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Montana Cats 2010 Outlook

Montana Cats 2010 Outlook

March 03, 2010 by MT Cats Staff

3/3/10- March has finally arrived and we all know what that means. Yes, Montana Cats has awaken from its annual winter hibernation. Now that the string of cold months has passed, we only have one thing on our minds, CATFISHING!! Is this the year you set a new personal best? Maybe it’s your turn to win a Montana Cats tour event or break that magical 20 lb. mark? Most of us would just settle for a little more time enjoying the great outdoors.

2009 was another breakthrough year for the Montana Catfish Association. The debut of the Montana Cats Tournament Circuit (a four-tournament shootout) ,was a success on all levels, thanks to the continued work of the dedicated field staff and many other volunteers. The tournaments set records in participation across the board. Catfishing popularity continues to boom across the Midwestern United States and we are proud to play a role in that.

You can expect many changes in 2010. We are adding a 5th tournament to the already popular Montana Cats Tournament Circuit. There are three tournament opportunities in Montana and two in Northern Wyoming. The website will expand to include even more interviews, pictures, and videos from each tour event. It’s our goal to enhance your overall “online catfishing experience”. Keep your eyes peeled for even more in-depth front-page articles from our field staff, as well as raw and un-cut fishing footage throughout the entire open water season.

A couple of major changes will hit the tour in 2010. The Milk River Catfish Classic will expand to 80 teams for the first time, in what promises to be an unbelievable event. The 2nd Annual Monster Cat Roundup will raise its entry fee to $60 to provide anglers another opportunity to cash in on an even greater prize. See tournament entry forms for further details. The Glendo NightCat will join the tour, as the second Night-time tournament. The tournament season will kick off in Huntley, MT on May, 8th with the annual Yellowstone Challenge. We hope to see you all there. Below you will find the complete 2010 schedule. If you have any questions please join post them on the message board. Please click on the links below to access the tournament entry forms.

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Tournament Record Tumbles at 22nd Annual Cats Incredible

Tournament Record Tumbles at 22nd Annual Cats Incredible

August 01, 2009 by MT Cats Staff

East Grand Forks, MN 8/1/09- Catfish anglers from 11 different states converged on East Grand Forks, MN this past weekend to compete for the 22nd annual Cats Incredible title. The Cats Incredible has proven to be one of the premier Catfish tournaments in the nation, due in large part to the world class Channel Catfish waters of the Red River and the lasting friendships that have been fostered over the previous 21 years of the event. This two day event has 150 boats on just over a 35 mile stretch of river that puts tremendous pressure on the fishery and leads to volatile catfish behavior and an unpredictable leader board.

Intermittent rain, high winds and post-spawn fish behavior presented numerous challenges over the two day event. As if catching these monster Channels in adverse conditions isn’t difficult enough, an additional test the tournament presents is the “no culling” rule. Any fish that enters the live well must stay confined due to state regulations. Two fish over 24 inches and three under the limit are allowed to be weighed in each day. This makes for some difficult decisions during the early tournament hours on whether or not to keep a marginal fish.

Solving the Cats incredible puzzle in record fashion were anglers Troy & Zach Srnsky. The Warren, MN duo smashed a nearly 10 year old tournament record by 7.5 lbs., catching a two day total of 91.5 lbs. The Srnsky’s also landed the tourneys largest Cat which tipped the scales at just over 22 lbs. They were rewarded handsomely for their record basket, taking home the top prize of $4000, $1000 for largest catfish and the $500 Lund Boat (top team fishing out of a lund boat) award for a grand total of $5500! Former champion Larry Barrow and his son Joel put together two outstanding days on the water to claim the 2nd place trophy. Their 43 lb. Day two total was good enough to vault them from 6th place after day one.

