Seven years ago, a group of dedicated tournament catfishermen joined forces to create what is known today as the largest catfish tournament on the East Coast.
Warren Weston and John Moore started The Catfish Showdown in May of 2003. The catfish tournaments are located at Kerr/Buggs Island Lake. Anglers travel from far away states to fish the tournaments for a chance to catch, weigh and release an award winning catfish.
Most of the tournament regulars are the average fishermen out for a little fun and relaxation at a minimum cost. There's a lot of fun and bang for the buck with the large numbers that enter these tournaments. What's more, catch and release catfishing events are few and far between!
Kids Day Founder
Kids day was founded in 2003 by a very special member of The Catfish Showdown. Mr. Ray Jones, greatly known as"Hoghead," came up with the idea to give our youth a chance to enjoy that same great feeling of catching a fish while having a great time.
Ray Jones was appointed the MC and secretary position by Warren Weston and John Moore. His great passion for seeing that kids are our future is what makes the kids day so successful today.
Ray was introduced to Kerr/Buggs Island Lake in 1974 by a man named "Mac" who also owned Mac's Guide Service. Ray and Mac met at the Lake Hotel in Clarksville. The two discussed their chances of getting together later for a day of fishing,
The following day, the two were on the water and anchored at the mouth of Bluestone. After a short while, they moved up to Bowman's Garage to search for Bass and Crappie. As time moved on, Ray and Mac became close friends.
Mac eventually shared all his fishing secrets with Ray. It didn't take long before he learned a great deal about fishing at Buggs Island from a good man that knew how to fish the lake successfully, and safely.
Kids Day History
In 2003, 85 kids came out to be a part of the first annual event held at the Staunton View Day-use area on the lake. However, Hurricane Isabel arrived on the event date. The entire area of Staunton View received high water and storm damage. This caused the tournament to move back two weeks.
The turnout was a bit low, but all who attended that beautiful day had a wonderful time. The next year proved more promising by a large amount of support from the local businesses and community. Donations doubled from 2003 to 2004. In 2004, the numbers increased to 144 kids. On September 10, 2005 the lake banks were filled with 220 kids and their families.
In 2006, there were 310 kids. In 2007, the event swelled to 380 kids. The 2008 kids day had 454 registered kids fishing with their family and friends around the shore lines of Staunton View Park. It was estimated that 1,200 people attended last year's event. In all, there were 414 registered kids and 1,214 people in attendance at the 2009 event. The 2010 event had 267 kids with 610 people in attendance.
The kids get gift bags full of goodies, and everyone gets to eat a free lunch. The kids get to choose different flavors of snow cones and drinks. They even receive trophies for weighing a fish with plenty of prizes. In fact, there are tons of toys, girls and boys bikes given away throughout the day.
Registration starts at 7:00 AM until 8:00 AM. The ceremonial singing of the National Anthem is performed by kids. After a moment of prayer comes the official launch of the kids fishing tournament. From 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, hundreds of kids spread around the banks to try and catch any species of fish. All fish that are brought to the scales are weighed. Prizes are awarded for boys and girls, ages 13 and under.
The idea of making it into a tournament, but built for kids paves the way for massive support from community sponsorship at all levels.
Kids Day Includes:
- 5- Moonwalks
- Hay Search
- Dunking Booth
- Goldfish Pool
- Hoola-Hoop for Kids
- Face Painting
- Smokey The Bear
- Fire Truck
- Water Games
- Free Lunch
Professional State and Federal Agencies return every year
to provide free literature, tools, water safety, and
information about Kerr/Buggs Island Lake.
- Army Corps Of Engineers
- Mecklenburg Sheriff Department
- Charlotte County Soil and Water
- Virginia Department of Forestry