The competition has been hot and heavy in this year’s Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest (BCQ) tournament trail. New Madrid, MO is a regular stop on the tournament trail, but this year the city bagged the National Championship.

The BCQ is a catch and release tournament that stresses sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. A team is comprised of two anglers with three allowed if the third angler meets certain requirements aimed at youth and senior anglers.

The 2014 Big Cat Quest Classic, also known as the National Championship, will be held October 4 & 5, 2014 in New Madrid on the Mississippi River.

Organizer Ken Freeman is more than excited about the tournament in New Madrid.”What a great site for a national tournament, one of the top fisheries in America! You do not want to miss this one. It is going to be one of the best ever,” stated Freeman. “New Madrid is one of the best support communities ever for a fishing tournament.”

The New Madrid Chamber of Commerce and the City of New Madrid are excited too. “We are an annual stop on the tournament trail, but being asked to host the National Championship is truly an honor,” said a city spokesman.”

The BCQ National Championship is taking place the same weekend as the New Madrid Fall Festival, which is scheduled for Saturday October 4. There will be a 5K Run/Walk, car, truck and bike show, beauty pageant, vendors, food, music, tons of activities for the kids including the free kids fishing tournament, a petting zoo, putt-putt golf, and more! There is going to be something for everyone in New Madrid.

More than 100 catfish teams are expected from across the United States to take part in this huge event. The participants are getting excited about the opportunity to fish the Classic.

2013 Angler of the Year Larry Muse fishes with his dad Frank and brother Dino. “It should be awesome,” commented Muse. “We boated over 200 pounds, in four fish, in 25 minutes, pre-fishing last year. We are looking for it to be great.”

B’n’M Poles Pro Staffers Jason Aycock and his fishing partner Hunter Jones are looking forward to the Classic too. “I’m excited,” says Aycock. “These are my home waters and I am anxious to fish in the Classic. There will be some big catfish weighed. Last year’s winner weighed in 226.05 pounds in his 5 fish limit.”

This year’s tournament is two days instead of one and the winner will be the heaviest weight from the two days with 5 fish weighed each day. Everyone is predicting awesome totals. “It will take around 400 pounds to win,” says Muse.

Given the expertise and dedication of tournament catfish anglers the mighty Mississippi is sure to give up some big ol’ catfish. A copy of the rules and regulations can be downloaded from the website at


Event organizer, Ken Freeman can be reached at 731-234-1888.

Logo courtesy Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest

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