Anglers Paul Cariveau & Mervyn Rud of East Grand Forks, MN used their local knowledge and 78.32 lbs to propel them to a third place finish. Two time champions Pat and Travis Carter were on top of their game once again. As one of the most successful teams in tournament history, the Carters were in third place after day one and within striking distance of the top trophy. They were able put together another solid performance on day 2 and finished in fourth place. The “Mr. Consistency” award (a Montana Cats fake award) goes to Marv & Shane Feltman. The local anglers finished in 33rd place. They have finished in the top 35 seven times and the top 15 four times.

If you have a love for catfish tournaments, then this is the event for you. Those interested in participating in the 2010 Cats Incredible, be sure to stay posted with the Grand Forks Chamber. The tournament entries are due in February and the participant lottery takes place in March.

Please enjoy the complete results from this past weekend!

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Huge Blue leads to Cat Attack Championship

Huge Blue leads to Cat Attack Championship

July 25, 2009 by MT Cats Staff

Sioux City, IA 7/25/09 – Montana Cats field staff members, Brenner and Jason Flaten competed in the 6th Annual First Class Cat Attack in Sioux City, Iowa this past Saturday. The tournament was stationed out of the main boat ramp on the Missouri River in Sioux City, but tournament fisherman were allowed to fish the Missouri and any of its tributary waters as long as they could be reached by boat. All three catfish species, the Blue, Flathead, or Channel were legal targets.

The Cat Attack has truly become one of the premier catfish tournaments in the entire nation, boasting some of the finest catfish anglers from seven different states. The anglers reigned from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wyoming, Missouri, Kansas, and South Dakota. It offers an impressive payout that can be hard to find when scouring the globe for great catfishing competition. The event is ran by successful catfish angler, Pat Carter, and is backed by his great sponsors, including their top-flight sponsor, the First Class Credit Union.

The tourney offered a guaranteed $5,000 payback in cash and prizes. When it exceeded 30 teams, every additional team added to the final payout. With a record 51 teams competing this year, and the First Class Credit Union generously pitching in a $1,000 Carter bounty, the total cash payout for this year’s event was an astounding $6,205.00!!

During the 2009 edition of the “Cat Attack”, there was no shortage of surprises either. No Blue Cats had been landed since the Inaugural event six years ago, while this year one big blue and another monster blue were hauled into the weigh-ins. More than twice as many Flatheads were caught this year than in any of the other previous five tournaments. Tournament limits, however, were hard to come by, as only two teams were able to land their limit of ten catfish.

When the dust finally settled, it was the duo of Dean Stroman and Bruce Stroman, both of Sioux City, Iowa taming their home waters and taking home the team title. It only took one fish, however, as they landed a beautiful 56.6 lb. Blue Cat during the early morning hours. It would ultimately hold up and they would be crowned the 2009 champions. The big bruiser would end up netting the anglers a total of $2,936.00!! Runner-up honors went to Keith Copenhaver of Sioux City and Chris Sharp of Merrill, Iowa with an impressive ten fish limit at 40.9 lbs. The duo showed their versatility in bringing in 6 Flatheads and 4 Channel Cats. Their biggest fish, the largest Flathead of the tourney, weighed in at 14.7 lbs.

A special thanks should go to Pat Carter for running this impressive event and to the First Class Credit Union for helping the tournament grow to all-time heights. Montana Cats field staff looks to return to Sioux City in future years.

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2nd Annual Bighorn Catfish Tournament

2nd Annual Bighorn Catfish Tournament

June 20, 2009 by MT Cats Staff

Lovell, WY 6/20/09 – Much like the rest of the Montana Cats Tour events, the 2nd Annual Bighorn Catfish Tournament experienced growth in all areas from the previous year. Friends of Bighorn Lake once again ran this tourney in conjunction with the Montana Catfish Association, and experienced a rise from 12 teams at last years inaugural event to 17 this year. All seventeen teams fished out of boats on a sunny 90-degree day, however, teams had to deal with numerous obstacles on the water. Not only was the heat scolding for the second straight year, but they also had to fight the rapidly rising water. Big Horn Lake had risen 12 feet in the four days previous, causing water to creep into shoreline trees for the first time in many years. The debris on the entire waterway was out of control.

