MONTICELLO, AR (May 1, 2018) –More than 350 anglers from 22 states competed in the 8th Annual SeaArk Boats Owner’s Invitational Saturday, April 28 on the waters of Lake Wheeler in Decatur, AL. Anglers from across the United States competed for more than $85,000 in cash and prizes, including a chance to win a brand new SeaArk ProCat 200 with Suzuki DF200ATX, Marine Master Trailer and American Canvas Cover valued at $50,000.
The event kicked off on Friday, April 27 at the Captain’s Dinner with check-in and late registration. Participants were treated to a dinner catered by Whitt’s BBQ while the SeaArk Tournament Committee reviewed the rules and answered any last-minute questions. Stephen Higgins of Nashville, TN, won a $500 drawing donated by Decatur Morgan County Tourism.
Saturday’s main event began at 6:30 am with an organized blast-off to start the tournament. Final weigh-in began at 3:30 p.m. with all boats back to the harbor. A large crowd was in attendance to watch it all take place. During the day, SeaArk partnered with Pond Hopper Nation for a “Teach A Child To Fish” event. The kids event provided free fishing poles and goodies to local kids who participated. They were also able to meet the SeaArk Pro Staff and practice their fishing techniques.
Steve Henderson, President of SeaArk Boats, stated “the Owner’s Tournament is one of our favorite events we conduct each year. We get to see old friends, make new friends, get valued input for improving our product, see large fish, and most of all, we get to see the joy in people’s faces when they weigh a fish or win a prize. This segment of the industry continues to grow and we are very proud to be a part of it. The cat fishing community includes some of the best people that you could ever meet.”
The team of John Rath of Athens, IL, and Corey Rath from Sherman, IL, took the first-place check for $6,600 with 185.58 pounds. Jesse Linscott and Justin Diehl of Sumner, MO, snagged second place with a weight of 160.27 pounds to take home $3,200. Third place went to Justin Neece and Brent Riddle of O’Dessa, MO, who finished with 5 fish weighing in at 149.68 pounds. Big Fish winners were Team Rath who caught a blue cat weighing in at 93.22 pounds to win an additional $2,500. The Goose Egg award went to Ken and Thomas Luttrell of Ramsey, IL for not weighing in and the Little Cat award went to John Cooksey age 5 for being the youngest participant, each went home with $500. The winners of the ProCat 200 package were Jamie Bardsley of Perry, AR and Jim McCabe of Mountainburg, AR.
The SeaArk Tournament Committee weighed in 441 catfish totaling 7,780.27 pounds. All were released back alive into Lake Wheeler via the Fat Cat Chute.
Sponsors for the event include Suzuki Marine, Marine Master Trailers, Whisker Seeker Tackle, LINE-X®, Monsters on the Ohio, Welsco®, American Canvas Products and the Decatur Morgan County Tourism.
For more pictures from the event please visit the SeaArk Boats Facebook page or website.
About SeaArk Boats: With over 59 years of experience in boat building, SeaArk Boats (owned by Correct Craft) is the industry’s premier aluminum fishing boat known for outstanding product quality and excellent customer service. Mostly known for heavy-duty aluminum boats built specifically for cat-fishing, SeaArk also builds bass- and crappie-fishing boats, jon boats, duck boats, and bay boats, offering a wide variety of tunnel and jet tunnel hulls. For more information visit www.seaarkboats.com.
About Correct Craft: Celebrating 93 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a Florida-based company with global operations. The Correct Craft family includes Nautique, Centurion, Supreme, Bass Cat, Yar-Craft, SeaArk, and Bryant boat companies, Pleasurecraft Marine Engine Group, and Aktion Parks. For more information please visit www.correctcraft.com.
About Decatur-Morgan Tourism: The Decatur-Morgan County Tourism is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and economic growth in Morgan County. For information on special events and attractions throughout Morgan County, contact the DMCT at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028; or visit its website at www.decaturcvb.org.