East Grand Forks, MN 7/22/06 – The Red River of the North is widely considered the premier Channel Catfish water in the world. The Red didn’t disappoint as the Montana Cats Pro Staff, along with Montana Cats member Steve Harris, made the seven hour trek across North Dakota to compete in the annual Red River Valley Catfish Club Tournament. Brady Flaten and Steve Harris made up the first team and the brother combination of Jason and Brenner Flaten comprised the second. Conditions weren’t ideal with low waters, extreme temperatures and the fish in post-spawn mode which provided numerous challenges for the Montana anglers. Pre-fishing proved puzzling as the fish weren’t necessarily congregated in one specific area. Both teams, however, enjoyed great success pre-fishing on Friday, boating numerous fish over the 10 pound mark. Confidence was high and anticipation great. Strategy would prove to be a huge aspect in this and every Red River tournament. Three fish would be weighed with one of those fish having to be under the 24” mark. Due to state regulations there would also be no sorting or culling fish in the live well. This would force anglers to make the tough decision on whether not to keep or release the fish after landing it. 35 teams took off from the South landing at 7:00 A.M. and had to return by 3:00 P.M. The team of Brady Flaten and Steve Harris, however, didn’t need the full allotted time weighing their three fish in at 10:30. The strategy of not putting anything in the live well less than 15 pounds before noon turned out to be successful. Brady and Steve turned back 3 other fish over 10 pounds before finally boating their final fish of 16.8 lbs. Three fish consisting of 16.8, 15.8 & 3.6 totaled 36.2 lbs good enough for 4th place. Brenner and Jason Flaten turned in a fish of 14.2 and 3.2 for a tournament total of 17.2 lbs. Boat trouble and the tough decision of turning a fish of 9 lbs back summed up the day for the brother combo. The Red River Valley Catfish Club put on an outstanding tournament and a good time was enjoyed by all. If you have any questions about this tournament or the Red River in general, please feel free to post on the message board.
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