01 am June 09, 2012, but you may not leave ramp area waters or dock until until 4:00 am.
Fishing Hours: 6:00 am until 3pm, you must be at boat dock or ramp for 4:00pm roll call.
Boundaries: Tennessee River and its tributaries reachable by boat from required launch ramp.
Registration: Registration will be set up at J.P. Coleman State Park from 4pm until 8pm, Friday June 08, 2012 at the Bass Pro Shop's Big
Cat Quest weigh-in site.If you need to make arrangements with your registration, please phone Joyce Muse @ 1-662-415-4421.
Weigh in: Weigh in Site J.P. Coleman State Park, 613 County Road 321, Iuka, Ms. 38852