7/15/17- Sidney, MT – Summer heat can make for difficult days on the water. For tournament fishing it adds a level of difficulty that is tough to quantify. This year’s 9th Annual Monster Cat Roundup in Sidney was a fine example of what you can expect when you hit the Yellowstone River in mid-July. The Monster Cat Roundup is always held the 3rd weekend of July, so it typically coincides with the spawn or the post-spawn period for the species at stake, the Channel Catfish. The water temperature was nipping at 78 degrees and the outdoor temperature hovered around triple digits ALL week leading up to the event. Tournament time was no different, as temps reached the high 90’s and anglers up and down the river were experiencing fish in a “lock-jaw” pattern. Add in the river flows that were rapidly receding and everything was leading up to an overall difficult day of fishing for the full field of 60 teams. (56 jet boats, 4 shore)
A brighter note was that 51 teams still managed to bring fish to the scales. Numbers were certainly out there to be had, but size proved to be at a premium. No one put together a day quite like the Seder brothers, out of Billings, Montana. Siblings, Rod and Rob Seder could manage only six catfish during the eight-hour event. However, five of those cats had enough size to push the anglers to just over 23 lbs. With their 23.06 lb. basket, the Seder’s claimed the 9th Annual Monster Cat Roundup title! Rod quipped, “This tourney has been very tough on us. We have taken our beatings here, so it’s sure really nice to get one.” The Seder’s are longtime veterans of the Montana Cats Circuit and have experienced plenty of success in the past. The duo boasts two top 3 finishes in the Missouri River Catfish Clash in Williston, ND, while Rod also has a Yellowstone Challenge championship in Huntley, MT under his belt. Finishing less than one pound out of the winner’s circle, local anglers, James Decker, Sidney, MT., and Steve Lowery, Fairview, MT., boated 10 cats on the day. Their 5 fish limit proved impressive at 22.47 lbs. Rounding out the top 3 was 2-time champions, Brenner Flaten, Glasgow, MT., and Chad Dawson, Dickinson, ND. at 21.42 lbs. The long-time teammates managed only seven catfish during the tournament but considered themselves fortunate at the end of the day. Brenner remarked, “We had one fish, for one pound, with two hours left. Our last spot paid off for six fish and all five of our keepers. We kept fishing hard”. Chris Peterson and Chad Bright, both of Sidney, grabbed 4th place with 20.38 lbs. Last season’s Montana Cats Anglers of the Year, Randy Franco and Nick Fortier, both of Billings, MT., grabbed the 5th spot with the only other 20 lb. basket of the day. The powerful anglers, 20.35 lbs. was aided greatly by Randy’s 10.0 lb. pig that they boated with less than 15 minutes remaining. The monster cat proved to be the largest of the day and worth a wall-hanging plaque and the $200 cash prize.