Fishing was no doubt affected by the combination of the high temperatures and rapidly rising water. Only four teams were able to crack the 10 lb. barrier and only two teams were able to land their limit of six fish. Despite the tough conditions, fisherman turned out a valiant effort and brought in their share of channel cats. Montana Cats Field Staff members, Brenner Flaten and Tyler George, used a run and gun attack to land their limit of 6 cats that weighed in at 19.48 lbs. to take home the title. Brenner would also land the big fish of the tournament, weighing in at 6.2 lbs. Tyler had this to say on the victory, “With the help of a jet boat this year, we were able to cover lots of water and experiment with fishing new structure and it paid off.” The combination of a tourney title and the big fish netted the duo a cash prize of nearly $500. Powell, Wyoming anglers, Eric Menning and Zach Brando turned in an impressive limit of six catfish tipping the scales at 14.76 lbs. and good enough for a runner-up finish. Team Nagel out of Columbus, Montana rounded out the top three with five cats at 13.76 lbs.

Every catfish that was caught was once again weighed, measured, and tagged by Wyoming Fish and Game. We are proud to report that only one fish failed to make it out alive, proving once again that anglers are doing an excellent job on the water maintaining their catch. Extremely hot days like this one, makes it even more pressing for the anglers to make sure their fish have fresh, circulating, and cooler water. FOBHL will once again run next year’s event on the 3rd weekend of June 2010, and they expect to have even more teams participating. The 2009 Montana Cats Tour will come to a close in Sidney, Montana with the Inaugural Monster Cat Roundup on the Yellowstone River Saturday, July 11th.

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Colorado Teams Come Up Big at Lake Mac

Colorado Teams Come Up Big at Lake Mac

May 02, 2009 by MT Cats Staff

Lewellen, NE 5/2/09 – The 12th Annual Lake McConaughy Catfish Classic is in the books! The popular weekend kicked off on Friday May, 1st with a Calcutta and social at the Oregon Trail Trading Post in Lewellen. The tournament was held on Saturday and can be a long and grueling one for some, as tournament hours run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It provides a little different twist as well as it allows for teams to either fish in Lake McConaughy or within the North Platte River.

54 teams hit the water under steady overcast skies, with highs hovering around 50 degrees the entire day. Despite the cold front, sixteen teams were able to catch their limit of ten cats and four teams would break the magical 50 pound mark. The state of Colorado dominated the event, sweeping the top 3. After all the dust settled, Loyd Volgamore and Marnie Ryan would take home this years championship. It has been a long time coming for Loyd, who has competed in every Lake Mac Catfish Classic since its inception twelve years ago. He has been knocking on the door for years, placing 3rd three times and 5th three times. When asked what the key to their tournament victory was, Loyd replied, “ We setup on the warmest water we could find in the reservoir, used shrimp and shad guts, and had our limit by 9:15.” The duo will now cash a check for $2,028.60!! The top three teams were all fishing in a similar area and caught the majority of their cats between 4 to 6 feet. All three Colorado teams would catch well over 20 cats on the day and spend a lot of their time culling out their livewells.

Mike O’Shea, of the third place team, caught the biggest catfish of the day. The big cat fell for some shad guts and weighed in at 9.4 lbs, it netted Mike a check for $450. Three top 10 teams from 2008 found themselves back in the top 10 this year, as the tournament continues to be a great event for both the local and out of area teams. Montana Cats Field Staff members Brenner and Jason Flaten, both of Wyoming, returned to the event for a 3rd consecutive year placing 12th with 39.22 lbs.

If you are looking for a great time make sure you mark down the first weekend of May on your calendars every year for the Lake Mac Catfish Classic in Lewellen, Nebraska. Darrell and the crew at The Trading Post do an outstanding job and put on a great event. Montana Cats will be returning for years to come. Congratulations to the entire top 10! Below you will find complete results and photos from this past weekends event.

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