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International Catfish Symposium

International Catfish Symposium

June 01, 2011 by MT Cats Staff

Back in June 1998, a breakthrough was made in the catfishing world. That year the First International Catfish Symposium was formed, referred to as “Catfish 2000”. Catfish 2000 was a meeting of the minds in Davenport, Iowa. It consisted of the finest professors, biologists, fisherman, and conservationists involved with the species. The knowledge that was shared at that meeting and the published proceedings has served as the basis of our current understanding of the entire species. For the next decade, the findings from that Symposium had been referenced and studied by nearly everyone involved in the sport of catfishing. As is so often the case in all areas of science, great advancements had been made over the course of twelve years. A large amount of studies had been performed and new information was now available for everyone in the catfish world.

We at Montana Cats, like so many others, knew that a new Symposium could very well be just around the corner. It was announced in the fall of 2009 that the 2nd International Catfish Symposium, Catfish 2010, would be coming to St. Louis, Missouri in June. In the months after the announcement, the anticipation began to build on what would be included at the Symposium. Even the legendary Bill Dance was excited about it, inviting everyone to the event.. This year’s addition would include a catfish

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Montana Cats 2011 Outlook

Montana Cats 2011 Outlook

May 01, 2011 by MT Cats Staff

Living in Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas can be a frustrating experience for the open water angler. Our time on the water is often limited to seven months, followed by a long hard winter filled with only thoughts of big fish and late night camping adventures. Thankfully, the time has officially arrived! With the weather warming and ice beginning to break on our rivers and reservoirs across the region it is time to get excited and gear up for another catfishing season. As accustomed at Montana Cats, the yearly preview article is intended to serve one sole purpose. We want to put spring fishing on your brain! Late March and into early April can be the most overlooked catfish bight in our area, it will provide some of the biggest catfish you will see the entire year. If there is a time to grab a lawn chair or throw an anchor and just sit, this could be your time. Go out and find that hot spot, that wintering location, where the cats are plentiful. Chances are the channel cats haven’t begun their early season transition, and there is a good shot that their strapping on the feedbag. Whether you are a river or a reservoir angler there is ample opportunity for you this spring. It’s up to you to seize that opportunity. Is it time for the second thirty-pound Channel Cat to come out of Montana waters? Can you break your personal record and hook into one that is worthy of “hanging on the wall”? Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, then swing in and share your adventure and the fishing story with all of us here at Montana Cats.

With a new fishing season also brings a new tournament season! Like so many of us, if you share a love for fishing and an interest in competition, then the Montana Cats Tournament Circuit is for you. 2011 will provide a slight makeover from the previous seasons on tour. The season will once again open up in Huntley, MT with the annual Yellowstone Challenge, however some changes have taken place. This years event will be bumped up to the first weekend in May, it will be Montana Cats first “boat only” tournament, and it will be scaled back to a fifty team limit. The second stop on tour will be the 12th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic in Glasgow, MT and will take place on the first weekend in June. This year’s biggest change is the addition of our first North Dakota event. The Inaugural Missouri River Catfish Clash will be held out of Williston, ND and will be replacing the Bighorn Catfish tournament. It will be held annually on the third weekend in June. The final stop on tour will bring you back to Eastern Montana, to Sidney, for the 3rd Annual Monster Cat Roundup. Moving back to its traditional second weekend in July, the Roundup should be a blast this season and a great culminating event for the association. Enjoy the tournament schedule below. Click on the tournament names below to download the entry forms and join in on all the fun. We hope to see every one of you out on the water in 2011!

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7th Annual First Class Cat Attack

7th Annual First Class Cat Attack

July 24, 2010 by MT Cats Staff

South Sioux City, NE 7/24/10 – What a weekend in Northeast Nebraska as the First Class Cat Attack came roaring into town. For the first time in tournament history, the headquarters were moved across the Mighty Missouri River from Sioux City, Iowa to South Sioux City, Nebraska. It turned out to be a great move! The city of South Sioux couldn’t wait to play host to one of the finest catfish tournaments in the country, and it didn’t disappoint. Over the course of the past six years, the First Class Cat Attack has attracted anglers from all over the mid-western United States for a chance at some catfish fame. The 7th Annual event was no different, as 45 teams from 6 different states converged on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. The anglers were once again targeting all three major species of catfish; the Channel, Blue, and the Flathead.

This years version of the Cat Attack provided teams with an all new obstacle to overcome as both rivers were running much higher than normal. To make matters worse, the South Sioux area was hit with another couple inches of rain just days before the event. The added precipitation from the storm had the Big Sioux River bursting at its seams and the Missouri River on a rapid rise. The high water undoubtedly put some teams in a panic and out of some of their comfort levels. As it turns out, the water levels had a drastic impact on the overall catch rate. Not a single team weighed in their limit of 10 catfish, and 20 teams failed to catch a single fish.

