For the first time in its 13-year history, the King Kat Tournament Trail is heading to Louisiana, where catfish anglers will have the opportunity to compete for cash and prizes in the Atchafalaya Basin out of Morgan City in April.

The one-day event will be held on Saturday, April 9, with tournament hours from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and weigh-in at the Jesse Fontenot Memorial Boat Landing in Berwick. All anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4 p.m., with a five-fish limit per team.

The entry fee is $200 per team.

“You can fish one person, but it’s normally two-man teams,” said Jeremy Coe, tournament director for the King Kat Trail. “They can also have a third partner if they’re over 65 or under 16 to encourage family involvement.”

Coe said blues, flatheads and channel cats are all eligible. The team with the heaviest five-fish stringer wins.

“We do allow them to weigh partial weights, so they can weigh one fish at a time if they don’t have a suitable livewell for bringing those fish in,” Coe said. “We try to make it as easy as we can on them and take care of the fish as well.

“They can weigh-in only live fish. They all have to be alive. We don’t weigh dead fish — that’s kind of our mission. We take care of the fish so they can be caught again.”

All fish must be caught on a rod and reel, Coe said. 

“We don’t allow jugging, limb lines, trot lines or anything like that,” he said. “And any kind of bait that is legal in the state of Louisiana is fine with us. So whatever you’re using, if it’s legal, it’s fine with us. Chicken livers don’t matter to me.”

Anglers can put it starting at 5 a.m. on any boat ramp in legal water. Fishing begins at 6:30 a.m., he said.

“It’s anywhere that’s accessible by water from a boat ramp,” Coe said. “If for some reason there’s a pond way back off in the swamp that you can’t get to by water, they can’t fish it.”

For more information, or to register online for the Morgan City event, click here. You can also register by phone at 502-384-5924.

“You can also register the night before the tournament,” Coe said. “We have a captain’s meeting at the Holiday Inn in Morgan City (520 Roderick St.) on April 8 at 7 p.m., so they can register that night from 5 to 7.”

Membership in the King Kat Association ($25 per year) is required to participate. A late fee of $25 is applied if you register within 14 days of the event.

“The more fishermen you bring, the more the payback will be, but we guarantee it to be $5,000 for one-day events,” he said. “So if there’s five boats, we’re paying back $5,000. 

“After about 30 boats, the payback will go up.”

For complete rules, click here