Jason Huggins and Wade Kaminski- Pro Staff

Like most, fishing goes back farther than I can remember. The long days of sitting on a stretch of bank at our pond or grandpas lake make up a good part of those early memories. After a bit of time we managed to get a boat, we often spent lots of time out on the water chasing catfish. One of the best memories was camping out on a sand bar on a june night wearing out flathead. After that point everything was fishing for me, I tried taking up bow hunting but it wasn’t the same.

This will be the second year fishing a few tournaments and the first year with partner Wade Kaminski. I have high hopes of some very good finishes this year and the monsters on the Mississippi will by far be the largest for us. I have had a handful of top 5 finishes, but most of my time is spent fun fishing and trying to teach my sons conservation and CPR. They are the generation we are trying to teach, and they are the ones who will pass fishing on to the next. Landen my oldest of 3, set his personal best already this year at 13 lbs. The smile lasted for days, but now I see myself in him, that desire to catch the next big fish is burning bright ! Tight lines and be safe out there on the water! Best Regards –Jason Huggins

My story differs from most in the catfishing scene… I didn’t grow up on the water, I wasn’t a converted bass fisherman, I was just a regular guy looking for a new hobby to pass the time. Little did I know that my new hobby would turn into a passion. In the spring of 2013 I bought a boat and started spending more and more time out on the river. The search was now on to catch a trophy cat. Spending days on end out of the water, trying new techniques, and upgrading equipment/tackle I was finally catching those cats I had been chasing.

2016 looks to be an exciting year! I have a new boat and plans are in place to move from just fun fishing to participating in some tournaments with my partner Jason Huggins. Remember to wear your PFD and we’ll see you on the water!

Wade Kaminski – US Army Veteran

Jimmy Holbrook and Layla Ledbetter- Pro Staff

My name is Jimmy Holbrook I have been catfishing every since I can remember. Some of my best childhood memories are going on fishing trips with my dad. He is the one who got me into catfishing. He passed away when I was 10 and even though I still fished some after that it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I feel back in love with catfishing. It was then that I got my first boat and actually got out on the water and started learning all the different techniques and still learning today. Me and my girlfriend Layla love fishing together and competiting in tournaments, we were blessed and able to have a great finish at the cabelas eastern championship coming in 2nd. My personal best to date is a 90lb blue caught out of Santee Cooper. We love introducing people to catfishing and helping them get their personal best. We hope to see and help the sport and fishery’s grow through awareness and Catch Photo Release! – Jimmy Holbrook

I am Layla Ledbetter, and I grew up bream and bass fishing. The first time I went catfishing was with my boyfriend Jimmy Holbrook.  Because the style of fishing is so different than what I was used to, the first time I went catfishing with him I thought to myself, “This dude doesn’t know what he is doing.” 🙂 But I QUICKLY learned that he definately knows what he is doing, is good at it, & continues to learn & get better and better.  I love getting away from the everyday hustle & bustle and being out on the water together enjoying God’s creation and waiting for a huge catfish to slam a rod over. My personal best is a 52 lb blue cat caught at Santee with Jimmy. I still have a lot to learn but couldn’t have a better teacher or partner. We enjoy meeting & getting to know other anglers and look forward to seeing the sport grow. I can’t wait to catch my new personal best and to watch our friends & family catch their best fish with a Warrior Cat Rod ! – Layla Ledbetter

Casey Tutorow and John LeMaster- Pro Staff

My name is Casey Tutorow. I’m from Indianapolis IN. I have been catfishing with my father since I was a toddler. I was raised around the water and it is where I developed my passion for fishing. Every weekend growing up we would end up at the strip pits camping and fishing. I started tournament catfishing with my dad around 10 years old. By the time I was 16 I was fishing tournaments with friends and anybody that would go with me. My fishing partner is John LeMaster. I grew up fishing against John and his dad. Once we teamed up it became a deadly combination. We currently fish a wide array of tournaments each year, primarily in the Midwest. We also venture down to Alabama a few times a year to fish for fun. We have a strong passion for catfishing and promote cpr for all catfish over 10lbs.Tight lines!! – Casey

Little did anyone know a city dude with a corporate advertising sales job could have been born from a passion for fishing! My creativity came from an early influence fishing with my dad especially catfishing we were always trying new things to catch the biggest fish possible! I’ve  been fishing since I was a kid, my dad George Le Master got me started, showed me the ropes and was my first fishing partner. Actually won my first tournament against one of the best fisherman I know and my current partner Casey. Guess its fare to say the competitive edge started off early… Fortunately I’ve had the opportunities to fish early on and grow up doing what I love and to figure out we’re actually better fishing with each other than against. So, what have I learned? To be the best you’ve got to fish with the best, not only partner and bait but also gear and tackle there’s nothing better out there on the river than Warrior Cat Rod… We encourage the fight! – John