There were many teams who seemed to use all of it to there advantage, however, none more impressively than the duo of Travis Carter, of Elk Point, South Dakota, and Dan Foss, of Onawa, Iowa. The impressive teammates focused their efforts in the Missouri River, jumping on the competition early on in the day. They ultimately weighed in eight catfish, six flathead and 2 channels, that tipped the scales at 26.40 lbs., more than 12 lbs. clear of the next

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Mahers, Brower Win In Savage

Mahers, Brower Win In Savage

June 12, 2010 by MT Cats Staff

Savage, MT 6/12/10 – The small town of Savage, Montana was again all the buzz this past weekend as the annual Catfish Tourney came roaring in. Much like in past years, the tournament filled its 60-team field a few weeks in advance. Local anglers were abound and out of area teams were sprinkled in amongst the crowd, as is the case on the 2nd weekend of every June. In what has turned out to be one of the finest communities events in the area, this years 7th Annual Savage Fire Department Catfish Tournament did not disappoint.

The rules stayed the same for 2010 in this all out “slot fish” extravaganza. Each team is only allowed to weigh-in fish between 12″ and 18″. These rare tournament rules provide an interesting twist and continually keeps the leader board very tight. On a typical year, the winning team hovers around 6 lbs. This year provided an unbelievable day of fishing for “slots”, as the top six teams all weighed in over 6.34 lbs. Much of the drama was saved for the top of the leader board, however, as local anglers, Chad Maher, Soda Maher, and Clay Brower took this years tournament championship with a limit of five cats weighing in at 7.410 lbs., the 2nd best weight in tournament history. Nipping at their heels, was the tournament veteran crew of Brenner Flaten, Tyler George, and Cade Flaten. Boasting the third best weight in tourney history, the crew weighed in at 7.345 lbs. The Mahers and Brower’s victory of 0.06 lbs. is by far the tightest the event has ever seen. Casey Hamburg took home the separate big fish pot with a muscular cat tipping the scales at 12.11 lbs.

The whole weekend was an overwhelming success. The Friday night calcutta was well attended once again ,as many of the locals came and bid on their favorite fishing teams and good times were had by all involved. Saturday got off on the right foot, as breakfast was cooked right in front of the fire hall in downtown Savage, as teams began to gather for a fun/competitive day on the water. Teams were released in two flights beginning at 7:00 a.m. following the rules meeting. The tournament took place until 3:30, when all of the teams conjugated on the river bottom to weigh in their respective catches. As weights were tallied and fish were returned safely to the water, the teams began to retreat to the Fire Hall once again. At this time, an incredible amount of door prizes were given away and the tournament and calcutta winners were announced to the crowd. A free will farm raised catfish feed concluded the festivities on Saturday Night. If you want a change of pace and enjoy fishing for the “little guys” make sure you mark your calendar for Saturday June 11th, 2011. 

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Colorado Duo takes Lake Mac Title

Colorado Duo takes Lake Mac Title

May 01, 2010 by MT Cats Staff

Lewellen, NE 5/1/10 – The 13th Annual Lake McConaughy Catfish Classic took place over the weekend. The Classic once again proved to be a true test of catfishing ability. The tournament was headquartered out of the Oregon Trail Trading Post just outside Lewellen, Nebraska and began Friday night with a calcutta/social and free burgers and brats for all the competitors. This years version pitted 53 avid teams against each other. Tournament boundaries included the entire Lake McConaughy and The North Platte River west to the town of Oshkosh. A ten fish limit, ten hours of fishing time, and the option to fish from boat or shore provided the anglers with a lot of flexibility throughout the tournament.

Tournament conditions were average, with temps in the upper 50’s, but winds gusting up to 30 mph. Overall weights were down drastically from previous years, as only 28 teams would weigh-in fish and 25 teams would come up empty handed. When the smoke cleared, however, it was the tournament veteran combo of Matt Ryan and Mike Oshea, both of Denver, Colorado that would take home the top prize. Last years 3rd place team and Big Fish winners, the duo remained patient throughout the entire tournament to help them boat a total of nine catfish weighing in at 33.66 lbs. Mike had this to say on their victory, “We didn’t have a single fish before noon, but ended up fishing 20 to 25 spots, and landed 8 of our 9 fish in two hours when we found a honey hole”.

Coming up just short, finishing in 2nd place was the local team of Buck Johnson and Robert Stitt, weighing in their limit of 10 cats at 31.3 lbs. Buck and Robert are no strangers to tournament success on Lake Mac either, as they finished 4th place in 2009 as well. They landed a total of 16 catfish on the day, and Buck gave us some insight into their success, “It was a pretty tough day overall till we started looking for them after lunch. We had nothing at noon, but we starting catching some bigger fish when we fell into 14 to 18 foot of water.” Only three teams would make a return to the top ten this year, but that group included last years champions, Loyd Volgamore and Marnie Ryan, finishing in a very respectable 7th place with 24.1 lbs. Montana Cats Field Staff members, Brenner and Jason Flaten, both of Wyoming, made the trip to Lewellen for the fourth consecutive year, placing 17th with 13.3 lbs.

If your looking to get your catfish tournament season off on the right foot in future years. Consider making a trek to Western Nebraska. Darrell and the crew at The Oregon Trail Trading Post are a class act, and put on a tremendous event.

Enjoy the pictures and complete final results from this past weekends event!

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