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Local duo take King Kat title for second consecutive year

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 8:29 a.m. CST
Caption
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Joe Dyer, of Rock Falls, unloads his boat after completing a second day of fishing during the Cabela's King Kat Tournament Super Event along the Rock River. Dyer and his tournament teammate, Dan Dippel, of Ottawa, won the tournament for a second consecutive year with a 10-catch total weight of 72.5 pounds.
Caption
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Terry Stone of Prophetstown unloads his catch Saturday at the weigh-in site at Page Park in Dixon during the second day of the Cabela's King Kat Tournament Super Event along the Rock River. This year was the sixth year Cabela's has brought its tournament to the Sauk Valley.
Caption
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Nick McKenna, of Sterling, unloads his catch Saturday during the second day of the Cabela's King Kat Tournament Super Event along the Rock River. Nick and his father, Terry, also from Sterling, caught fish totaling 14.66 pounds during the second day of the competition.
Caption
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Mike Kuehl, of Lyndon, releases his catch during the second day of the Cabela's King Kat Tournament Super Event at Page Park in Dixon. Only catfish that were kept alive could be weighed and counted toward a team's total catch weight for the tournament. Mike and his wife, Kassi, caught a daily total of 21 pounds of catfish on Saturday.
Caption
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Phil Westbrook (left), of Dixon, and his son, Dustin, of Rock Falls, brought only one fish to the scale at the end of the day Saturday, but they made it count. Here they pose with a fish that weighed 25.2 pounds, which earned them the Big Fish title in the tournament and $1,270 in prize money.

DIXON – It was about 5 p.m. Saturday when a light rain started to fall on the Rock River. The boats and pick-ups and people all started clearing out of Page Park.

The announcement had been made, and it was official: For the second year in a row, Joe Dyer and Dan Dippel were taking home the big money – $4,500 – in the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Super Event in Dixon.

The first-place winners, from Rock Falls and Ottawa, respectively, have been competing in the catfish tournament since it started in 2009, and they’ve placed in all but one year.

This year, over the course of 2 days, their fish weighed in at 72.50 pounds, and they caught about 15 total, though only 10 of them could be counted in the final weigh-in. Of the final 10, Dyer and Dippel brought in three channel catfish and two flathead catfish on Friday, and two flathead catfish and three channel catfish on Saturday.

The second-place team of Brock Law, of Rock Falls, and Aaron Schrader, of Sterling, trailed by just 1.98 pounds – all the edge Dyer and Dippel needed to win.

The tournament champs had been fishing in shallow water, they said, about 6 to 9 feet deep, hanging around near tress and other underwater structure south along the river, near Moline. Competitors could fish anywhere on the Rock between Oregon and Milan.

Dyer has been a guide on the Rock River for more than 20 years. Once, he said, he caught a 73-pounder in 2005 near Lyndon.

He caught a few big fish Saturday, too. Well, almost. Two 30-pounders got away, he said.

The next biggest fish the duo caught weighed in at 23.02 pounds, the third largest fish caught during the tournament.

The total purse for the tournament was $11,800, with the top nine teams earning payouts, and the top 25 teams qualifying for the Western Championships in the Quad Cities this fall.

The 2-day event also included a Cabela’s King Kat Kids event Saturday at the weigh-in site in Page Park.

Prize winners

The top nine teams in the 2-day King Kat Tournament along the Rock River split the purse of $11,800. They were:

1st: Joe Dyer, of Rock Falls, and Dan Dippel, of Ottawa (72.50 pounds; $4,500)

2nd: Brock Law, of Rock Falls, and Aaron Schrader, of Sterling (70.52; $2,200)

3rd: Dustin Westbrook, of Rock Falls, and Phil Westbrook, of Dixon (65.90; $1,200)

4th: Stan Bennett, of Kingston, and John Rudecki, of Stillman Valley (59.50; $500)

5th: Tom and Clint Walker, of Sterling (51.42; $500)

6th: Larry Morine, of Erie, and Ray Graham, of Fenton (47.22; $400)

7th: Matt Jones, of Prophetstown, and Cru Scridner, of Polo (43.42; $400)

8th: Robert Clapper, of Peoria, and Taylor Richards, of Rock Falls (42.06; $400)

9th: Jeremy and Cory Diehl, of Milledgeville (41.48; $400)

Big Fish: Dustin Westbrook, of Rock Falls, and Phil Westbrook, of Dixon (25.20; $1,270)

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