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Inaugural Yellowstone Challenge a Success

Inaugural Yellowstone Challenge a Success

May 19, 2007 by

Huntley 5/19/07- The Yellowstone Challenge marked the first ever Catfish tournament in the Billings region. Local anglers who participated in the inaugural tournament were eager to get out on the water to catch some huge cats and capture bragging rights. 42 teams in all (mostly local) braved the high water conditions for an afternoon of good fun and competition. The field was essentially split, with half the field fishing from shore and the other half from boat. Tournament Director Jason Flaten released the teams at noon and they were to arrive back at the weigh in station by 7:00 P.M. It turned out to be a difficult day of fishing with a lot of teams struggling to catch fish or not able to hook the light biting fish. Some criteria that may have contributed to the tough bite were the high, spring water conditions which limit the opportunities for the bank anglers. The water level was also dropping drastically, which can also turn off or taper fish activity. Richard and Matthew Theis capitalized on the tough conditions while fishing in their Gregor jet boat. The father/son duo found the right combination and locations to take home the championship with a nice four fish limit of 25.2 lbs. “There’s no secret to what we did,” exclaimed Richard ” we used cut bait we got right here from the Minnow Bucket this morning.” They focused on classic high water areas and it paid off. It’s no surprise this team took home the championship, they are no stranger to the river or catfish. “We’ve been fishing this stretch of the river since 86′,” said Richard. “We enjoy fishing for cats because they are easy and fun to catch……it’s also a great fish to get kids interested in fishing.” They also noted the need to be pro-active in conservation and regulation, “we used to be the only ones out on the river. Now you see a lot of boats and shore anglers targeting catfish.” These two men are great representatives for the sport of fishing and specifically Channel Catfish. Congratulations Richard and Matthew on taking home the championship. Another impressive accomplishment came from the 2nd place team of Scott Swanson and Dan Oblander landing a 11.2 lb Yellowstone pig. That fish was good enough to land the “Big Fish” award and claimed the Skeeter pontoon as a prize. Montana Cats would like to thank the numerous volunteers, all the participants and the many sponsors that provided cash and prizes for the tournament. A special thanks also goes out to the Minnow Bucket Bait Shop in Huntley and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Nate McClenning, for ensuring the safety of all the tournament fish. The 1st annual Yellowstone Challenge was a huge success……surely a start to a great tradition.


Pictures for this tournament can be found here.

big fish

Dan Oblander 11.2 lbs. Big Fish Award

complete results

1. Richard Theis, Billings, MT. – Matthew Theis, Billings ,MT. 25.2 lbs.
2. Scott Swanson, Billings, MT. – Dan Oblander, Billings, MT. 24.9 lbs.
3. Larry Green, Billings, MT. – Art Adame, Ballantine, MT. 22.6 lbs.
4. Steve Stark, Huntley, MT. – Steve Frey, Worden, MT. 22.2 lbs.
5. Walter Estelby, Charlo, MT. – Robbie Guptill, Laurel, MT. 18.8 lbs.
6. Keith Ratcliff, Billings, MT. – Steve Reidy, Billings, MT. 18.6 lbs.
7. Charles Furguson, Big Timber, MT. – Will Grundhauser, Mcleod, MT. 18.1 lbs.
8. Brenner Flaten, Glasgow, MT. – Brady Flaten, Wolf Point, MT. 17.7 lbs.
9. Mark Striegel, Pompeys Pillar, MT. – Tyler Striegel, Ballantine, MT. 16.6 lbs.
10. Perry Jones, Billings, MT. – Paul Waller, Billings, MT. 14.8 lbs.
11. Robert Wise, Billings, MT. – Bobby Wise, Billings, MT. 12.1 lbs.
12. Carl Schreier, Worden, MT. – Debbie Schreier, Worden, MT. 11.1 lbs.
13. Billy Froman, Roundup, MT. – Jesse Ellis, Billings, MT. 10.9 lbs.
14. Corey Wicks, Park City, MT. – Delvin Mace, Billings, MT. 9.9 lbs.
15. Stephen Soutners, Billings, MT. – Tad Johnson, Billings, MT. 9.0 lbs.
16. Allen Camarillo, Billings, MT. – Lorelle Lewis, Billings, MT. 8.9 lbs.
17. Kevin Van Donsel, Billings, MT. – Juan Velazquez, Billings, MT. 8.8 lbs.
18. Tom Ringo, Ballantine, MT. – Nick Christman, Worden, MT. 8.6 lbs.
19. Chris Lehman, Billings, MT. – Harry He Does It, Billings, MT. 7.7 lbs.
20. Joe Bloom, Ballantine, MT. – Jeff Bloom, Ballantine, MT. 7.4 lbs.
21. Phil White, Billings, MT. – Scott Rogina, Billings, MT. 7.2 lbs.
22. Pat Mills, Big Timber, MT. – Robert Hallovist, Big Timber, MT. 5.6 lbs.
23. Jake Kembel, Huntley, MT. – Steve Kembel, Huntley, MT. 3.9 lbs.
24. Wylie Warreke, Laurel, MT. – Kent Hagen, Billings, MT. 1.6 lbs.
25. Rod Seder, Billings, MT. – Kristin Mackney, Billings, MT. 1.5 lbs.
26. Charles Gilcrist, Billings, MT. – Eric Norton, Laurel, MT. 0 lb.
Dan Graham, Billings, MT. – Ryley Graham, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Ryan Anderson, Billings, MT. – Preston Lyles, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Harold Buerkley, Yellowtail, MT. – Travis Buerkley, Roundup, MT. 0 lb.
Jesse Budell, Pompeys Pillar, MT. – Richard Mullenberg, Worden, MT. 0 lb.
Bill Bowen, Whitehall, MT. – Ace Bowen, Whitehall, MT. 0 lb.
Jason Partridge, Billings, MT. – Toby Klein, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Jonathan Stark, Huntley, MT. – Alvin Buening, Lockwood, MT. 0 lb.
Chase Stroud, Billings, MT. – Dustin Lachenmaier, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Kevin Bentz, Billings, MT. – David McKinney, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Frederick Harman, Billings, MT. – Emily Harman, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Mike Dombrovski, Billings, MT. – Matt Dombrovski, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Calvin Kading, Billings, MT. – Todd Mcgraw, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Nick Felton, Ballantine, MT. – Amanda Felton, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
Bill Felton, Ballantine, MT. – Tony Felton, Ballantine, MT. 0 lb.
Layne Stenberg, Billings, MT. – George Stenberg, Billings, MT. 0 lb.
42. Elias Fraga II, Laurel, MT. – Elias Fraga III, Laurel, MT. 0 lb.

Posted in: Yellowstone Challenge