Big Cat Quest Championship on Wheeler Lake

Top Five, (L to R) Danny Shipman, Heath Shipman, Jason Masingale, Daryl Masingale, Eddie Wilson, David Steele, Bruce Paulk, Brian Vohol, Jerry Cline Sr., Joe Ludtke

This week’s travels carried me to the Bass Pro Big Cat Quest Championship at Joe Wheeler State Park. Big Cat Quest founder, Ken Freeman and his team did a wonderful job making the anglers feel at home. Freeman cooked out for them every night and had tons of prizes on the final day. It amazes me how much effort he puts into this grand event. We’re proud to be a sponsor.

Jeff Williams of Team Catfish fame came in to film a show with O’Neill Williams. (Related only by the love of the outdoors) O’Neill bagged some fine Cats and it should be one of our favorite episodes.

Jeff took Outdoor Writers, Nathaniel and Jeff Samsel out on Wheeler Lake the next day. They caught some good fish and Nathaniel bagged a 60-pound Cat I’d like to thank the Samsel’s for staying through Sunday to cover the event.

Outdoor Writer David Rainer came in and interviewed some of the top anglers. (Like Jason Bridges and Phil King) His first article from the trip is at: http://www.outdooralabama.com/oaonline/ . Rainer’s interviewing skills are top notch.

I’d like to thank some folks for their hospitality…. Tim Haynie and his team at Joe Wheeler State Park were great hosts at an awesome location to boot. Hardees and Mc Donald’s restaurants cooked biscuits. Terry at the Minnow Bucket provided great service during our visit too.

The local businesses appreciated the anglers spending so much money. Just my observation here but I witnessed little support from the local convention and visitor bureaus. Meanwhile, Joe Wheeler State Park welcomed us with open arms. (Thank you!)

Team Catfish Dude, Jeff Williams prepares to release a big 'un.

Congratulations to the winners, Team Masingale with over 139-pounds on the final day. It was great to see so many of my Catfish friends. You know who you are and I enjoyed our time at the Big Cat Quest.

Be sure to visit the Big Cat Quest site for all the results.

Blessings, TJ

About TJ Stallings

45-year tackle industry veteran Marketing and Crazy Ideas at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks.) Home of Gun Protect. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of TJ Stallings and not necessarily those of TTI-Blakemore.
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