catfish, tournament, blue catfish, flathead, CatMasters, Texas, Tawakoni, Bryan St. Alma,

Mickey Casey and Kelly Lowman tally 399.50 pounds to win at Tawakoni.

Heavy weights at the scales characterized The CatMasters at Tawakoni tournament on February 26-27, 2021. Ninety-five teams representing 230 anglers traveled from various states to compete in the popular event where a total of 9,191.02 pounds of Tawakoni catfish were weighed and released alive.

After one day of competition, Mickey Casey and Kelly Lowman laid down their marker with a huge 224.40-pound bag to lead the day one competition. Second place on day one was standing at 188 pounds and the third-place team had more than 170 pounds. The top ten teams all brought more than 100 pounds to the scales at West Tawakoni City Park.

The stage was set for day two and what was forecast as a rainy day. The fog was thick on Saturday morning, but the rain did not come as predicted.

Many anglers headed for their day-one spots while others were changing strategy and looking for something different on day two. Most anglers realized, given the day-one weights, that anyone could have a 100-plus pound day on Tawakoni and climb up the leader board.

The Winners

Mickey Casey and Kelly Lowman had another good day. They added 175.10 pounds on day two for a grand total of 399.50 pounds. They held on to their day one lead and claimed the Tawakoni prize money.

catfish, tournament, blue catfish, flathead, CatMasters, Texas, Tawakoni, Bryan St. Alma, Casey and Lowman are not new to The CatMasters events. They have been fishing them for a couple of years. They fish them for the camaraderie they find.

“We have fished the Possum Kingdom tourneys the last two years,” recalled Lowman. “We really enjoyed the folks we have met during these events. When we heard that Catmasters was having an event on Tawakoni we were the first ones to register!

Both anglers are local and both operated charter services on Tawakoni.

“We both guide on this lake,” offered Lowman. “But honestly I don’t think we have that much of an advantage because of the shape our fishery is in. We have a lot of big fish!”

catfish, tournament, blue catfish, flathead, CatMasters, Texas, Tawakoni, Bryan St. Alma, “With all the ice and extremely cold temps the week before it, sure enough, leveled the playing field,” continued Lowman. “Everything changed dramatically with a severe shad kill. So, we pre-fished and came up with a shallow water pattern which was to sit and soak fresh gizzard shad in 5feet of water.”

With the heavy rain on the night before the tournament, Casey and Lowman decided to fish in the expected current. But the current didn’t develop as they anticipated. They watched 4 boats fish where they originally wanted to fish. When those boats left they slipped in and parked for 2 days.

“There were tons of fish,” said Lowman. “They were all on the move and stuffed with dead shad. When they decided to feed it would turn on and when they decided to quit they quit. That’s why we never moved.”

The team rigged up with 2 ounces of weight, a 2-foot leader, and circle hooks. They baited with medium-sized shad which they were cutting into 2 pieces. Patience was the rest of their strategy. They had 224 pounds and a 36-pound lead on day one, but they were still nervous.

“We knew we were going to have to do well on day two,” concluded Lowman. “A 36-pound lead is not safe on this lake. We were lucky the fish were still around. Even with 170 pounds in the boat, that can be beaten easily on Tawakoni, but we pulled it off. The Catmaster folks are all just great down-to-earth regular guys like us that love the sport of catfishing. Thanks, guys!”