Catfish, bass tournaments gearing up for Lake Wylie

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comNovember 4, 2013 

— They’d best bring out the big scales Saturday. With the fish likely to be pulled from Lake Wylie, tournament organizers will need them.

Catawba Catfish Club hosts its third tournament of the 2013-14 season on Saturday, and its first on Lake Wylie. Sign-in begins at 5 a.m. and the tournament launches at 7 a.m., ending at 3 p.m. Weigh-in follows at 3:30 p.m. All events will be held at Buster Boyd Access Area.

“All Catawba Catfish Club tournaments are open to the public and all are invited to come out and join us,” said organizer Marty Green.

The $30 per person fee funds the winner’s share Saturday, plus end-of-year cash for series points champions and big fish winner. There’s an optional $10 big fish pot just for Saturday. Teams will weigh in three live catfish, and are subject to live-well checks and a polygraph test.

A change for some club anglers is specific to Lake Wylie, where fishing licenses for both states are needed to compete. All other lakes on tour are entirely in South Carolina. A change for Lake Wylie anglers entering their first club event will be a new South Carolina rule that began in March, where game fish other than bream can’t be used as bait. Fish like bass, crappie and striper aren’t allowed now.

“All other natural bait fish – gizzard shad, threadfin shad, white perch, blueback herring, etc. – are still legal to use,” Green said.

Started in 2006, Catawba Catfish Club is now, according to the club, the largest catfish tournament series in the Carolinas. The group holds nine tournaments each season running from September to the following May. They’ll return twice to Lake Wylie this season, on Jan. 11 and April 12, 2014.

For more information, visit catawbacatfishclub.com.

Bass anglers

On Oct. 26, anglers in 76 boats fished the annual CS Motorsports Fall Classic on Lake Wylie. Only 33 of those boats weighed in. Tipping the scales were first-place team Phillip Burke and Rusty White at 18.83 pounds, followed by Bryan Thrift and Andy Montgomery at 18.17 pounds, and Todd Auten and Chris Baumgardner at 16.63 pounds.

Big fish at 5.79 pounds went to Craig Chambers and Hank Cherry.

More bass tournaments are coming this fall. The Carolina Anglers Team Trail started its fall series Oct. 12, and has upcoming Wylie dates Nov. 9, Nov. 16, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. The first Hunt Fish Paddle winter tournament trail began Sunday, Nov. 3, and will run each coming Sunday through Feb. 16. Events run 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. from Buster Boyd Access Area. For more information on that series, call 803-831-0251 or 704-915-0942.

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