The final day of fishing at the Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest National Championship (BCQ) produced a stunning win by David Shipman and Brooke Wilkins. The Corinth, MS team won the World Championship of Catfishing earlier in the year and were setting in Fifth Place at the BCQ Classic with 126.45 pounds after the first day of competition. After day-two they had 242.95 pounds to take their second major crown of the year.
A strategy that included staying in the same area on day-two proved to be a successful decision for the 2015 WCC team. “We fished hard both days,” said Shipman. “ We went 42 miles from here both days. All that travel was in the rain and the wind. It left us with only about four hours to fish each day. Thank goodness it paid off. We were bumping the whole time. It is a good win for us. I am very proud for Brooke to win her national championship. We are both proud of it.”
“It feels pretty good to win,” said Wilkins. “We did the same thing on day-two that we did on day-one. We went to the same places. The current was a little bit different on day-two; the weather was a little bit different with all the rain. They bit harder on Saturday and much slower today. We ran about an hour and a half to get to our fishing spot and it paid off. It’s been a good year for us. We have really been blessed. This win is still sinking in for me right now.”
The second place team of Tim Owenby, Teresa Owenby and Jody Atkins held on to their day-one second place position to take it on day-two as well. They caught a two-day total of 228.95 to claim the second place finish.
“We were fishing hard and only had three little fish before we finally caught the big one,” said Teresa. “We had to make a move to catch it. We went to a hole that we knew about from another tournament where we had caught some good fish. We got lucky and pulled the big one out of that hole. We had to travel 40 miles to do it.”
A tired but happy Tim Owenby recognized the weather conditions as the tournament concluded. “It’s cold, it’s wet and we got seven a half hours drive home. We like fishing Mississippi and we’re going to be back for sure.”
Third Place in the BCQ went to Jackie and Jonathan Cooksey. “It feels really good to win it,” said Jonathon Cooksey. “We were just real fortunate to get the 50 pounder in the boat. That big fish made our day. If we had one more fish the caliber of that one it would’ve changed everything. It was a lot slower today, but we got that big bite and that’s what made the difference for us.
Jackie Cooksey explained that they found a good hole and stuck with it. “We wore it out,” said the elder Cooksey. “We fished up and down that stretch for two days and each day it paid off. We left the area one time and went across the river and caught a 32 pound flathead. We left it and went to the other side again and stayed on it for the rest tournament.”
“You got to have some luck too. We just pounded that hole and pound it. We were still catching fish when we left today. I had on another fish and I think it was really a good one but he came off. We were really needing it you know, but that’s fishing.”
The final day is a little different since there are two hours less to fish. “It puts a little more pressure on you,” said Jonathan. “You fish up until the very last minute. By noon we didn’t have a fish over 34 inches and we caught that big one with only an hour left to fish. That intensified everything. Knowing that we had a shot at winning it produces a lot more stress. Catching the one big one makes you want another one because you know you got a shot at it.”
The top five was rounded out by a team from Missouri. Tony Hunt, Russ Devore and Greg Lingemfelter took Fourth Place with 224.95 pounds. The Kentucky team of Glen Grogan and Walter Hays brought in 211. 90 pounds to finish fifth.
Mississippi angler David Magness took Big Fish honors of the tournament with a 71.25-pound bluecat. He caught the fish on day-one and it held up through day-two giving him the Big Fish title.
Larry Muse from Corinth, MS was named as the 2015 Angler of the Year. This is the third year in a row the MS angler won the title.
Teams from 14 states travelled to Memphis for the 2015 BCQ Championship on the Mississippi River.
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