Steve Johnson- Pro Staff

While growing up in Sioux City Iowa on the banks of the Missouri River, it is where my love of fishing came about.  There was nothing more that I wanted to do more than to be chasing Catfish till the sun went down… I moved to California when I was 12 years old and always kept to my Iowa roots and continued to fish for Catfish and other freshwater species… as I got older I added Saltwater fishing to my regiment of activities. I started competitive angling for Trout and doing Trout tournaments in 1995, after a couple years of that I started searching for Catfish Tournaments, and in 1999 I entered my first one and placed well, by 2001 I was a winner and never looked back.  I’m the top money winner in Catfish tournaments in California and have won a couple boats totaling near $20,000In 2016 I decided to be the first angler from California to compete in Catfishing Tournaments across the USA.  While searching for a new rod line to fish these tournaments, I purchased a Warrior Cat Rod and just fell in love with it right away. I loved it so much I wanted all my friends to try it. I purchased another one and it was on.  Now I can honestly say I’m living the dream, and working for the company that makes my favorite rod, can’t ask for more.  Thank you so much Warrior Cat Rods for allowing me to represent and fish with the best rods in the market and  a awesome company and family and work with the best Promotional Staff in the fishing world….– Steve

Richie Blakley (Pro Staff) and Bryer Blakley- (JR Pro Staff)

My name is Richie Blakley I am 35 years old. I am married and we have 3 kids 2 boys and one girl. I love anything outdoors weather it’s fishing or hunting. But my real passion is tournament catfishing. I love the competition. I love everything about catfishing from the bite to the fight. My partner is my oldest son. My dad took me fishing as soon as I was old enough to walk. I’ve been at it every since. I’ve been tournament fishing for about 6 years. Been catfishing all my life. I grew up in northwest Tennessee close to the Mississippi River. I now live in Calhoun ,Kentucky. Our favorite way to fish is bumping and drifting. We mainly fish the Ohio River. I am very proud to be apart of this team. -Richie Blakley

My name is Bryer Blakley, I am 15 years old and an eighth grader at mcms. I was chosen by the teaching staff this year to represent our school in The Lighthouse Team a leadership group. I’m definitely a country boy! I love being outside, hunting, fishing and playing ball. I have one sister and one brother, I’m the oldest. I have a very large family and we love getting together and having fun. The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God and making sure I am live in a way that makes him happy! My personal best is a 61# bluecat caught down at Wheeler Lake. My dad and I finished 2nd in the points on our tournament trail. I also got youth angler of the year. We also were awarded as most consistent team in 2015. Against some of the best competition around. We won some tournaments. Also got several top 3 finishes. My biggest fish I’ve caught in a tournament is 47#. – Bryer Blakley

Chris Souders (Pro Staff)

Hey, Chris Souders here. To get started, as a kid I loved to fish; it didn’t matter if it was a creek, lake, river or mud hole in the back yard. I never really cared what I caught as long as I caught something. Like most in this sport, I grew up in a competitive world. Having a step brother and a father that drag raced I was always around competition and loved it. As a teenager I started racing motocross, but as the years and injuries added up I found myself not being able to be as competitive as I would like and decided to look at other sports to fuel my competitive fire. In 2011 I found catfishing and started fishing tournaments in 2012. I couldn’t believe how competitive it was. Needless to say, I have found my fuel! I am very exciting about what the future holds for the sport of catfishing. I look forward to being a part of the development and expansion of the sport. Please remember to CPR (catch, photo, release) these wonderful fish that we all love to catch so much. – Chris Souders (Chris won the 2016 Cabelas King Kat Angler of The Year award)

Larry Muse (Pro Staff)

Larry Muse brings a homespun candor and Christian witness to his speaking opportunities. His intensely logical approaches to fishing and life resonate with audiences of all ages. Many of the lessons he relates were learned from his Granny French, who used a soda bottle as a barometer to determine the best days to fish and allowed the then five-year-old Larry to learn how to match tackle and bait size to fish size through mistakes borne of his natural hard-headedness. Larry’s humor is often based on sporting adventures. He captured first place in the initial Liars competition at the first annual Alcorn County (Miss.) Sportsman Dinner. His story was, however, truthful. Larry was among the keynote speakers at the first Catfish Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, in February 2016. He has been a frequent guest on Catfish Weekly, the online video show. He was featured in Episode 81 and Episode 88. Comfortable in front of audiences, Larry also has experience in one-on-one customer service from his time at boat shows earlier in his tournament career.

Larry is an innovator with a strong social media presence. He advocated the use of seven foot three inch rods for bumping, his preferred method in current and the use of rods with roller guides for suspend fishing. He developed the recently released Draggin’ Tails that carry his name. Hundreds follow his experiences and advice through Facebook and he eagerly answers email queries from fellow catfishermen.

