Rod n’ reel catfish tournament comes to Miss-Lou next weekend

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 8, 2022

By MAIA BRONFMAN

VIDALIA, La. — There have been some trotline and limb line catfishing tournaments around the Miss-Lou, but none rod and reel.

That is scheduled to change at 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 13, when the live well check begins for the Redneck Adventures Catfish Rodeo World Championship, hosted by Mid-South Broadcasting Co.

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From that start time to the final weigh-in at 5 p.m., the tournament will be hosted under the bridge on the Vidalia riverfront.

“Between them twin bridges are some Volkswagens swimming around down there,” said Jimmy Allgood, Redneck Adventures owner and tournament coordinator.

Billy Fitt, tournament co-organizer, brought the idea for the tournament to Allgood. He knew about rod and reel tournaments up north, in places like Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. He said he wanted to bring the sport, and attract more prize money, to the southern part of the Mississippi River.

“The catfish industry is not like the bass industry,” Fitt said.

Fitt contacted Vidalia Chief of Police Joey Merrill, who gave him Allgood’s contact information. From there, they pioneered the tournament.

“I hope the riverbank is lined up with kids,” Fitt said. He has twin boys, so the tournament was designed with young fishers in mind.

Any kids under 12, and not on a team, fish for free and don’t need to come to the 4:30 a.m. check. They, and all other contestants, can do their weigh-in anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. so they don’t have to be out all day.

There will be ladies, kids, veterans and special needs divisions for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash and other prizes. The Big Cat 50/50 pot entry fee is $25 and the entry fee for teams is $150. Sign-ups can be made at www.RedneckAdventures.com/catfish.