7/16/16-Sidney, MT— Early on Saturday, Sidney Catfish anglers, Matt Reynolds and Carrie Niblock, didn’t know what the day of fishing would hold. Carrie remarked to Matt early on during the tournament, “how cool would it be to win this thing?”, Matt quipped in return, “I don’t care, I just want my name on one of them t-shirts”. Well, after the dust settled both of those statements are now a reality! Matt said the duo used frogs for bait and targeted most of their cats in cover to help push themselves to 32.17 lbs, resulting in a dominant victory at the 8th Annual Monster Cat Roundup. It was a steady day of fishing for the couple as they caught around a dozen catfish and only had to move anchor four different times. It was an impressive final two hours for the champs, landing four cats, all of which undoubtedly were difference makers in the final standings. Among the cats late to the party for Reynolds and Niblock was Matt’s 8.85 pounder. The fish proved to be the largest one of the day and earned him Big Fish honors as well. It is the first ever Montana Cats tournament championship for either of the anglers. For Niblock it was extra special. She becomes the FIRST female champion in the 42-event history of the Montana Cats Circuit. A special congratulations to Carrie!
Although Reynolds and Niblock won in dominating fashion, clearing the field by nearly seven pounds, the rest of the top ten was one of the closest battles ever waged on tour. A mere 1.5 lbs. separated second place from eighth place. Wow! The general consensus was that it was a very difficult day of fishing, but those at the top of the leaderboard were able to land their limit of five cats at nearly a five pound average. Taking runner up honors, were this year’s Yellowstone Challenge champions, Randy Franco and Nick Fortier, both of Billings. The Yellowstone County anglers ventured far away from their home waters to boat 25.40 lbs. and plant themselves firmly in the race for this year’s MT Cats B’n’M Angler of the Year. Some familiar faces occupied third place, as defending Champions, Bobby and Robert Wise, also of Billings, put together another solid day with 25.10 lbs. More local anglers rounded out the top five. Steve Harris Sr. and Chad Nelson, behind Chad’s 8.33 lb. kitty, locked up fourth with 25.07 lbs. and fifth went to Mike Licking and Troy Cotter at 24.60 lbs.
The Ranger Lounge in downtown Sidney was once again a gracious host for both Friday and Saturday night’s festivities. Local businesses that step up to sponsor our Montana Cats Circuit events are a big reason all of the tournaments are so successful every year. Thank you to the Ranger and all of our other fine Roundup sponsors!
The 2016 Montana Cats Circuit has now rounded third and is headed for home. The last stop on tour will be the 6th Annual Missouri River Catfish Clash. The Clash will commence in Williston, North Dakota on Saturday August, 20th. And for the fourth year in a row, the B’n’M Angler of the Year will come down to the final event. Randy Franco and Nick Fortier hold a slight lead heading into the showdown, while Bobby and Robert Wise and Brady Flaten still have a shot to knock them off for the honor! As of press time, there are still twenty-nine spots available. Please visit the Monster Cat Roundup Page for an entry form and get signed up before it’s too late.
Please enjoy the pictures from this past weekend’s event and the complete final results below.
Top 10 (60 teams)
|1.||Matt Reynolds, Sidney, MT. – Carrie Niblock, Sidney, MT||32.17 lbs.|
|2.||Randy Franco, Billings, MT. – Nick Fortier, Billings, MT.||25.40 lbs.|
|3.||Bobby Wise, Billings, MT. – Robert Wise, Billings, MT.||25.10 lbs.|
|4.||Steve Harris Sr., Sidney, MT. – Chad Nelson, Sidney, MT.||25.07 lbs.|
|5.||Mike Licking, Sidney, MT. – Troy Cotter, Sidney, MT.||24.60 lbs.|
|6.||Brenner Flaten, Glasgow, MT. – Chad Dawson, Dickinson, ND.||24.48 lbs.|
|7.||Brady Flaten, Glasgow, MT. – Lacey Flaten, Glasgow, MT.||24.16 lbs.|
|8.||Blake Gauer, Park City, MT. – Lindsey Gauer, Park City, MT.||23.90 lbs.|
|9.||Todd Dooley, Sidney, MT. – Jordan Dooley, Sidney, MT.||22.74 lbs.|
|10.||Bryan Armour, Lewistown, MT. – Darren Allen, Moore, MT.||21.04 lbs.|