Angler of the Year, Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest (BPS BCQ), 2013

Angler of the Year, Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest, 2014

Angler of the Year, Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest, 2015

 

Benji Brown (Pro Staff) and Riley Brown(JR Pro Staff)

My name is Benji Brown. I live  in SC and feel fortunate to have great fishing all around.  I have been fishing my entire life. My mom actually loved fishing with my dad when she was pregnant with me. So you can say that I have been at it forever. We had a camper on a lake growing up and my mom was a school teacher, so we spent our entire summers at the lake. Catfish have always been the most interesting fish in the water only because every lake has a story of divers seeing voltswagon size fish. Growing up, if I caught a 7lb catfish, I had to show everyone I know. After years of learning, we have been fortunate enough to find bigger and bigger catfish.  We decided to enter a catfish tournament in 2012 and finished 2nd and was awarded big fish for the year. It’s been nonstop since. My son and I fish tournaments 12 months a year. Tournament fishing is very fun, but there’s nothing like meeting up with the buddies for some good fun catfishing.  I live, breathe, and sweat catfishing.  If I’m not fishing, I’m thinking, planning, mapping, or getting bait for our next trip. The catfishing family has some of the nicest and most caring people in the world.  We are truly blessed to be part of it all. My son and I are honored  to be Warrior Cat Tackle Prostaff and Monster Rod Holder Prostaff. These two tools are a deadly combination for monster catfish.  My son Riley is current Cabelas King Kat USA Jr Angler of the Year. The Lord has truly blessed us with the ability to follow our passion and chase these wiskered monsters every chance we get. -Benji Brown

I’m Riley Brown, I’m 15 and in the ninth grade. I go to Boiling Springs High School. I am the current Junior Angler of the Year, awarded to me by Cabela’s. My parter in crime is Benji Brown and we are team Polekat. We fish out of a 200 Procat. We both are currently sponsored by Warrior Cat Rods and Monster Rod Holders. We mainly fish local lakes (Wateree, Wylie, Santee) but, we are eager to go wherever the big fish bite. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I attend Mountain View Baptist Church. I want to reach out to kids my age and try to get catfishing as big as possible to them and their community. -Riley Brown

Eddie and Ann White(Pro Staff)

Eddie has been fishing as long as he can remember. Catching his first Catfish at age two on a fishing trip with his dad and grandpa. He has spent most of his life fishing recreationally but he and Ann entered their first Catfish tournament in May of 2013.

Their experience ended up being a comedy of errors but their love of tournament fishing was born. 6 months later they had the opportunity to buy a local bait and tackle shop, fulfilling a life long dream for both of them. Ann has spent her life in and around water, white water rating, kayaking, and fishing, but didn’t catch the fishing bug until she met Eddie.

Under his expertise and guidance, she has proven to be a quick learner and won her first tournament in 2016, beating her husband and weighing in 64 lbs of channel cats in two days time.
Although they have fished tournaments separately in the past, they have partnered together for the 2017 season. Traveling all over the US in search of new catfishing opportunities.  They have also launched their own tournament circuit in their home state of Montana, including a first ever state championship opportunity. .
They would like to thank their sponsors, especially Warrior Cat Rods for providing them the chance to pursue their dreams of fishing professionally together for the 2017 season and beyond. Traveling to Texas in April for the Texas Warriors Classic tournament, meeting John and Amy, along with other Warrior staff members, has been a highlight of their year so far.

Raul Romero (Pro Staff)

Raul Romero “American Catfisherman” Born and raised in the Midwest state of Kansas, Started his fishing journey at a young age and took that passion with it, now competing all over the Usa. Raul is proudly sponsored by warrior cat tackle, Lowe boats , Driftmaster rod holders, American Catfisherman apperal . Some of the tournament circuit’s Raul runs are the Catfish chasers tournament series, Cabela’s king Kat, Nebraska Fat Cats just to name a few. Aside from his passion of fishing he has a career as a wastewater Superintendent. The great thing about living in the Midwest is the variety of water that there is the opportunity to fish, In my back yard I have the Missouri River, Kansas river and nice lakes such as Milford to chase trophy Fish. Conservation is key and I do as much as I can to educate about it and to promote children to fish. Whether its vertical fishing or bumping the river there is a ton of variety to fish and I absolutely love it! I am Blessed to live in a country that has the freedom to do the things we love to do and mine being fishing! Whenever we get that opportunity thank a Vet. Its because of their sacrifice that we are allowed to do the things that we love to do!   Good luck and I hope to see ya on the water,  God Bless…..Raul

Sincerely,

Raul Romero
American Catfisherman
americancatfisherman@yahoo.com

Andrew Han (Pro Staff)

Korey Coates- Field Staff

I started fishing the Great Miami River 10 years ago seeking Flathead catfish.  I was fortunate enough to surround myself with seasoned catfisherman around the Ohio area. Over the years, I obtained the knowledge and information that aided me in becoming proficient at locating large catfish in the area. Although I enjoy all fishing, my passion would always turn back to catfishing. Approximately two years ago, I was introduced to kayaking. Kayak fishing opened a new adventure for me, and we discovered we could utilize kayaks for our passion of catfishing. Through the past couple years we have been able to achieve quality catfish from the local rivers utilizing my Jackson kayaks. I am passionate about kayak fishing and remain diligent in a never ending quest for knowledge in regard to whatever species I may be targeting. I love to learn and grow into fishing through trial and error. I am equipped with a fully rigged Jackson Big Rig setup with equipment one would find on a 20′ catfish tournament boat, which is absolutely necessary when your passion is chasing and landing some of the most aggressive and largest fish in the river. There is no greater rush than being pulled around by a true Ohio predator in a Jackson kayak on moving water! – Korey

Marc Cooper- Field Staff

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I am currently a senior at the University of Tennessee studying marketing and entrepreneurship. The love of the outdoors, especially anything to do with water, has coursed through my veins since I was a young kid. Luckily enough, I am beyond blessed to live in one of the most diverse trophy freshwater fisheries in North America. From giant muskies to bruiser blue cats, East Tennessee has it.  My love for catfish is still in its infancy, but I have been totally consumed by it for the last two years. My weekends and admittedly some days that I should be in class are spent on the water chasing my next giant catch. With so much of my life devoted to fishing, I have to use tackle that can be totally relied upon in any situation. After personally using just about every rod on the catfish market, Warrior Cat Rods are my go-to choice and serve their purpose extremely well within the scope of a wide array of techniques. I am very proud to work with John Adams at Warrior Cat Tackle and can’t wait to see what else is in store. Check out my Warrior Cat Rod review here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BFXoH8aURJs&feature=youtu.be – Marc

Mike Wilcox and James Tucker (Pro Staff)

Jason Graves (Field Staff)

Fishing is my life. I learned how to fish at the same time I learned how to ride a bike and I’ve have the tug bug since day 1. I consider myself a seasonal kayak angler, meaning I fish whatever is running in my area at that time of year. I fish kayak for Bass year round, as well as kayak fish the Pacific Ocean year round. I love to Striper fish in the Spring, Shad/Catfish in the Summer, Salmon/Steelhead/Trout in the Fall, Sturgeon/Sharks/Rays in the winter. I enjoy fishing for & catching as many different species possible annually, and am already at 40+ different types of fish so far this year (2016), 25 of which from a kayak. I’m currently sponsored by and fishing for the US Feelfree Kayak Fishing Team, as well as The Headwaters Kayak/Outdoors Shop in Lodi, CA. I just recently got approved for my Kayak Guide Fishing License, and have began Guiding Kayak Fishing Trips in both the Salt & Fresh Water. I have also fish a variety of tournaments in both the Salt & Fresh Water. I am loving the friends & atmosphere it creates, as well as fishing in general. Fishing is my true #1 passion, and I fish 7 days a week on top of working 5.  –Jason

Nate Pratt (Field Staff)

I have been fishing my entire life. About 15 years ago I started focusing on the top predator in our area Flathead Catfish in the Great Miami River. In the early years I caught lots of fish with quality being few and far between. I had the proper baits and got the reputation for fishing oversized baits (suckers 10-16in). The turning point was from 2006-2009. I went to school for Fish Management and Aquaculture. Understanding growth rates, migration, and forage was worth its weight in gold. But fishing the same locations year after year left me wondering what else is out there on our small river.  2 years ago a good friend and trusted catfisherman introduced me to Kayak fishing. From take down to landing the fish is a pure adrenaline rush.  The ability to search and find new spots has become an obsession. 2017 season I will be fishing with a fully loaded Shadowcaster kayak. It was an honor to get my hands on the Extra Heavy prototype rod this past fall and I was blown away with the quality of the product. Thank you John for allowing me to promote and use your great products! Photo credit to Field Staff Korey Coates.  –Nate

Duncan Fenley (Field Staff)

Denver Zinn (Field Staff)

Lee Reed (Field Staff)

My name is Lee Reed from Sioux City,Iowa. I grew up bullhead fishing every local lake and pond with my grandparents. As I grew older I’d ride my bike miles to fish the river for channel cats. After graduation a buddy and I fished every local lake and rivers and the Red River in North Dakota. That is where my catfishing turned into a addicting passion. My catfishing now includes the best partner I could possibly have, my fiance and her passion has grown heavily also.We have met a great deal of awesome people thru our passion and hope to continue to keep learning new things. –Lee